Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Anti-riot fatwa

I was taken aback by the statistics on the rioting in Paris. BBC news gives the following:

One man killed
5,873 cars torched
1,500 people arrested
17 people sentenced
120 police and fire-fighters injured

That's a massive number of cars, not to mention the death and injuries.

The Union of French Islamic Organisations issued a religious edict on Sunday condemning the destruction and unrest caused by the rioting in France.

"It is formally forbidden to any Muslim seeking divine grace and satisfaction to participate in any action that blindly hits private or public property or could constitute an attack on someone's life," the UOIF fatwa said.

"Contributing to such exactions is an illicit act," declared the edict, which said it was applicable to "any Muslim living in France, whether a citizen or a guest of France."

But the head of France's Muslim Council denounced the move on Monday as equating Islam with vandalism and blaming all Muslims for the rioting whether they were involved or not.

If it is the case that a sizeable proportion of Muslims in Paris have taken part in, or support the rioting, then it could be argued that the issuing of this fatwa is in effect an admission by the religious leaders that they have failed in their duty to inculcate the true spirit of Islam into the Muslim masses. Islam, or for that matter any religion does not condone mindless violence and destruction of property, so why the need for a fatwa to bring this to the attention of the followers of Islam?

On the other hand the unspoken discrimination of the poor white, Arabs or African origin, of racism and unemployment cannot be justified. Perhaps this is the real battle the religious leaders should have been, and should be fighting. But let me not tempt you into the controversy surrounding religious leaders.


msingh said...

Seems that Dounia Bouzar, a member of the French Council of the Muslim Faith agrees on the failings of the reigious leaders.

In January 2005 she resigned from the Council saying the CFCMF had become dominated by men born outside France. She said they were too influenced by their countries of origin and failed to address young French Muslims' concerns.

Miss Bouzar, an anthropologist and expert on Muslim integration, said: "For two years now I have been waiting for discussions to begin, but we never talked about anything. I don't see what qualified people like me are there for."

"All they talk about is procedures, who gets what positions, and the modalities of the elections which will take place in June. I do not see why I should continue with a mere walk-on part."

msingh said...

I should have said 'former member', seeing that she has resigned.