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1800 Pakistani Imams issue a ‘fatwa’ against suicide attacks

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Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) – More than 1800 Pakistani imams, representing various Islamic currents, have signed a “fatwa” (Islamic directive) against suicide attacks. The fatwa is contained in the book “Pakistan’s Message”, of which the first signatory is President Mamnoon Hussain.

The religious leaders declare that it is “haram”, that is to say forbidden, to blow oneself up or carry out acts of violence in the name of jihad (holy war). The directive is a significant initiative in a country battered by dozens of kamikaze attacks every year, by galaxy of terrorist groups affiliated to both the Taliban and the Islamic State.

The volume was presented to the public on January 16 in Islamabad. It is published by the government and written by the International Islamic University, owned by the state. In the book, President Hussain writes: “This Fatwa provides a strong base for the stability of a moderate Islamic society,” He adds: “We can seek guidance from this Fatwa for building a national narrative in order to curb extremism in keeping with the golden principles of Islam.”

The imams state that ” no individual or group has the authority to declare and wage jihad (holy war)”, adding that suicide bombings violate key Islamic teachings and were as such forbidden.

The government initiative was hailed as an important step to try to limit the terrorist actions of fundamentalist groups, which have caused thousands of victims since the beginning of the 2000s. At the same time, national and international experts have criticized the attitude of the authorities, always remained too silent in front of “hate preachers” who incite violence in mosques.

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