Muslim scholars urge criminalising takfir

by Mohammad Ghazal | Aug 21, 2013 JORDAN TIMES

AMMAN — Muslim scholars on Wednesday called for enacting strict laws in the Arab and Muslim world criminalising takfir (apostatising of other Muslims) in political undertakings.

Over 100 leading Muslim scholars from more than 35 countries concluded in Amman on Wednesday the 16th General Conference of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, where they discussed the concept, elements and criteria of a modern Islamic state.

The scholars denounced the use of intra-religious sectarian violence in political conflicts in the Arab and Muslim world, Egypt’s former Mufti Ali Gomaa told The Jordan Times following the event, which was concluded with a communiqué entailing nine recommendations (see translation of the final statement).

Gomaa said participants addressed the need to protect freedom of opinion and belief and the prevention of sectarian conflict that results in violence and bloodshed.

“The scholars voiced their condemnation of the use of violence by any party and for whatever reason in any country, stressing that it is the right of citizens to be able to express their thoughts and opinions in accordance with the law,” Gomaa said.

Any conflict that arises in the Arab and Muslim world should be addressed through peaceful means and dialogue, the scholars said in the communiqué.

The modern Islamic state must be led by trustworthy and competent leaders, the scholars said in their recommendations, adding that the state must uphold social equity between all segments of society, regardless of religion or ethnicity, and respect all human rights without discrimination.

The participants in the three-day conference said NGOs and civil society organisations have a key role in developing society, underlining the need to focus on improvement of education and scientific research, among other fields.

The central role of religious institutions is a key pillar in a modern Islamic state, the clerics concluded, noting that these organisations can play a crucial role in promoting harmony among citizens and promoting the values on which the modern Islamic state are built.

Commenting on the conference, the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought Director General Minwer Mheid said the conferees “tackled pressing and serious issues in the Muslim world”, adding that the event attracted the participation of Sunni and Shiite scholars who addressed the major issues facing the Muslim world.

“The recommendations are direct and clear and stress the main pillars of having a modern Islamic state where peoples’ rights are preserved and equity is ensured,” he told The Jordan Times on the sidelines of the conference.

He added that the nine recommendations highlight the need for a state that serves the peoples and not vice versa, adding that the members of the academy will each strive to promote the conference’s recommendations in their respective countries and vie for their adoption.

Elisa Oddone contributed to the story



His Majesty King Abdullah attends a meeting for senior Muslim clerics for the 16th General Conference of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Amman on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of the Royal Court)

Categories: Arab World, Asia, Jordan

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2 replies

  1. If these scholars are serious as a first step they should approach the Government of Pakistan to reverse their ‘takfiri’ laws (declaring members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at as non-Muslim). That would send the right signal that they are committed to what they speak.

  2. Brother Rafiq:

    In 1974 the Pakistani Ahmadi Muslims were declared as “Not Muslims” for the purpose of the constitution, by a secular Pakistani Government. The Pakistani Ahmadi Muslims were not declared as “Kafirs” even though the Mullah Industry with the blessings of the Pakistani Government, continue to label us as “Kafirs”. But then, these same Mullahs label anybody who disagrees with their views as Kafirs.

    I personally think that the word “Kafir” can easily become a misnomer. For example I will be proud to be called a “kafir” of Musailima or the Sudanese Mahdi!!!

    The question is: What will be the condition of the people who (one day) will reject the truth of that Promised Messiah (as), prophesized by the Holy Prophet(saw)? Will they be Kafirs or Momins???

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