Over 100,000 clerics in Bangladesh have signed a fatwa against terrorism to renounce a wave of deadly attacks by Islamists on minorities and secular writers in the Muslim-majority nation.
Islamic scholars, leaders, thinkers and Olemas finalised ‘Fatwa of peace for human well-being’ to curb militancy in Bangladesh after a number of consultations.
Fariduddin Masuud, secretary general of Jamaat-e-Ulema Maulana, was the first one who came up with the idea of using fatwa to curb militancy and had sought assistance from the police and other stakeholders.
“We have prepared the main part of the fatwa with 10 questions that had been raised by the militant groups and we answered those questions quoting the holy Quran and Hadith (Prophet’s sayings).”
Masuud said 300 Olemas finalised the draft of the fatwa which will be made public on June 18.
“Then we finalised the copy and sent it to Olemas (clerics) across the country and they sent it back with their signatures.
More than 100,000 Olemas signed the Fatwa,” Dhaka Tribune quoted Masuud as saying.
In the fatwa, the clerics have unequivocally said the killings of non-Muslims are forbidden in Islam.
Authorities in Bangladesh are under mounting international pressure to halt the violence, which in the past three years have claimed nearly 50 people Hindus, Christians and secular bloggers many of them by machete wielding attackers.
Though most of the attacks were claimed by the Islamic State or its affiliates and other similar extremist groups, the Bangladesh government has repeatedly dismissed the claims and said the attacks were carried out by homegrown outfits linked to the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday told a meeting of her ruling Awami League party that police would stamp out the violence and she vowed to catch “each and every killer”.
During the past three days over 11,000 criminal suspects, including 85 militants, had been arrested as part of an intensified crackdown against extremists in the country.