Dr Tahir ul-Qadri, an Islamic scholar from Pakistan, has issued a 600-page fatwa which denounces terrorism and suicide bombings. As may only be expected, Dr. Qadri’s fatwa has received a lot of praise. Fantastic! That was my initial reaction too, until I started thinking. If Dr Tahir ul-Qadri’s fatwas are eulogised, then we are in a way legitimising fatwas and giving them a place in the public sphere. So there can be good fatwas and bad fatwas. Great! Who decides which fatwas are good and which are bad?
Considering the mess the fight against Islamic fundamentalism currently is in, Dr. Qadri’s fatwa is not a bad thing. However, fatwas, even good ones, cannot be a long term solution for the global fight against Islamic fundamentalism.