Do Muslims Ever Condemn Terrorist Attacks?

Recently, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times has an overall positive article urging others not to see Muslims as suspects after every terrorist attacks. He states:

"The West will do it in a rough, crude way -- by simply shutting them out, denying them visas and making every Muslim in its midst guilty until proven innocent."

However, as usual with Friedman's articles, he has some valid points, mixed with some dubious claims or faulty conclusions. For example, he claims that Muslims do not denounce terrorism enough, and cleric are silent against it.

"The Muslim village has been derelict in condemning the madness of jihadist attacks. When Salman Rushdie wrote a controversial novel involving the prophet Muhammad, he was sentenced to death by the leader of Iran. To this day - to this day - no major Muslim cleric or religious body has ever issued a fatwa condemning Osama bin Laden."

Friedman is not alone in this. many commentators, columnists, ideologues have spread the fallcy that Muslims do not denounce terrorism.

Condemnation of Terrorism in the name of Islam

Taking the recent London Bombings as an example, I will list here a few Muslim organizations in the West that have indeed condemned these terrorist acts.

We have them in Britian, and in Canada, the Canadian Islamic Congress, the CAIR CAN whose president also gave a Friday sermon on how Canadian Muslims Feel the Pain.

In the USA, organizations like CAIR have condemned the barbaric London bombings, met with UK Ambassador to offer condolences, and urged US Muslims to offer condolences. They also called on Imams to condemn terror on Friday sermons, and asked Muslims to write letters to the editor condemning the bombings.

You can also see what ordinary Muslims in Britian and elsewhere say about the bombings. In the same list you can also see that reactions from ordinary Britons is mostly rational and balanced, unlike the US reaction.

Back to CAIR. One must not forget that for they had a long running campaign called Not in the name of Islam , and on 14 July 2005 launched a TV Ad campaign.

Fatwas (religious rulings)

One may say that after reading the above they concede that Muslims condemn terrorism, but no religious rulings (fatwas) by scholars were issued against terrorists and terrorism.

Well, it turns out that this also is not true, as fatwas were indeed issued in the past and continue to be issued.

Fouad Khatib of CAIR published a commentary article in the Orange County Register with details on fatwas issued worldwide by various Muslim scholars. It says:

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman makes the claim, "[t]o this day - to this day - no major Muslim cleric or religious body has ever issued a fatwa condemning Osama bin Laden" ["What can we do to limit the fallout?" Commentary, July 10]. His claim is absurd.

On Oct. 13, 2001 Rep. Joseph Pitts, R-Pa., informed the House of Representatives that the grand imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Tantawi, denounced bin Laden. Rep. Pitts was clear in characterizing Sheikh Tantawi as "the highest and most respected Islamic authority in the world."

Within days after 9/11, Talgat Tajuddin, the high mufti of Russian Muslims, called for the extradition of bin Laden from Afghanistan. The high mufti stressed that a man who advises to kill cannot be God's counselor, however much he may quote the Quran.

The North American Fiqh (jurisprudence) Council issued a formal fatwa on Sept. 27, 2001, that condemned bin Ladin's actions of 9/11 and sanctioned Muslim participation in the United States' military response in Afghanistan.

On April 3, 2002, an extraordinary session of the Organization of Islamic Conference foreign ministers in Kuala Lumpur adopted a stark resolution condemning the brutal terror attacks of Sept. 11. Although the OIC is not a religious body, it is an umbrella organization of 57 Islamic countries.

On March 12 of this year, Spain's leading Muslim clerics issued a religious order condemning bin Laden and declaring that he had violated Islam by backing attacks such as the Madrid train bombings. The order was issued after consultations with North African religious scholars in Morocco, Algeria and other countries.

More recently, the Muslim Council of Britian has issued a fatwa against suicide bombing and declaring it un-Islamic to kill oneself or kill others, not matter what the justifications are.

Canadian Imams and Canadian Muslim leaders issues a fatwa repudating violence and killing in any way. Here is a quote:

"Those who would use violence for their twisted acts betray the most basic value of the sanctity of human life. We have opposed, and will continue, to oppose all extremism, hate and terrorism.

"Any one who claims to be a Muslim and participates in any way in the taking of innocent life is betraying the very spirit and letter of Islam. We categorically and unequivocally reject such acts. We will confront and challenge the extremist mindset that produces this perversion of our faith.

"We remind Canadian Muslims that no injustice done to Muslims anywhere can ever justify the taking of innocent life. All life, whether here or abroad, is sacred: 'And whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all humankind.'

Two influential scholars also answered such question:

Yusuf Qaradawi answered a question on whether Violence and Extremism are Islamic phenomona, and US based Muzammil Siddiqi on does the Quran teach violence?

In late July 2005, US and Canadian Muslim religious scholars, as represented in the Fiqh Council issued a fatwa against terrorism. This was covered by the New York Times and Washington Post.

Further Reading

For a more complete list of condemnations see this article at Muhajabah.


Juan Cole has listed various Muslim organizations that condemned the kidnapping and murder of Nick Berg in Iraq. Those include mainstream organizations such as Al Azhar of Egypt, and even some very conservative groups such as Hizbullah, and various Muslim groups in Iraq.

He concludes:

"We'll be hearing for years from the talking heads on US cable news about how the Muslim world failed to condemn what was done to Berg. It would be as though a set of high-ranking cardinals in the Vatican condemned something unreservedly and then people kept saying the Church remained silent."

Similarly, one columnist, Mark Woods, writes in an article titled: "Muslim leaders condemning terror to the deaf?". In it he concludes:

"So why don't we hear Muslim leaders condemning terrorism? Maybe we're not listening."

Well said.



Muslim Outrage over Terror

Thanks to 12 Danish cartoonists, the world now knows what true Muslim outrage looks like, and it was nowhere to be found in the aftermath of 9/11 or following any of the 5,000 subsequent Islamic terror attacks that have occurred since.

Nice try

I normally do not bother which such preconceived bigotry. You just want to brush aside the above evidence that goes against your assertion to the contrary.

A blind person's claim that it is dark on a sunny day has no weight.

As for the cartoons, you can read more in my cartoon controversy article.
Khalid Baheyeldin

Double standards

Where is the condemnation of murdering 12 Million Native Red indians 10 Million Aboriginal People and wiping out of Aztec civilization? What about murder of 8400 kids in Iraq anf Afghanistan?

If i ever had to stand up

If i ever had to stand up and say " I condemn the terrorist acts" then i am also a terrorist because that means that i accept their fault.

So i say no muslim can ever stand up and condemn terrorism because the only Jihad(strive) for Islam is ones rightousness.

A Muslim cannot kill an innocent men, women, childen, elderly, a Regioous(any) leader. There are many blacksheeps in a community. Hitler killed 6 million Jews (comparing to suicide bombers today, even if you bring all of them to unite and create a Union of Terrorist Organisations, they will NOT BE ABLE TO REACH THAT AMOUNT. Impossible, did such acts.

Now suppose i blame all the Christians for what Hitler done cam i ask you a question?:

Do Christians Ever (will) Condemn the Killings of Jews?

If you can answer this question, then i also answered your question based on your answer.

Many Thanks

Allah knows Best.

You're absolutely right -

You're absolutely right - you're under no obligation to condemn, and if you think that by condemning you're accepting any fault or connection to attacks, then I understand your view.

However, it is an opportunity to be better, to hold yourself and your religion to a higher standard than Christianity. The Christian right in this country is just simply uninformed about Islam, and it appears that they would like to stay that way. If you can find a way to comfortably share your outlook on these attacks, and familiarize the Christian right with your culture, you'll be the better people, and may accomplish something really great.

This is all coming from a white boy from Kansas and I accept that I could be totally wrong! It's just that I know the Kansas Christian nutballs very well, and hope that your culture can be the more responsible one :)

Correct ...

You are correct.

And the Muslim nutcases are exactly the same as the Christian nutcases that you are familiar with ...

Religion is not the problem. It is often an excuse for some humans to be at their worse, not the reason.

I can't believe they finally

I can't believe they finally found him. I'm glad it's finally over and the US can find peace knowing there is one less terrorist in this world.

Fed Up, or as Toby Keith said it, the Angry American...

I am so tired of hearing the Muslims crying over spilled milk! They condemn everything but themselves. They danced and rejoiced in the streets when 9/11 occurred, did they condemn THAT?! No. They cut off Americans heads on television, and rejoiced over that, they burn our flag, renounce our religion, call us devils, infidels, and then they act like they haven't done a d*** thing! Personally, I am fed up with their belly aching. They came here and blew up the twin towers. Were we supposed to just sit back and say, oh, the sweet Muslims were just playing? They mean to kill us. Are we supposed to sit there like sitting ducks? They are crazy. When we (Americans) rejoiced for the justice coming finally after 10 years, with the killing of Osama Bin Laden, they think we are wrong! They say, killing Bin Laden will produce more of his kind, well, bring it! Personally, I would take up arms and fight back if I had to (if they came to America). We are not afraid of them and I wish the media would quit saying we (Americans) fear reprisal. No, we are not afraid of reprisal, we expect it. It is their nature. And they will not back off. But, they do not realize they have caught a mother grizzly ready to defend her babies.

What about US murdering

What about US murdering Million of innocent people in Iraq Adfganistan Palestine Yemen Somalia ?