Claiming someone denies a belief or an ideology.
In an interview with Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Sheikh A´id Qurani said that "sheikhs of takfir" renounced their old thoughts of their own free will and not under any pressure. He believes that the retreat of those sheikhs has delivered a blow to the heart of takfir-based ideology.
The article deals with the matter of issuing fatwas. The author calls it the “game of fatwas” and believes it is the most serious catastrophe the Islamic nation has ever suffered from. These fatwas permit killing and destruction and then turn to the opposite direction to advocate tolerance and moderation, after an interval of making apologies and expressing regret. He gives the fatwas issued in Saudi Arabia as an example.
These days, Saudi Arabia is witnessing very important discussions that focus on the question: to what extent is the domestic religious discourse responsible for terrorist actions and takfir fatwas? These discussions also address whether Sheikh Al-Khoudar and Sheikh Al-Fahd´s renouncement of the bloody fatwas they previously released is to counteract and curb religious extremism.
There are two types of terrorism, a terrorism that is practiced against Muslim and terrorism Muslims practice. The terrorism practiced against Muslim is an old one as it started by strong polytheists when the Islamic Da´wa was in the bud. Later, it took different forms such as crusades, sectarian strives, missionaries, and ethnic and religious discriminations. The terrorism Muslims practice against each other starts with takfir [accusation with unbelief] and ends with destruction and bombings.
The Azhar decided to ban Dr. Nasr Hamid Abu Zeid´s book “Al-Khetab Wa Al-Ta´weel” [Discourse and Interpretation], allegedly because it challenge two main pillars of Islam: monotheism and the [divine] preservation of the Qur´an. The author comments that this argument indicates accusing Abu Zeid of kufr [unbelief], which he describes as a weapon of mass destruction. He believes that the whole issue is one of professional jealousy, as both Dr. Emara, the examiner, and Dr. Abu Zeid, the examined, work in the field of religious thinking. It is a conflict of fame that has acquired a destructive dimension.
The slogan which the takfir-based groups were raising is “Kill and you will be rewarded…kill an unbeliever and you will go to paradise.” The kufar were once said to be the ruler and senior officials, another time they were said to be police officers and soldiers, tourists and Copts, a third time they were intellectuals, thinkers and artists. The ideology of takfir developed to the extent of accusing the whole nation of unbelief. The defeats of the takfir movement in Saudi Arabia and Egypt should be investigated in order to put an end to all negative ideological phenomena.
The author believes that the latest bloody and hideous bombings in Riyadh have some positive aspects. Sheikhs specialized in “terrorism fatwas” renounced their “devilish” opinions that have led to bloody massacres perpetrated by terrorists who claimed to lift the banner of Jihad. Among the most prominent of those sheikhs are Sheikh Ali Al-Khoudar and Nasr Hamd Al-Fahd. Both sheikhs can be looked at as the spiritual mentors of takfir-oriented terrorist groups in Saudi Arabia.
The writer criticizes a decision issued by the Islamic Research Institute to ban a book of Dr. Nasr Abu Zeid, titled “Al-Khittab Wa Al-Ta’weel” [Discourse and Interpretation]. The writer believes that the opinion of the Azhar should be consultative and fatwas of its sheikhs should neither be obligatory nor final.
The article discusses the Islamic attitude vis-à-vis war and violence. He writes that Islam does not call for violence. Islam was not revealed in order to eliminate kufar [plural of kafir, meaning an infidel or an unbeliever] but to get rid of kufr [infidelity and unbelief] among people--therefore it calls for preserving people´s lives regardless of their beliefs.
The writer interviews Abu Al-Ela Madi, Deputy of the founding members of the Wasat Party. He discusses Islamic movements, anti-terrorism campaigns, explains religious extremism, and the project of the Wasat Party.