Thursday 9 February 2012

Islam’s scholars stand up to Assad

From left, Moslem scholars Gomaa, Ouda, Qaradawi. Zindani and Bayyah
A joint declaration by 107 leading Moslem scholars from 15 Arab countries released overnight is urging:
  • All Syrian military and security forces to disobey regime orders and join the uprising
  • The Moslem world to extend material and moral support to the Syrian resistance and the Syrian Free Army (SFA)
  • Arab and Moslem nations to sever diplomatic ties with Damascus
  • Full protection by insurgents of the rights of Syria’s religious and ethnic minorities
  • Urgent humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey
Moslem scholars who signed the declaration are from Egypt (25), Saudi Arabia (16), Kuwait (12), Libya (9), Morocco (7), Mauritania (5), Yemen (4), Sudan (4), UAE (4), Germany (4), Qatar (3), Syria (3), Lebanon (3), Bahrain (3), Jordan (3) and Tunisia (2).
The most prominent among them include the Mufti of Egypt Dr. Ali Gomaa, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi of Qatar who heads the International Union of Moslem Scholars, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah of Mauritania, Sheikh Salman al-Ouda of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdulmajeed al-Zindani of Yemen and Tunisia’s Sheikh Rashid al-Ghanoushi.
Their joint declaration in full:
Syria’s despotic regime and its supporters are meting out violence, torture, and bloodshed against this beloved country’s innocent people. It is a black stain that will never be forgotten. God will make the innocent blood of the Syrian people a shame and pestilence upon those who shed it and those who stood by and said nothing, as well as upon the individuals, organizations, nations, and institutions that have allied themselves with the corrupt regime.
Every day brings news of dozens or even hundreds of new deaths, and the number of those who are maimed is many times higher. Families are being driven into exile, atrocities are being committed, and a violent security crackdown is being systematically pursued, even in the face of clear and absolute worldwide condemnation.
The undersigned invoke the principle, enshrined in the Qur’an and in Prophet Muhammad’s teachings: that all human life is inviolable and sacred, as are all the human rights that Islam upholds and protects. Indeed, the Qur’an links the sin of bloodshed with no less than the worship of other than God, when its says: “And those who do not worship other than God, nor kill a soul in other than the dispensation of justice, nor commit adultery…”
The Qur’an also warns us the murderer is deserving of God’s wrath, His curse, and eternal damnation. God has decreed anyone who kills any human being, except in the dispensation of justice as a punishment for murder or in confronting those who spread violent mischief in the land, it is as if that person has killed humankind. Likewise, someone who saves the life of any human being, it is as if that person has saved all of humanity. On this basis, we issue the following resolutions:
1.    Members of the Syrian military, security forces, and other armed bodies, are forbidden to kill any member of the public, or to fire in their direction. Moreover, it is incumbent upon them to disobey any order that is directed at the public, or that will result in killing members of the public. Moreover, it is their duty to stop serving in those bodies and to cease all involvement. Those who have already killed members of the public should bear in mind that the crime of killing two people is double that of killing one. The door to repentance is always open. They should recall the story of the murderer who repented to God after killing 99 people, take heart, and refrain from causing further bloodshed. They should not let their past offenses make them despair of God’s forgiveness. It is better to be killed for refusing than to be a killer. Someone who dies an innocent martyr is better than someone who kills others and as a consequence goes to Hell. We declare it is forbidden to continue serving in any position with Syria’s military or security forces under the present circumstances. It is their duty to disengage from those bodies and to also stand against them.
2.   We call on people to support the Free Syrian Army in defending Syria’s civilians, population centers, and institutions, so long as the Syrian public is being targeted by the regime. We call upon the Moslems and upon the free world to assist the Free Syrian Army in every possible way, whether materially or morally, in order for it to mobilize itself for the role of preventing atrocities. It is, in turn, the duty of the Syrian Free Army to exercise control, avoid any deviation from this noble purpose, and refrain from acts of vengeance or aggression against the innocent. Any ignoble act on their part will only endanger Syria’s future national unity.
3.    It is necessary to support the Syrian resistance, materially and morally, with what they need to keep up the struggle and win the freedom and human rights of the Syrian people.
4.    We call upon all Arab and Moslem nations to take a firm diplomatic stance against the Syrian regime by expelling its ambassadors and cutting off diplomatic ties. We also call upon them to take a firm diplomatic stance against the nations supporting the regime, particularly Russia and China. We likewise call upon all Moslem people and public institutions to send messages of protest to those two countries, protest in front of their embassies throughout the world, and boycott their products. They should demand that those countries stop using the blood of innocent Syrians as a means to protect their military and economic presence in the region. Those countries should know the future of the region, sooner or later, rests with its people. Those who gamble on supporting a regime’s despotic crackdown killing its own citizens are surely making a losing wager.
5.    We call upon the Syrian resistance, the Transitional National Assembly, and all other organized bodies to join ranks and set aside their differences – now and in future. They should resolve with full sincerity to build their future nation on the basis of justice, human rights, and freedom, and to set up institutions that will ensure its territorial integrity and its people’s welfare. It is their duty to protect the rights of Syria’s religious and ethnic minorities. These minorities have been an integral part of the Syrian people for over a thousand years. They, like everyone else, enjoy full citizenship rights. The present regime alone bears responsibility for the atrocities being committed.
6.     We call upon the sincere forces in the Moslem world to organize grassroots efforts everywhere in support of the Syrian people’s resistance, and to provide aid for the refugees and those whom the conflict has displaced to places like Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. These people have a pressing need for food, clothing, medicine, and moral support.
7.    We give our support to every effort being made to safeguard the lives and unity of the Syrian people, and to save them from a protracted war that will only bring ruin to the country. We consider this to be in keeping with the main purposes of Islam’s teachings. These efforts should lead to free elections that will express the will of the people, represent the full spectrum of Syrian society, protect their rights, and ensure a sensible sharing of political power, as well as compensate the victims of the present conflict and the families of those who have lost their lives.
We ask God to hasten the relief of the beloved Syrian people, preserve their unity, and bring them together upon truth and justice. We ask Him to restore to them their security and stability under a just government that is truly committed to upholding their inalienable rights and freedoms, one that will never seek to dominate the people or succumb to corruption. May all their affairs ultimately fall to those who are virtuous.