John Esposito reports at On Faith that Muhammad Tahir Qadri, an influential Pakistani cleric, has “issued a 600-page fatwa, described as an ‘absolute’ condemnation of terrorism without ‘any excuses or pretexts.’ He declared that terrorists and suicide bombers were unbelievers and that ‘Terrorism is terrorism, violence is violence and it has no place in Islamic teaching and no justification can be provided for it, or any kind of excuses or ifs or buts.'” Esposito offers some further commentary:

Qadri’s fatwa is an exhaustive, systematic theological and legal study of the Islamic tradition’s teachings on the use of force and armed resistance to support an absolute condemnation of any form of terrorism for any cause. Its significance will be felt in Pakistan where Qadri over several decades has become a prominent scholar and religious leader as well as a religious media star. It will also have an impact in the West young Muslims in Britain, Scandinavia and Canada, many of whom are of Pakistani backgrounds. While domestic politics in Muslim countries, the presence of foreign troops and the impact Western foreign policies remain primary drivers in radicalization, a major comprehensive fatwa like that of Tahir Qadri along with fatwas, though less sweeping in their scope, issued by other religious authorities do constitute a major challenge to the legitimacy of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

Read the entire article here.