Fatwa issued against bin Laden
1. This cleric is in Spain (or occupied Andalusia as Islamists think of it). The rules of a Muslim living in a non-Muslim-ruled land are very different. Mohammad’s life illustrates how to behave. In the first half of his religious career, he was in Mecca trying to preach his religion in a hostile setting. During this period he talked about tolerance. During his second period, in Medina, he became repressive, bellicose, and strident as time progressed. Dissenters were silenced by death. Medina, a town originally founded by Jews, had an agricultural economy. Unwilling to do honest work, he plundered the caravans traveling to Mecca even the in holy month (if it’s for Islam, exceptions are allowed). He ethnically cleansed Medina of Jews and established a totalitarian type rule with imperialist aims. In less that a century, his follows conquered most of what was believed to be the world.
It is proper for a Muslim to use lies and deception in the cause of advancing Islam (taqqiya). Can we believe this fatwa or is it tactical? If this fatwa was issued by leading clerics in Islamic countries it would be far more significant – especially if issued simultaneously by religious leaders in several countries. The doctrine of ijma holds that a consensus of learned leaders of the community (ummah) will never be wrong.
2. Bin Laden is no Mohammad. After 9/11 there were street rallies for bin Laden in several Islamic countries. However, after he and his cronies were routed from Afghanistan in weeks, these rallies ceased. His actions have caused the loss of two major territories to American hegemony. He has since to regain power or execute another major terrorist attack against America.
Let’s remember, Mohammad wasn’t the guy who died on a cross but a warrior who conquered Arabia and left a military to conquer what seemed like the world. Muslims don’t like losers. Jesus never ruled and his followers lived in persecution during the 1st three hundred years of Christianity. During Islam’s 1400 years Christians lived in oppression as second class citizens groveling for favors from Muslims. Now bin Laden is on the run living in caves like the early Christians. What could more humiliating by Muslim standards?
Thus, maybe the fatwa is real – not because of a change of heart or moderation among Muslims – but because bin Laden is a loser.
I give just two possibilities for your consideration. I could give many more. We won’t know until there is a pattern of such rulings – in Islamic countries.