Excommunication

It seems that Muslim community leaders in Mumbai are refusing to bury the militants killed by the security services in Muslim cemeteries. Showing that Islamic traditions do not allow for murder and unlawful fighting (qital). Ibrahim Tai, president of the Indian Muslim Council, which looks after the social and religious affairs of the Muslim community in India, said it best:

“If the government does not respect our demands we will take up extreme steps. We do not want the bodies of people who have committed an act of terrorism to be buried in our cemeteries…. These terrorists are a black spot on our religion, we will very sternly protest the burial of these terrorists in our cemetery.”

There is no place in Islam for this type of violence. Technically this type of casting out of the Muslim men who perpetrated the attack has no precedence in Islamic Law either. Usually this quasi-excommunication (although there is no church in Islam so it may be slightly misleading) is demanded by maximalist Islamist groups upon fellow Muslims who don’t fight against apostates, called takfir. This philosophy has its genealogy not in Islamic Law, but from ideologues such as Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966) and the violent preaching of Egyptian working-class Islamist ‘Abd al-Salam Faraj (d. 1982), whose group al-Jihad orchestrated the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat in 1982. But I’m on the same page as Juan Cole here when he says that such “egregious departure” from legitimate Sunni jurisprudence almost demands such a response from community leaders. And remember, India has the second largest Muslim population in the world.

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~ by The Common Man on December 2, 2008.

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