American Muslims Unite in Sympathy for Boston Marathon Attack Victims

American Muslims Unite in Sympathy for Boston Marathon Attack Victims

Numerous Muslim organizations across the United States have condemned the heinous bombing attacks that took place on Monday at the Boston Marathon, and they expressed their sympathy for the victims and their families. The attacks left three people dead and at least 140 injured.

Many Muslim organizations have called upon Muslims to pray for the victims and donate blood for those who were wounded.

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

“American Muslims, like Americans of all backgrounds, condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s cowardly bomb attack on participants and spectators of the Boston Marathon.

“We urge people of all faiths to pray for the victims and their loved ones and for the speedy recovery of those injured. We also call for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators.

“While spiritual measures can serve to comfort those in physical and emotional pain, we also call on Muslims and others in the Boston area to donate blood through the Red Cross as a concrete show of support for the bomb attack victims. Those who were participating in the marathon or were watching the event should contact authorities with any potential eyewitness information they may have.”

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) also issued a statement expressing concern and condolences after Boston Marathon attack”

“ISNA is shocked and saddened to hear about the blasts at the Boston Marathon this afternoon. Our prayers are with the victims and their loved ones.”

“While it is still unclear who carried out these attacks, we pray that our law enforcement officials will be able to swiftly apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.”

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) said in a statement: “ICNA joins Americans in prayer for the victims and their families during this horrific incident. ICNA also appeals all Americans to help the Law Enforcement to bring the perpetrators of this crime to speedy justice.”

ICNA President Naeem Baig said “all Americans including American Muslims condemn this heinous attack on civilians and pray for the quick recovery of the injured.”

Dr. Syed Wasimul Haque, the president of the United Maryland Muslim Council, said:

“The Muslims have always stood shoulder to shoulder during perilous times that our nation has faced and will do so in the future as well against all terrorist attacks. These terrorist attacks do nothing but strengthen our resolve to fight back such cowardly act and unite us more as a nation.

“Our prayers go out for the fallen victims and to the city of Boston. May the families of the victims have the forbearance and may the inflicted recover from their injuries quickly.

“We hope and pray that the criminal or criminals who committed this heinous act are caught soon and brought to justice and punished to the greatest extent according to the laws of our country.”

These sentiments are shared by the vast majority of Muslims in America and around the world.


“ICNA Expresses Outrage at Boston Bomb Attacks” ICNA April 15, 2012

“CAIR Urges Prayers, Blood Donations for Boston Bomb Victims” Reuters April 15, 2013

“Md. Muslim group condemns ‘cowardly terrorist act’” The Baltimore Sun April 16, 2013


Top Ten Ways Islamic Law forbids Terrorism

Top Ten Ways Islamic Law forbids Terrorism
Juan Cole

Erik Rush and others who hastened to scapegoat Muslims for the Boston Marathon bombing are ignorant of the religion. I can’t understand why people who have never so much as read a book about a subject appoint themselves experts on it. (Try this book, e.g.). We don’t yet know who carried out the attack, but we know they either aren’t Muslims at all or they aren’t real Muslims, in the nature of the case.

For the TLDR crowd, here are the top ten ways that Islamic law and tradition forbid terrorism (some of these points are reworked from previous postings):

1. Terrorism is above all murder. Murder is strictly forbidden in the Qur’an. Qur’an 6:151 says, “and do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, save lawfully.” (i.e. murder is forbidden but the death penalty imposed by the state for a crime is permitted). 5:53 says, “… whoso kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”

2. If the motive for terrorism is religious, it is impermissible in Islamic law. It is forbidden to attempt to impose Islam on other people. The Qur’an says, “There is no compulsion in religion. The right way has become distinct from error.” (-The Cow, 2:256). Note that this verse was revealed in Medina in 622 AD or after and was never abrogated by any other verse of the Quran. Islam’s holy book forbids coercing people into adopting any religion. They have to willingly choose it.

3. Islamic law forbids aggressive warfare. The Quran says, “But if the enemies incline towards peace, do you also incline towards peace. And trust in God! For He is the one who hears and knows all things.” (8:61) The Quran chapter “The Cow,” 2:190, says, “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! God loveth not aggressors.”

4. In the Islamic law of war, not just any civil engineer can declare or launch a war. It is the prerogative of the duly constituted leader of the Muslim community that engages in the war. Nowadays that would be the president or prime minister of the state, as advised by the mufti or national jurisconsult.

5. The killing of innocent non-combatants is forbidden. According to Sunni tradition, ‘Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, the first Caliph, gave these instructions to his armies: “I instruct you in ten matters: Do not kill women, children, the old, or the infirm; do not cut down fruit-bearing trees; do not destroy any town . . . ” (Malik’s Muwatta’, “Kitab al-Jihad.”)

6. Terrorism or hirabah is forbidden in Islamic law, which groups it with brigandage, highway robbery and extortion rackets– any illicit use of fear and coercion in public spaces for money or power. The principle of forbidding the spreading of terror in the land is based on the Qur’an (Surah al-Ma’ida 5:33–34). Prominent [pdf] Muslim legal scholar Sherman Jackson writes, “The Spanish Maliki jurist Ibn `Abd al-Barr (d. 464/ 1070)) defines the agent of hiraba as ‘Anyone who disturbs free passage in the streets and renders them unsafe to travel, striving to spread corruption in the land by taking money, killing people or violating what God has made it unlawful to violate is guilty of hirabah . . .”

7. Sneak attacks are forbidden. Muslim commanders must give the enemy fair warning that war is imminent. The Prophet Muhammad at one point gave 4 months notice.

8. The Prophet Muhammad counseled doing good to those who harm you and is said to have commanded, “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

9. The Qur’an demands of believers that they exercise justice toward people even where they have reason to be angry with them: “And do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.”[5:8]

10. The Qur’an assures Christians and Jews of paradise if they believe and do good works, and commends Christians as the best friends of Muslims. I wrote elsewhere, “Dangerous falsehoods are being promulgated to the American public. The Quran does not preach violence against Christians.

Quran 5:69 says (Arberry): “Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabeaans, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness–their wage waits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.”

In other words, the Quran promises Christians and Jews along with Muslims that if they have faith and works, they need have no fear in the afterlife. It is not saying that non-Muslims go to hell– quite the opposite.

When speaking of the 7th-century situation in the Muslim city-state of Medina, which was at war with pagan Mecca, the Quran notes that the polytheists and some Arabian Jewish tribes were opposed to Islam, but then goes on to say:

5:82. ” . . . and you will find the nearest in love to the believers [Muslims] those who say: ‘We are Christians.’ That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.”

So the Quran not only does not urge Muslims to commit violence against Christians, it calls them “nearest in love” to the Muslims! The reason given is their piety, their ability to produce holy persons dedicated to God, and their lack of overweening pride.


U.S. Muslim leaders condemn Boston terror attack

U.S. Muslim leaders condemn Boston terror attack

Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY 12:52 p.m. EDT April 19, 2013

Within hours of news that the two brothers behind the Boston Marathon bombings were Muslim, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement condemning terrorism “in all its forms.”

CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said, “We must remain united as a nation as we face those who would carry out such heinous and inexcusable crimes.”

His statement, issued shortly before a noon Friday news conference in Washington, D.C., concluded with gratitude for “local, state and national law enforcement authorities for their diligence in bringing the perpetrators to justice and offer condolences to the loved ones of the officers killed and injured in efforts to detain the suspect.”

The CAIR website lists case by case, year by year examples of consistently condemning any form of terrorism. However, the Islamic community is constantly pressured to react to every situation as if everyone were responsible for every misdeed by anyone of their religion.

According to their website: “Any Muslim who plans, attempts or carries out a terrorist attack would be acting outside the boundaries of his or her faith and would be repudiated and condemned by our community.”

Days before the suspects were identified, the The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center posted condolences to bombing victims. Their web site reiterated they were all Bostonians “inspired by the values of mercy and justice central to our faith” and ready to help with relief efforts and blood donations.

The Center religious leader, Imam Suhaib Webb, a native of Oklahoma, posted on his Facebook page, “We are all Bostonians -wemourn with the city.”

The Islamic Center, in the heart of Boston, describes itself as the largest Islamic center in New England, and the second largest on the East Coast.

A “Togetherness Conference” had been scheduled to begin Friday planned with the Yusef Mosque in nearby Brighton. However, at noon Friday neither the Cultural Center nor the mosque could be reached for comment.

The brothers suspected in Monday’s marathon bombing and the Thursday midnight shooting of a campus police officer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology came to the USA with their parents in 2002 from Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim republic in southern Russia.

By midnight, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been identified and described as Muslim. Tamerlan died in a blazing shootout with police and Dzhokhar eluded capture, triggering a massive manhunt that paralyzed the Boston area Friday.

But some media didn’t wait for any authoritative word on the religion of the bombers.

Almost immediately after the deadly explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, some media branded the crime as tied to Islamic terrorism with no basis in authoritative information. Soon, early rumors were proven wrong and not until late Monday were images of prime suspects released by the FBI and identified early Friday as possibly Muslim.

“Discrimination against Muslims has been a real dynamic in the United States,” Christina Warner told Religion News Service on Wednesday. Warner is campaign director of Shoulder-to-Shoulder, a national interfaith alliance of Muslims, Jews and Christians who combat anti-Muslim prejudice.


Not permissible to attack civilians – Sh. Salman al-Oadah

Terrorism & killing civilians

Is it permissible in jihad to attack civilian targets?

Answered by
Sheikh Salman al-Oadah

On the basis of principle, Islam prohibits targeting innocent people such as women, children, and others like them even when there is actually a war being waged between the Muslims and the disbelievers. Disbelief, in and of itself, is not a justification to kill someone.

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and the Rightly Guided Caliphs who came after him stressed the need to protect the weak and the noncombatants and were very considerate of them.

Ibn `Umar said: “I saw the body of a slain woman during one of the battles of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), so he forbade the killing of women and children.” [Sahîh al-Bûkhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

Abû Dâwûd relates from Rabâh b. Rabî` with an authentic chain of narrators that he said: “We were with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) during a battle and we saw people gathered together. He dispatched a man to find out why they were gathered. The man returned and said: ‘They are gathered around a slain woman.’ So Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: ‘She should not have been attacked!’ Khâlid b. al-Walîd was leading the forces, so he dispatched a man to him saying: ‘Tell Khâlid not to kill women or laborers’.”

In another narration from Ibn Mâjah, it is related that Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Tell him not kill children or laborers.”

Laborers are not to be attacked deliberately, even if they are present during the battle, as long as their activities are not directly connected with the fighting. Workers who are not present at the battlefield are definitely not to be treated with aggression, regardless of the fact that they are in the enemy country. Abû Dâwûd relates from Anas b. Mâlik that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) would say the following words to his troops before sending them to war: “Go forward in the name of Allah. Do not kill an elderly person, nor a small child, nor a woman, and do not exceed the bounds.”

In the Muwatta’, it is related from Yahyâ b. Sa`îd that Abû Bakr sent an army to Syria and went out to give them words of encouragement. He walked alongside Yazîd b. Abî Sufyân, then said: “You are going to find a group of people who have devoted themselves to the worship of Allah (i.e. monks), so leave them to what they are doing.”

It might be appropriate to make mention of the proposal that the angel of the mountains made to Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that he would bring the two mountains down upon the inhabitants of Mecca. Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “No, I hope that Allah will make some of their descendants worship Him alone.” He said this in spite of the fact their destruction would have been of a divine nature and he and the believers with him would not have had to lift a finger against them.

Those people and these today are to be called to Islam. They are the ones to bring the message to. Failure to fulfill this duty properly at one time or another does not mean that it always has to be this way, because there is an Islamic effort that offers the promise that this will take place.

Moreover, public places like airplanes and markets are open territory where both Muslims and Non-Muslims meet. It is also a place where adults and children, men and women are to be found. These places are never to be turned into targets, even during times of war.



53 Page Fatwa Against Terrorism

In view of blame already being directed at Muslims for today’s tragedy in Boston, it should be clear by now that terrorism is not sanctioned by Islam, regardless of what ignorant fools with voices that are too loud have to say. The following is from a fatwa against terrorism by Oxford-based scholar of Islamic law Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti:

“The result in Islamic jurisprudence is: if a Muslim carries out such an attack voluntarily, he becomes a murderer and not a martyr or a hero, and he will be punished for that in the Next World.”




Jihad on Terrorism Documentary: The Truth about Jihad in Islam

In a documentary produced by the Bridges Foundation, a brief background about Islam is explained and the proper definition, historical context, and current interpretation of jihad in Islam are expounded upon by Muslim scholars and leaders including Imam Suhaib Webb, Fadel Soliman, and Shaykh Abdullah Hakim Quick. They are also joined by academics and scholars from various universities such as Dr. Robert Pape, Dr. Gunnar Westberg, and Dr. Samuel Pierce who share current research and information about terrorism and it’s lack of connection to Islam.


My fatwa against the terrorists’ creed


My fatwa against the terrorists’ creed
Dr Tahir ul Qadri

I have been compelled to issue a fatwa – a comprehensive theological refutation of Islamist terrorism – because of what has been happening in Pakistan over the past year. Terrorists are bombing mosques during Friday prayers, they are burning schools, killing women. They are digging bodies out of graves, cutting off their heads and hanging the bodies from trees.

My 600-page fatwa is based on all four schools of jurisprudence: Hanafi, Shafii, Hanbali and Maliki, and the Shia school of Jafari. I have consulted hundreds of classical Islamic texts, the scholars, fiqh and the Hadith. The main theme is this: any act of terrorism such as suicide bombing cannot be justified in any way. There are no conditions, no pretexts or exemptions. It is condemned by the Quran and the Sunna.

Killing Muslims and non-Muslims through terrorist activities and using violent aggression to impose their mistaken and misplaced ideology is a fundamental rejection of faith. Such acts make the people carrying out the attacks unbelievers, or kufr.

Some scholars have said to me that we know suicide bombing is forbidden but to say that this is an act of an unbeliever is going far. I am not saying anyone who kills is an unbeliever. I say one who is committing acts of terrorism on the basis that it is sanctioned and lawful by Islam is an unbeliever.

The Quran says those who kill in mosques, burn people, blow them up, they will suffer the torments of hellfire. This is one aspect.

A second aspect I have examined is the justification that Muslim rulers in Arab countries or non-Muslims are not enforcing Islamic law so there is an obligation to fight against them. This is absolutely wrong. In no context is any organisation allowed to take up arms on their own and say we are defending Muslim land or we are avenging the aggression of non-Muslim powers. This is a matter for a state and its government.

The holy Prophet Mohammed told his companions that bad rulers would come and the people would curse them and the rulers would curse their people. The companions asked should they not fight them with swords if this time comes? And the holy Prophet said that no, they were not allowed as far as they were Muslims.

As for adopting the defence that the attacks are against foreign aggression, this is the privilege and responsibility of the state to stand up and to fight according to international law. If groups and individuals start taking revenge it will create global anarchy and there will be no rule of law, there will be just killing of mankind.

There is a prophecy of the Prophet Mohammed. He mentioned that the Kharijites would emerge continuously in Islamic history. The Kharijites believed that whoever did not agree with their philosophy was an unbeliever and should be killed. They wanted to resolve everything through the sword and through power. They rose up in the time of the rightly guided Caliphs, Usman and Ali, and fought against them.

This hadith, which appears in dozens of books, says the holy Prophet Mohammed said they would emerge again and again in different centuries until the final time of the anti-Christ. They would arrive more than 20 times. They would keep changing names and appear for the last time as part of the anti-Christ’s army. They would slaughter people.

Al Qa’eda is an old evil with a new name. They are the Kharijites with a new name. They are misguided today like the Khawarij youth were misguided at that time. They were brainwashed although they were religious people who prayed and fasted.

Those who have already decided to become suicide bombers are totally brainwashed. I exclude them from this discussion because they are blind. I am trying to reach the majority who have not reached that stage but have extremist tendencies and are proceeding in that direction.

There are thousands of extremists running websites and applying misguided ideas. The radicals who have no access to classical authorities are misguided and give the wrong concept of jihad. This religious ruling is particularly important for Britain and the western world, where the majority of Muslims are of south Asian origin.

We have seen examples of extremist groups targeting vulnerable young people from these communities to carry out their acts of violence – from training them as suicide bombers to brainwashing students across British universities. I am sure that the hundreds of authorities I have quoted will allow them to rethink, to see that whatever they were taught was wrong.

The fatwa has appeared in Urdu, and English and Arabic translations have been started. It will be translated into many other languages and distributed through the internet accompanied by videos, summaries and talks. We will do whatever is possible to reach the youth with the Almighty Allah’s help and grace.

Already it is happening. We have been contacted by the Afghan president Hamid Karzai’s office and they want a copy to translate into Persian and Pashto. And so it will go.

There have been many other fatwas that condemn suicide bombings and there have been verbal resolutions against it. They were very brief, maybe one or two pages signed by hundreds of scholars and they did not contain many references. These brief declarations were not able to answer the questions or address all the concerns. I thought there was a need to address every major concern, every major and minor aspect which has already been planted in people’s minds.

In Pakistan, some religious scholars have condemned the military action in the Swat valley and North-West Frontier Province, or they have said they already have condemned suicide bombings and acts of terrorism. Some have felt they have fulfilled their duty. But by simply condemning the Pakistani military action or staying silent they are creating doubt in the minds of the common people and youth.

While Muslims resist and fight terrorism and are not ready to accept its remotest possible link with Islam, there are some who are also seen supporting it. Instead of opposing and condemning it openly they confuse the issue.

After this fatwa more scholars will become courageous and stand up.

A few are scared. A friend of mine who recently condemned suicide bombing in Pakistan was assassinated.

This grand fatwa, when it is in the hands of everybody, will give people courage, clarity and motivation.

Dr Tahir ul Qadri is the founding leader of Minhaj ul Quran, established in 1981 with headquarters in Lahore.