Landmark Meeting of Muslim Scholars Acts to Limit Fatwas

July 7, 2005

Source: Al-Jazeera

Wire Service: AP

On July 7, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "The Muslim world's top scholars have agreed that fatwas, or religious edicts, should only be issued by clerics with religious authority. The move is meant to weaken statements by figures involved in fighting in Iraq who ordain violence. The three-day meeting in Amman, which ended on Wednesday, has for the first time gathered representatives of eight Sunni and Shia Muslim schools of thought. They all also agreed that followers cannot label other Muslims as 'apostates', something groups in Iraq have done to justify attacks against Iraqi police and civilians. A conference statement said the clerics agreed that an adherent of each of the eight schools of thought 'is a Muslim'... Jordan's King Abdullah II brought the clerics together to discuss a plan to implement a Jordanian initiative declared in November. Dubbed the 'Amman Message', the initiative urges Muslims to reject extremism, embrace moderation and tolerate other religions."