British clerics to issue fatwa against Malala at Lal Masjid
A group of Islamic clerics based in United Kingdom are reportedly preparing to issue a fatwa against Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl who was shot in head in Swat by Taliban gunmen last month for the “crime” of advocating girls’ education.
Anjem Choudary, an East London resident and founder of al-Muhajiroun, an Islamist group banned by British government for alleged ties to terrorism, told the Daily Telegraph. The fatwa will be issued at Lal Masjid in Islamabad on November 30.
A fatwa can mean a sentence of death. However, Choudary said the clerics will not call for the Malala’s demise but she will be denounced as an apostate and accused of turning her back on Islam as, according to them, the schoolgirl is being used as a propaganda tool by the US and Pakistan.
“It’s not a death sentence,” the British-Pakistani was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “It’s about what is the reality of what’s taking place and how she is being used as a tool for propaganda by the US and Pakistan, and for the crimes they are committing.”
“If someone apostatizes like this woman did by allying with the Americans and saying her favorite person is (Barack) Obama and that she does not want the Sharia or hijab and wants to live under a secular state, she has put herself in a very precarious situation.”
Choudary justified the attack on Malala, who is currently undergoing treatment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, saying she is mature and should have known what she was saying.
“It is no surprise what happened to her in Pakistan. Malala is mature Islamically, she is not immature, she has reached that period we say is adulthood.”
When asked if he has obtained visa to Pakistan, he said:
“I will have no problem travelling to Pakistan. If Americans get visas to Pakistan why can’t I, my forefathers come from that land and I am not going to Pakistan on a Raymond Davis style mission or to bomb anyone like American drones do but to stand with the students of Lal Masjid and speak for Shariah in Pakistan.
Founded in 1965, Lal Masjid came into the spotlight when operation was carried out by Pakistani armed forces against its clerics and students in July of 2007 following a stand-off between the students barricaded inside the mosque and the President Pervez Musharraf led government.
“I commend Lal Masjid as it’s the only mosque in Pakistan that stood for Shariah and spoke against Malala. It will be a delegation of seven travelling from here, including Urdu and English speakers,” said Choudary.
Reacting to Choudary’s statement, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan said he had drawn the attention of Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to the activities of people linked to Al-Muhajiroun and Hizbut Tahrir (another banned outfit). .
“We have stated that these groups are banned in Pakistan and openly active in the UK and I have seen their membership growing in the last 17 years of living in the UK but the UK authorities don’t seem to take the threat of these groups seriously,” Wajid told The News.
Malala, who rose to fame after writing a dairy for BBC about the life in Swat Valley under Taliban, was honored with International Children’s Peace Prize by Advocacy Group Kids Rights Foundation in 2011.