A Coupla Things

General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, said last week: “We’ve shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force.”

Story here on Talking Points Memo.

In response to a question about reducing such incidents, McChrystal told troops listening to the town hall:

“We really ask a lot of our young service people out on the checkpoints because there’s danger, they’re asked to make very rapid decisions in often very unclear situations. However, to my knowledge, in the nine-plus months I’ve been here, not a single case where we have engaged in an escalation of force incident and hurt someone has it turned out that the vehicle had a suicide bomb or weapons in it and, in many cases, had families in it.”

He continued: “That doesn’t mean I’m criticizing the people who are executing. I’m just giving you perspective. We’ve shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force.”

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Fifteen leading Islamic scholars got together in Mardin, Turkey this week and signed a “New Mardin Declaration,” urging the faithful to live up to Islam’s high moral and ethical values and condemning in the strongest terms the vigilantism of radicals, urging all to foster greater peace and conviviality.

Reuters story here.

A conference in Mardin in southeastern Turkey declared the fatwa by 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyya rules out militant violence and the medieval Muslim division of the world into a “house of Islam” and “house of unbelief” no longer applies.

Osama bin Laden has quoted Ibn Taymiyya’s “Mardin fatwa” repeatedly in his calls for Muslims to overthrow the Saudi monarchy and wage jihad against the United States.

Referring to that historic document, the weekend conference said: “Anyone who seeks support from this fatwa for killing Muslims or non-Muslims has erred in his interpretation.

“It is not for a Muslim individual or a Muslim group to announce and declare war or engage in combative jihad … on their own,” said the declaration issued Sunday in Arabic and later provided to Reuters in English.

Good background info here at the Mardin Fatwa group’s own website.

At this link you can download the actual declaration in an Arabic or English .pdf.

2 Comments

Filed under miscellaneous, Our glorious war on terror, religious conflict

2 responses to “A Coupla Things

  1. Prof. Yahya Michot

    In my translation of Ibn Taymiyya’s Mardin Fatwa which I published and studied in my book “Muslims under non-Muslim Rule” (Oxford: Interface, 2006), p. 30, I wrote: “As Usama b. Ladin refers regularly to Ibn Taymiyya, I hoped to have been able to find some mention of Mardin among his writings. However, the search has been in vain”.
    Prof Yahya Michot
    Hartford Seminary (USA)

  2. Usama hasn’t written for a while. I wonder why he’s being so silent. But it’s never too late for him to mention Mardin.

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