A major Islamic organization has issued a legal ruling against the Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas, saying that its treatment of the millions of Palestinians under its rule goes against the religion.
The Iraqi-based Islamic Fatwa Council issued the fatwa, or legal opinion, last Thursday. The non-governmental body of Sunni, Shi’ite and Sufi clerics said that the fatwa was issued in response to testimonies from Gaza residents published last month in a series of video clips by the U.S.-based Center for Peace Communications.
In the video series, titled “Whispered in Gaza,” Palestinians (whose identities are protected) are shown blaming not neighboring Israel for their plight, but their autocratic rulers Hamas, who have been in power in the Strip since 2007 following a violent takeover.
The Center for Peace Communications says that it “works through media, schools, and centers of spiritual and moral leadership in the Middle East and North Africa to roll back divisive ideologies and foster a mindset of inclusion and engagement.”
Hamas is charged by the Islamic Fatwa Council with violating the laws of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad for its “reign of corruption and terror against Palestinian citizens within Gaza,” more than 2 million of whom are crammed into an area of some 141 square miles surrounded by Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.
“It is prohibited to pray for, join, support, finance, or fight on behalf of Hamas—an entity that adheres to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood movement,” the fatwa continues. The Islamic Fatwa Council also said that it joins the UAE Fatwa Council and the Council of Senior Scholars of Saudi Arabia in “declaring the Muslim Brotherhood and all of its branches as terrorist organizations that defame Islam and operate in opposition to mainstream Islamic unity, theology and jurisprudence.”
While the ruling is non-binding, the Islamic Fatwa Council is considered to be highly influential in the Muslim world as this is the first fatwa against Hamas from an Islamic legislative body.