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Periodical Review: Fatwas – April-June 2011

The following report sets out the main fatwas published on the “Minbar Al-Tawhid wal-Jihad” website between April and June 2011. The website belongs to the Salafi ideologist, Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi. The surfers’ questions are answered by the “Website’s Sharia Committee”, which includes a number of prominent Salafi sheikhs.

The fatwas published over these three months dealt mainly with new developments in the Arab campaign following the popular uprisings. Global Jihad was caught unprepared for such developments, and therefore there is no organized religious framework clarifying how to conduct oneself in face of the new campaign, how to get involved in the current struggle developing in several arenas, and so forth.

A review and analysis of the fatwas and the issues they discuss reveals several paths of action that global Jihad may operate in, even though at this point there is no information on the formulation and modeling of Al-Qaeda’s policy in general, and in particular of the Jihadi branches in the various theaters.

The most prominent element arising from several answers given by the Salafi-Jihadi sheikhs is that their followers must not use the tools of democracy to obtain the objective of implementing Islamic Sharia, as these tools constitute an infringement of the Oneness of God.

The religious clerics also dealt with other issues in this respect, including the issue of harming innocent Muslims found amongst heretics; harming members of the “tyrannical” regimes’ security forces; questions of religious permission to take part in the Egyptian political campaign following Mubarak’s fall; recommendations with regards to the events in Syria; reference to the protests held in several Arab countries; and encouraging financial support of Jihad and raising donations for it.