Dutch MP launches anti-fatwa campaign
Coinciding with the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the US, Dutch Green Left MP Tofik Dibi is launching an internet awareness campaign aimed at making Muslims think for themselves.
Presented in Dutch, English and Arabic, his campaign, entitled “The Last Fatwa”, aims to “free Muslims from top-down decrees issued by a handful of scholars”. Muslims, the Dutch MP says, “should learn to think independently and make their own choices”.
The move is intended to create a movement that will end “the kidnapping of the Islamic faith”. Those who hijacked the planes on 11 September 2001 and destroyed 3,000 lives, Mr Dibi maintains, also “took our deepest principles hostage”.
A politician rather than an Islam scholar, Mr Dibi says he is aware his campaign has its pitfalls. “Fatwas can be sincere answers to sincere questions from individual Muslims”, he admits, alluding to welcome “anti-terrorism fatwas”. At the same time, however, he argues that fatwas “reduce Muslims to unthinking subjects of fellow faithful who think they are Allah.”
Mr Dibi says he has received a great deal of support as well as words of caution, alerting him to the risks he is exposing himself to. He’s not too concerned about any potential threats, he says. “I’m appealing to common sense and refer to individual freedom. We all experience Islam in our own way.”
He has deliberately chosen to use the term “fatwa”, he says, because it’s such a “powerful symbol” and is likely to provoke debate, both at home and abroad.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide