Fatwa warns Dutch Muslims to shun violence
3 December 2004, AMSTERDAM — Hezbollah's spiritual leader has issued a fatwa calling on Dutch Muslims to avoid violence following Theo van Gogh's murder and a series of retaliatory attacks committed against mosques and churches in the Netherlands.
3 December 2004
AMSTERDAM — Hezbollah's spiritual leader has issued a fatwa calling on Dutch Muslims to avoid violence following Theo van Gogh's murder and a series of retaliatory attacks committed against mosques and churches in the Netherlands.
Ayatollah Mohamad Hussein Fadlallah issued his pronouncement on Islamic law in response to a question from a mosque in the northern Dutch city of Assen.
The fatwa forbids everyone from carrying out "any act that would damage the public order in the Netherlands by an overzealous, uncontrolled reaction".
The Muslim community in Assen had sought the Shiite cleric's advice in relation to how Muslims should react to recent events in the Netherlands.
This refers to the arrest of a Muslim man for the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh on 2 November and the subsequent tit-for-tat attacks on mosques and churches.
Fadlallah said "civilised dialogue" rather than violence or terror was the correct way to approach differences with fellow believers and other people.
Most Shiites in the Netherlands come from Iran and Iraq. Fadlallah was born in Najaf in Iraq in 1935 and has lived in Lebanon since 1966.
He is an influential Shiite cleric and was long regarded the spiritual leader of Hezbollah, an Iranian-financed group that emerged to fight the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.
It has been involved in kidnappings and bombings and is regarded as a terrorist organisation in the US, Israel and several other countries.
The Dutch government called in November this year for Hezbollah to be added to the EU's list of terrorist organisations. Hezbollah also runs hospitals, schools, orphanages and a television station in Lebannon and has eight seats in the Lebanese Parliament.
[Copyright Novum Nieuws 2004]
Subject: Dutch news