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The fatwa, or religious ruling, issued by American Islamic leaders against “terrorism and extremism” is “bogus,” charges a leading analyst.

In a Washington press conference organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an organization called the Fiqh Council of North America said several major U.S. Muslim groups endorsed the fatwa.

“There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism,” the scholars wrote. “Targeting civilians’ life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram – or forbidden.”

The fatwa says Muslims are obligated to help “protect the lives of all civilians.”

But in a 1995 speech, the head of the Fiqh Council, Muzamil Siddiqi, praised suicide bombers.

“Those who die on the part of justice are alive, and their place is with the Lord, and they receive the highest position, because this is the highest honor,” he said.

Terrorism researcher and analyst Steven Emerson argues that along with the terror-related background of signatories, the decree is missing key elements.

“Nowhere does it condemn the Islamic extremism ideology that has spawned Islamic terrorism,” Emerson said in a dispatch posted on Counterterrorism Blog. “It does not renounce nor even acknowledge the existence of an Islamic jihadist culture that has permeated mosques and young Muslims around the world. It does not renounce jihad let alone admit that it has been used to justify Islamic terrorist acts. It does not condemn by name any Islamic group or leader.”

Emerson called it a “fake fatwa designed merely to deceive the American public into believing that these groups are moderate.”

He pointed out officials of both organizations have been directly linked to Islamic terrorist groups and Islamic extremist organizations.

One is an unindicted co-conspirator in a current terrorist case; another previous member was a financier to al-Qaida.

The fatwa also does not name the perpetrators of Islamic terrorist theologies and leaders of Islamic movements, Emerson noted, such as Osama Bin Laden, Yousef Al Qaradawi and Ayman Al Zawahari.

In addition, it does not name terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

The chairman of the Fiqh Council, Taha Jaber Al-Alwani, is an unindicted co-conspirator in the case against Sami al-Arian, the alleged North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, whose trial began last month in Tampa.

Documents released in the Al Arian trial show Alwani funded Islamic Jihad front groups in Tampa.

Another past trustee of the Fiqh Council, Abdurrahman Alamoudi, is serving a 23-year prison sentence for illegal financial dealings with Libya and immigration fraud.

Alamoudi has declared support for the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. Recently he was named by the Treasury Department as having been a financier for al-Qaida.

In 1998, Fiqh Council member Sheikh Muhammad al-Hanooti gave a speech calling for jihad against the United States and the United Kingdom, saying that “Allah will curse the Americans and British” and “Allah, the curse of Allah will become true on the infidel Jews and on the tyrannical Americans.”

Emerson also says Hanooti is strongly linked to Hamas, having served on the board of the Islamic Association for Palestine, or IAP.

The IAP has been identified by two former FBI counterterrorism chiefs as a “front group” for Hamas.

One of the groups touting the fatwa, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a spin-off of the IAP.

Several CAIR leaders have been convicted on terror-related charges.

Emerson also points out that CAIR repeatedly has attacked the prosecutions of Islamic terrorists arrested or convicted since 9-11 and has attacked the government’s freezing of Islamic terrorist fronts, calling it a “war against Islam” by the United States.

Another signatory is Fawaz Damra, convicted of immigration fraud related to his ties to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He was denaturalized and awaits a deportation hearing.

Another signatory, the Muslim American Society, is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States whose publications repeatedly have supported suicide bombings.

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