He’s a man on a mission – a mission to state the obvious.
But for Dr Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri it is the obvious facts that need stating loudest. Last week the Pakistani-born cleric took to a stage in London to declare his Islamic religious ruling, or fatwa, against terrorism.
There was a man from the other side of the world telling an audience that included Parliamentarians and other government officials what they had been wanting to hear. A clear, concise and quotable denouncement of al-Qaeda’s worldview.
Canada-based Dr Qadri spoke for more than an hour on his reasons why the Koran forbids the murder and mayhem of suicide bombings.
“This fatwa is an absolute condemnation of terrorism. Without any excuse, without any pretext, without any exceptions, without creating any ways of justification,” he said.
“This condemnation is in its totality, in its comprehensiveness, its absoluteness, a total condemnation of every act of terrorism in every form which is being committed or has been committed wrongly in the name of Islam.”
Will this convince anyone? Probably not those who need to be convinced. As an as aside, in addition to writing 600 page fatwas, Dr. Qadri is adept at writing the word “Muhammad” in the clouds; I’m not sure if this reduces or increases his credibility.