French Fatwa Prohibits Rioting, Urges Calm
Dalil Boubakeur speaks to reporters after a meeting at the prime minister’s Hotel Matignon office in Paris. (Reuters)
Additional Reporting by Hadi Yahmid, IOL Correspondent
PARIS, November 7, 2005 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) French Muslim leaders on Sunday, November 6, issued a fatwa banning Muslims from joining the unlawful riots raging across the country.
֓It is not acceptable to express feelings of desperation through damaging public properties and carrying out arson, read the religious edict issued by the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF)Ԓs Fatwa Body.
Under Islam, one cannot get one of his/her rights at the expense of others,Ӕ stressed the fatwa, a copy of which was obtained by IslamOnline.net.
The fatwa cited noble verses that read: Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. (The Cow:190), ӓEat and drink of that which Allah hath provided, and do not act corruptly, making mischief in the earth. (The Cow: 60) and Lo! Allah loveth not the corrupt.Ӕ (The Table: 64).
Sheikh Ahmad Jaballah, member of the Fatwa Body, said that the fatwa sends a strong message to the French that these riots are un-Islamic.
It came to counter allegations by rightists and extremists who maliciously tried to link the arson to French Muslims,Ӕ he told IOL.
The fatwa further underlined that minorities in France should live in dignity and suffer no racial discrimination or maltreatment.
The rioting began with the accidental electrocution of two youths fleeing police in Clichy- sous-Bois outside Paris.
Chirac’s government has come under increasing pressure to halt the riots, sparked by frustration among ethnic minorities over racism, unemployment and harsh treatment by police.
Many feel trapped in the drab suburbs, built in the 1960s and 1970s to house waves of immigrant workers.
Their French-born children and grandchildren are now out on the streets demanding the equality France promised but, they say, failed to deliver.
French police holds shotgun shell recovered after they were shot upon in Grigny. (Reuters)
The riots intensified Sunday for an 11th night despite a vow by President Jacques Chirac to defeat it.
An Interior Ministry statement said 839 more vehicles were torched only overnight. Thirty-four police were injured in clashes and 186 rioters detained, Reuters reported.
They really shot at officers,Ӕ said one officer after about 200 youths attacked his colleagues in Grigny, south of Paris.
This is real, serious violence. It’s not like the previous nights. I am very concerned because this is mounting.Ӕ
The head of France’s main business group, Laurence Parisot, warned of the consequences of the violence for the French economy, notably on tourism and investment.
France’s image has been deeply damaged,Ӕ she told Europe 1 radio.
The violence came shortly after Chirac broke a long silence with his first public comments since the unrest began on October 27.
The republic is quite determined, by definition, to be stronger than those who want to sow violence or fear,Ӕ he said after a domestic security council met to respond to the violence in which thousands of cars have gone up in flames so far.
Further violence was reported in other cities, including Nantes, Rennes, Strasbourg, Lens and Toulouse.
Youths seized a bus in Saint-Etienne in central France, ordering passengers off and torching the vehicle. The driver and one passenger were hurt.
In the eastern city of Strasbourg, rioters lobbed Molotov cocktails into a primary school.
In Toulouse in the southeast, a blazing car was pushed into a metro entrance. At Lens in the north, a firebomb was thrown at a church.
In Lille, about 50 cars were torched and a Belgian television reporter was beaten up as he filmed.
The police union Action Police CFTC urged the government to impose a curfew on the riot-hit areas and call in the army to control the youths.
Nothing seems to be able to stop the civil war that spreads a bit more every day across the whole country,Ӕ it said in a statement. The events we’re living through now are without precedent since the end of the Second World War.Ӕ
Source: IslamOnline at http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2005-11/07/article01.shtml