Iraq's Senior Sunni Cleric to Issue Fatwa Condemning Abduction of Foreigners

September 6, 2004

Source: The Telegraph

On September 6, 2004 The Telegraph reported, "Iraq's most senior Sunni religious body said yesterday it would issue a fatwa outlawing the abduction and execution of any foreigner in the country. While there have been demands from across the Muslim world for the release of two French reporters who have been held captive since August 20, the edict, due to be signed today, is the most significant so far in the six-month hostage crisis. At least 102 foreigners have been abducted since April. Twenty-eight have been executed. The fatwa was issued by the country's committee of Muslim scholars, or ulema. Although it had called for the release of reporters Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot in the past, it had refused to condemn the kidnapping and execution of hostages from countries that backed the US invasion. 'We are going to issue a fatwa declaring that the kidnapping of foreigners in general is not Islamic and ordering that all hostages be released immediately,' said Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abdul Jabbar, a senior cleric."