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By Achal Narayanan
Religion News Service

CHENNAI, India (RNS) An influential group of Muslim theologians at a prominent Islamic seminary in northern India have denounced terrorism, saying it is goes against the teachings of Islam.
The denouncement came during the All India Anti-Terrorism Conference in the state of Uttar Pradesh, home to the 150-year-old Darul Uloom Deoband Islamic seminary.
Opening the conference, the seminary’s vice chancellor, Maulana Margoobur Rahman, called terrorism a thoughtless act that is “un-Islamic” and prohibited by the Quran.
“Islam preaches the tenets of peace, justice and brotherhood. There is no place for terror and violence in Islam,” Rahamn said in his address, which was read by a deputy. “Allah will never have mercy on those elements who think they are serving the faith by perpetrating violence.”
Rahman also objected to the term “Islamic terrorism,” saying Muslims have “blindly accepted this term thrust upon us by the Americans.”
Seminary officials, who have issued more than 700,000 fatwas (religious edicts) over the years, cautioned that the latest declaration was not a fatwa. The seminary, however, is recognized as a renowned religious and academic center with influence over the Islamic world, especially in South and Southeast Asia.
The seminary’s general secretary, Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, convened the conference and said top clerics arrived at a common definition of terrorism: “Any action that targets innocents, whether by an individual or by any government and its agencies, or by a private organization anywhere in the world, constitutes, according to Islam, an act of terrorism.”
Copyright 2008 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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