On the homepage today, I have a little piece about Fatemah Qaderyan — a 16-year-old girl from Afghanistan who is captain of a very well-known robotics team. Why are they well-known? Well, first, they are an all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan. That is highly unusual (and highly encouraging). Second, they were denied visas to the United States, though the situation was soon remedied.
Last year, Fatemah’s father was killed in an ISIS bombing. He was among the worshippers at a mosque. ISIS killed about 40 of them.
I’d like to mention a story out of Kabul this week, then make a point.
Some 2,000 Afghan clerics were meeting under a large tent. What were they doing? They are members of the Afghan Ulema Council, and they were deciding on religious policy. They issued a fatwa against suicide bombing. They said it was forbidden — “haram” — under Islamic law. They also called on militants to enter peace negotiations with the government. “The ongoing war in Afghanistan is illegal and has no root in sharia law,” said the clerics in a statement. The war “does nothing but shed the blood of Muslims.”
If you’d like to read a news story from the Associated Press, go here.
Less than an hour after they made their statement — less than an hour after they issued their fatwa against suicide bombing — the clerics’ meeting was suicide-bombed. At least seven people were killed, and at least 20 were wounded.
Over and over again, ISIS and their like kill religious people. And here comes my point: For years, there have been those who say, “These extremists use religion as a fig leaf. A pretense, a cover. They don’t give a damn about religion. What they want to do is rape, murder, and rule — probably in that order.” (Men from all over the world join the Jihad for the rape.)
I believe that those who say this have a point, and an important one. I also believe that the Afghan clerics who issued that fatwa were incredibly brave. Obviously.