Grand Mufti sanctions owning nuclear weapons, warns against using them.
According to the state news agency, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa's fatwa, or religious edict, came in response to reports that some groups have sanctioned the use of weapons of mass destruction against non-Muslim nations. It is not clear who these groups were and what countries they were referring to.
Gomaa said those edicts were "false...and a slander of religion."
Fatwas are religious edicts which pious Muslims consider as explicit instruction and observe closely. They can be issued on a range of subjects -- from religious matters to mundane daily life matters.
In his fatwa, Gomaa said it is legitimate for Muslim nations to have nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons as a deterrent, and only the leaders of those countries have the right to decide when to use them.
The use of these weapons by groups against non-Muslim nations would violate Islamic teachings, he said, because it would harm Muslims living in those nations, noncombatants, and neighboring countries who are not involved.
"This constitutes a surprise [attack], and killing of the unaware. It is not sanctioned to kill them," Gomaa said. "This act also would necessitate killing and annihilating Muslims in those countries," which is unlawful in Islam.
Pakistan is the only Muslim nation with nuclear weapons. There are fears that Al-Qaeda-linked groups would acquire weapons of mass destruction, even in the most primitive form. --AP Aa
Daily NewsEgypt 2009
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