In 2010 Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri produced a 500 page fatwa condemning all terrorism as unIslamic, “no ifs or buts”. It was welcomed by anyone wishing to believe that Islam is a religion of peace and has been used by “moderate” Muslims such as Mo Ansar and Mehdi Hasan to back up their claim that it is so.
Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch wondered why there was no attempt in it to explain why the so called terror verses do not mean what they appear to mean.
It turned out that there was no need because Tahir-ul-Qadri was working from his own translation of the Koran in which he simply interpolated comments magically taking the sting out of the verses by making them always defensive, for instance this is the standard Pickthall translation of 9:29:
Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.
and here is Qadri’s version:
(O Muslims!) Wage (also a defensive) war against those of the People of the Book (who infringed the peace treaty signed with you, and despite being in exile, provided full support to the disbelieving Meccan invaders who imposed the battle of al-Ahzab [the Confederates] on Medina, and have continued every possible conspiracy against you even now). They do not have faith in Allah and the Last Day, and do not consider unlawful the things Allah and His Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) have declared unlawful, and do not adopt the true Din ([Religion] of Islam) until they give in and surrender (to the command of Islam), and pay the capitation tax with their own hands after having been subdued.
Who is this sleight of hand going to fool? Not the jihadis who know their Koran, that’s for sure, but possibly naive Westerners merely hearing Ansar’s and Hasan’s assertions. But what of those two themselves, are they in on the joke or are they themselves innocently deceived? Now that Tahir-ul-Qadri has been rumbled will they stop citing his fatwa? We’ll see.