Muslim scholars: Suicide attacks violate Islamic principles

Participants listen as Indonesian President Joko Widodo delivers his speech during the opening ceremony of the trilateral religious meeting at the presidential palace in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP)
Updated 11 May 2018
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Muslim scholars: Suicide attacks violate Islamic principles

  • Seventy prominent Muslim scholars from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia issued the fatwa on ways to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan
  • The scholars said Islam was a religion of peace and denounced all kinds of violent extremism and terrorism

BOGOR, Indonesia: Muslim scholars from three countries issued an edict Friday saying that violent extremism and terrorism, including suicide attacks, are against Islamic principles, in an effort to convince the Taliban to end its violence.
Seventy prominent Muslim scholars from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia issued the fatwa, or edict, at a conference in Indonesia on ways to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who opened the one-day meeting, stressed Indonesia’s commitment to helping build peace in the war-torn country.
Jokowi said the conference was part of Indonesia’s efforts to encourage the role of Islamic clerics, or ulema, in promoting peace in Afghanistan.
“Through the voice of ulema, mainly from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia, presumably the spirit of brotherhood for peace in Afghanistan can be strengthened,” Jokowi said.
“Ulema are the agent of peace ... they have the power to form the face of peaceful people,” Jokowi said.
He expressed hope that the conference could contribute concretely to peace in Afghanistan.
In a declaration, the scholars said Islam was a religion of peace and denounced all kinds of violent extremism and terrorism.
“We reaffirm that violence and terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group, as violent extremism and terrorism in all its forms and manifestation including violence against civilians and suicide attacks are against the holy principles of Islam,” the declaration said.
The Taliban urged Islamic clerics to boycott the Bogor conference and warned Afghan clerics, “Do not afford an opportunity to the invading infidels in Afghanistan to misuse your name and participation in this conference as means of attaining their malicious objective.”
The conference at the presidential palace in Bogor, a West Java town on the outskirts of Jakarta, was organized by the Indonesian Ulema Council.


Three of four engines on stricken Norway cruise ship restarted

Updated 24 March 2019
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Three of four engines on stricken Norway cruise ship restarted

  • The Viking Sky lost power and started drifting mid-afternoon Saturday about two kilometers off More og Romsdal in dangerous waters and high seas
  • The captain forced to send out a distress call and trigger a massive airlift operation

OSLO: A cruise ship that broke down in rough seas off the Norwegian coast with some 1,300 passengers and crew on board has restarted three of its four engines and will be towed to port, emergency services said Sunday.
“Three of the four engines are now working which means the boat can now make way on its own,” emergency services spokesman Per Fjeld said.
The Viking Sky lost power and started drifting mid-afternoon Saturday about two kilometers (1.2 miles) off More og Romsdal in dangerous waters and high seas, prompting the captain to send out a distress call and trigger a massive airlift operation.
The airlift was continuing in the early morning, Fjeld said.
Police said 338 of the 1,373 people on board the Viking Sky had so far been taken off by helicopter.
The vessel is making slow headway at two to three knots (4-5 kilometers) an hour off the dangerous, rocky coast and a tug will help it toward the port of Molde, about 500 kilometers northwest of Oslo, officials said.
Police said that 17 people had been taken to hospital.
The passengers are mostly British or American, they added.