British Islamists to issue fatwa against shot Pakistani girl

Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:55am EST
 
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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A new British-based Islamist group plans to meet in Islamabad to issue a religious decree against a Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban, accusing her of supporting "occupying" U.S. forces.

The move against Malala Yousufzai, 15, is likely to provoke outrage. In the days following her shooting in October, she became an international icon and world leaders pledged to support her campaign for girls' education.

"There will be a fatwa issued regarding Malala Yousufzai taking into account the full story of her injury including her public statements in support of the occupying U.S. army in the region and mocking of key symbols of Islam such as hijab and jihad," said Abu Baraa, a senior member of Shariah4Pakistan.

The group, whose website features a blog below a photograph of Yousufzai in a hospital bed titled "Don't Believe The Crocodile Tears for Malala Yousufzai", is associated with some of Britain's most hardline Islamists.

Anjem Choudary, a prominent radical cleric in Britain, said the fatwa could be issued on November 30 at Lal Masjid, one of Pakistan's most notorious mosques, where a 2007 army raid crushed a Taliban-style movement controlling the compound.

The mosque's deputy head, Maulana Amir Siddique, denied the group would hold such a conference but organizers insisted they did not need permission to gather in a public place of worship.

Yousufzai is recovering in a British hospital.

Neither Baraa nor Choudary would say what punishment Yousufzai might face if the group found her guilty of violating Islam.

"Nobody is saying we are going to get out our swords and go and look for Malala... The point is a wider issue: it is about the American and Pakistani involvement in maintaining the British and American interests ...," Choudary told Reuters.   Continued...

 
Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai reads a book as she recuperates at the The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, in this undated handout photograph released November 8, 2012. REUTERS/Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham/Handout