Muslim scholars decry terrorism

An influential group of Muslim theologians in India have denounced terrorism, saying it is completely against the teachings of Islam.

Their statements were made at a meeting held at the Darul-Uloom Deoband, a powerful Islamic school more than 150 years old.

Scholars from 6,000 religious schools attended the meeting.

The Deoband school promotes a brand of Islam which some say was an inspiration to Afghanistan’s Taleban.

The school has always denied this.

Opening the conclave the head of the Deoband school, Maulana Marghoobur Rahman, described terrorism as a thoughtless act which is against the teachings of Islam.

He said that the killing of innocent people of any religion was prohibited by the Koran, the Muslim Holy Book.

Many participants said they want to change popular perceptions in which, they say, terrorism is being equated with Islam.

Others said that while Muslims should not be harassed because of anti-terrorism operations, the community also needed to be more introspective.

Many Islamic seminaries across India have come under the scanner of the federal authorities in the wake of recent terror attacks.

Set up in 1866 in north India the Darul-Uloom Deoband is the most influential Muslim religious school in south and south-east Asia.