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No sympathy for bombers,
say Muslim groups

Leading Muslim organizations Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah have called on Muslims to cease glorifying the three executed Bali bombers, branding them terrorists rather than martyrs or holy warriors.

Calling Amrozi, his brother Ali Ghufron, alias Mukhlas, and Imam Samudra martyrs will only inspire other Muslims to follow in their un-Islamic steps and give rise to more bombers, the two organizations said Monday.

They added that bombings, murders and other violence carried out in the name of religion would not grant the perpetrators martyrdom or a “ticket to heaven”.

NU and Muhammadiyah said the bombers’ actions destroyed the image of Islam, causing the international community to question whether the religion really fostered peace or violence.

“Glorifying the three Bali bombers as mujahid (martyrs) is a grave mistake. It stems from a delusion that such an honor can be achieved through bombings and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great),” said NU deputy chairman Masdar F. Mas’udi.

He said a jihad or holy war to defend Islam must be done by “improving the Muslim community’s prosperity, knowledge and morality”.

After a series of delays, Amrozi, 47, Mukhlas, 48, and Imam Samudra, 38, were executed by firing squad shortly after midnight early Sunday for their roles in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.

Masdar, an Islamic jurisprudence expert, said the execution of the three convicted terrorists should be seen as an application of qishas (strict Islamic law that suggests a soul be paid with a soul), which the bombers strongly believed in.

“Based on the qishas model, they still owe at least 199 souls. And that doesn’t include the injuries and the severe damage they caused to Islam and Muslims,” Masdar added.

He urged the government and the media to be aware that support for the three terrorists could grow and inspire a new generation of bombers because of the government’s execution delays and intensive media coverage.

Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin also denounced the misuse of Islam by the Bali bombers to achieve their goals.

Achieving goals through violent means is not part of Islamic teaching that promotes blessings and peace for the universe, he stressed.

“We reject all violence and terrorism. And a jihad can’t be achieved by attacking others, even those considered enemies. We must learn after this that the use of violence and attacks cannot be tolerated in our religion,” he said.

Mahfudz Siddiq, a senior legislator from the Islamic-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), said Indonesian Muslims should learn not to allow radicalism and religious violence to fester in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

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