The statement, called a fatwa, is, under Islamic teaching, considered a binding edict for Islamic believers. As pointed out in this article, a similar fatwa has been issued by Muslim leaders in Great Britain.
The Fatwa cites the Quran and other Islamic texts to demonstrate that making targets of innocent people is forbidden (Haram) and that those who commit such violence are “criminals” and not “martyrs,” as supporters of suicide bombers have often claimed.I'm particularly pleased that Islamic leaders from this part of the world have chosen to issue their fatwa at this time. In the wake of Congressman Tom Tancredo's irresponsible comments about bombing the strategically-irrelevant Mecca, the preeminent holy site for Muslims, and the affirmation the congressman received from persons who have been duped by Osama bin Laden into seeing this worldwide conflict as a war of religions, the fatwa comes as a clarifying dose of reality.
In a joint statement, scholars representing various Muslim sects and schools of thoughts declared: “We have consistently condemned terrorism and extremism in all forms and under all circumstances, and we reiterate this unequivocal position. Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives.”
“We issue this Fatwa following the guidance of our scripture the Quran and the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). We urge all people to resolve all conflicts in just and peaceful manners.
“We pray for the defeat of extremism and terrorism. We pray for the safety and security of our country United States and its people. We pray for the safety and security of all inhabitants of this globe. We pray that interfaith harmony and cooperation prevail both in the United States and every where in the world.”
America is not at war with Islam. The whole world, including the overwhelming majority of Muslims, are at war with and are being victimized by fascists who use Islam to justify their ideology of nihilism and dictatorship. In these two edicts, Muslim leaders in two regions of the world have told al Qaeda that terrorism isn't a thing in which Muslims should engage.
UPDATE: Per Richard Lawrence Cohen's suggestion in the comments below, I checked out Ambivablog's thorough consideration of this matter. Read the whole thing.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Rick at Stones Cry Out has linked to this piece. Thanks!