An Iraqi Islamic council issued a historical fatwa against the Hamas terrorist organization on Thursday, marking the first time an Islamic legislative council has ruled that Hamas has no religious legitimacy.
The Islamic Fatwa Council, based in the central Iraqi city of Najaf and comprised of Shiite, Sunny and Sufi clerics, described Hamas’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs under its rule in Gaza as "inhumane,” according to Fox News.
The council also called on Hamas and its supporters to give up their arms and become peaceful.
The unprecedented religious edict condemned Hamas for being responsible for “its own reign of corruption and terror against Palestinian civilians within Gaza.” It also ruled that it is “prohibited to pray for, join, support, finance or fight on behalf of Hamas."
"As an Islamic legal body, we take note of the condition of the oppressed all over the world,” Muhammad Ali Al-Maqdisi, a cleric who is the council’s spokesperson, told Fox News. “We have seen what Gaza has been subjected to under Hamas’ rule... And, so, we believed it was our Islamic obligation to aid the oppressed."
He added: “This is what our religion commands of us. Our faith, in its wisdom, enjoins us to be the enemy of the oppressor and an aid to the oppressed. That is why the fatwa was issued against Hamas."
The fatwa, while not binding, is extremely powerful due to the council being highly influential in the Islamic world, the report said.
The council reacted after seeing evidence features in "Whispered In Gaza," a look at the hardships faced by ordinary Gazans, released earlier in the year by the US Center for Peace Communications.
The documentary, protecting the 25 interview subjects with voice-altering software and animation, explored the daily poverty and suffering Gazans face under Hamas rule, stressing the hatred and fear the residents have toward the terrorist group that rules Gaza.
Grand Ayatollah Fadhil al-Budairi, one of the council’s three chairs, told the news outlet in a video statement: "We implore the Islamic and humanitarian organizations to aid in the preservation and protection of human rights in the Palestinian context."