“A fatwa is a call to Jihad”

Listening to a local radio channel and a bunch of white people start talking about some issue. I know they are white because I know who the “ethnic” announcers usually are. One of them pipes up and says, “Well is that a “fatwa” you are saying against them?” One of the other hosts immediately jumps in and says, “Well you are known for your slant on Muslims. Why in the world have you chosen the word Fatwa! Now you are using a term to wage a jihad.”

My first inclination was what a bunch of misinformed fools polluting the minds of the common listener with images of violence. It’s conscious and subconscious, the damage has been done. The polluting the minds with violence is the unfortunate outcome because that’s not what a fatwa means to begin with! They improperly equated the word fatwa with jihad. Yeah, they don’t even know what the word means themselves.

I knew what they said wasn’t accurate but I needed to know myself what the exact definition was. I searched it up and basically a fatwa is an Islamic ruling on some issue by an expert in Islamic Law (Mufti):

In recent years, the term “fatwā” has been widely used throughout the media, usually to indicate that a death sentence has been dealt to someone or some group of people. The limited use of this term has resulted in a limited understanding of its meaning. ISCA therefore offers the following statement to elucidate the true significance of the term “fatwā.”

Most importantly, a fatwā is not by definition a pronouncement of death or a declaration of war. A fatwā is an Islamic legal pronouncement, issued by an expert in religious law (mufti), pertaining to a specific issue, usually at the request of an individual or judge to resolve an issue where Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), is unclear. Typically, such uncertainty arises as Muslim society works to address new issues – issues that develop as technology and society advance. “Can a Muslim be involved in cloning?” for instance.

Reference: What is a Fatwa?