Issuing decrees of kufr has always been the banal practice of religious leaders in our part of the world. No matter how trivial the issue, it takes them less than a minute to pronounce the view deviant from theirs as kufr. It comes as no surprise, thus, that Maulana Sufi Muhammad has decreed the entire Pakistan to be based on kufr. There go all our devotional offerings, prayers, fasts and all. The role of prominent Islamic scholars of Pakistan in this scenario is, as always, mysteriously ambivalent. Some have actually come out and actually supported the brutal Taliban. Others have done so covertly with fainter voices and attached riders. How can those responsible for killings of thousands of innocent people in mosques, imambargahs, funeral processions and Friday prayers qualify for the compassion of our religious leaders is beyond me? But the best you can scrounge out of them is a condemnation of these acts and no more. It is high time our honorable muftis/religious scholars took a clear stand on the issue of terrorism. The suicide bombings or target killings by Taliban should not only be denounced in the strongest possible terms but a decree should also be issued declaring all those involved in it as criminals that deserve death penalty as per Islamic laws. -ALI AMMAR, Karachi, via e-mail, April 20.