Grand Mufti, Saudi’s Top Islamic Leader: Islamic State And Al-Qaeda Are ‘Enemy Number One Of Islam’
RIYADH, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheik Abdulaziz Al al-Sheik, the highest religious authority in the country, said on Tuesday the militant groups Islamic State and al Qaeda were “enemy number one of Islam” and not in any way part of the faith.
Although the mufti and other senior Saudi clerics have condemned Islamic State, al Qaeda and other groups before, the timing of Al al-Sheik’s statement is significant given the gains by militants in Iraq. “Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on Earth, destroying human civilisation, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims,” he said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
He later compared them to the Kharijite movement in early Islam, which assassinated the Prophet Mohammed’s son-in-law Ali for making compromises to a rival Muslim faction, and has been seen as heretical by most subsequent Muslim sects. Saudi Arabia follows the ultra conservative Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam but sees Islamist militants, who staged attacks in the kingdom last decade, as posing a threat to its own stability. Although senior Wahhabi clerics endorse execution by beheading for offenses that include apostasy, adultery and sorcery, oppose women driving or working and describe Shi’ites as heretics, they differ from al Qaeda and Islamic State militants in opposing violent revolt.
Riyadh has been a main supporter of rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but has funneled arms and money away from Islamic State and al Qaeda towards other opposition groups. Wahhabi clerics, who hold senior government positions and lend the ruling al-Saud Islamic legitimacy, oversee a massive religious infrastructure paid for by the state and are sometimes dismissed by militants as being in the government’s pocket.Thousands of young Saudis are believed to have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join rebel and militant groups, spurring concern within the authorities that they may eventually launch attacks on their own government.
Saudi Arabia labeled Islamic State, al Qaeda, Nusra Front and other groups as “terrorist” in March and imposed long prison terms for offering them public support or giving them moral or material aid. Early this month King Abdullah made a speech attacking militant groups that used Islamic justifications, and urged Muslim scholars and leaders to fight against them
CAIR Condemns ‘Barbaric’ Killing of U.S. Journalist by Terror Group ISIS
(WASHINGTON, DC, 8/20/2014) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned what it called the “gruesome and barbaric” killing of American journalist James Foley by the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State.
ISIS released a video of the killing Tuesday. That same video showed a second man identified as American journalist Steven Sotloff and warned that he would be the next hostage killed.
In a statement, CAIR said:
“We strongly condemn this gruesome and barbaric killing as a violation of Islamic beliefs and of universally-accepted international norms mandating the protection of prisoners and journalists during conflicts.
“The Geneva Conventions, the Quran – Islam’s revealed text – and the traditions (hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad all require that prisoners not be harmed in any way. There can be no excuse or justification for such criminal and bloodthirsty actions.
“We also call on those holding Steven Sotloff and other prisoners to immediately release them unharmed so they may return to their loved ones.”
[NOTE: CAIR recommended that the video of Foley’s killing not be distributed or viewed.]
CAIR noted that in chapter 76 of the Quran, God says: “(The truly virtuous are) they … who give food — however great be their own want of it — to the needy, the orphan and the captive.”
One hadith quotes the Prophet Muhammad strongly condemning a military commander who, without the prophet’s knowledge, had harmed prisoners.
Another hadith has the prophet offering his own shirt to a man who gave his shirt to a prisoner of war who was captured without one.
CAIR recently reiterated its condemnation of the “un-Islamic and morally repugnant” violence and religious extremism of ISIS.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org
Top Saudi cleric calls for code of conduct to curb violence
DUBAI Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:47am EDT
DUBAI (Reuters) – A top Saudi Muslim cleric called on Friday for a global code of conduct for leaders, scholars and young people to halt a further slide into violence and “terror” in the Middle East.
The U.S.-allied kingdom has grown increasingly alarmed since militants from an offshoot of al Qaeda captured large areas of neighboring Iraq and Syria and declared an Islamic caliphate.
At his Friday sermon in Mecca, the imam and preacher of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Abdul-Rahman al-Sudais, decried “mass massacres against humanity” in Gaza, Syria and Iraq.
“All of this happens under the sight and hearing of the international community … which raises fear that a generation would come to believe only in violence, terror and the clash of civilizations,” Saudi state news agency SPA quoted Sudais as saying.
He said “there was an urgent need to prepare a global code of conduct in which the leaders and scholars would deliver their messages and in which the youths would set their thoughts right and the path of the new media is set right,” SPA added.
The report did not go into details of the contents of such a code of conduct.
Militant groups regularly use websites to spread messages from firebrand clerics and publicize attacks.
The conservative Islamic kingdom has kept a close eye on sermons for evidence of militancy since al Qaeda staged attacks that killed hundreds in Saudi Arabia a decade ago.
The authorities are worried that anger at the violence in Syria and Iraq, coupled with hardline teachings by some local religious leaders, could inspire a new generation of militants.
Arab League denounces ISIS attacks as “crimes against humanity”
By Staff writer | Al Arabiya News
Monday, 11 August 2014
Arab League Chief Nabil al-Arabi denounced Monday the “crimes against humanity” committed by ISIS militants in Iraq against the minority Yazidi sect, demanding the perpetrators be brought to justice, Agence France-Presse reported.
Al-Arabi “strongly denounced the crimes, killings, dispossession carried out by the terrorist (ISIS) against civilians and minorities in Iraq that have affected Christians in Mosul and Yazidis,” he said in a statement.Referring to reports of hundreds of Yazidis killed in the ISIS onslaught, al-Arabi said “these terrorist crimes amount to crimes against humanity that cannot be overlooked.”
“The perpetrators must be held accountable and brought to international justice,” the statement added.
The statement came after the United States said it was exploring options to evacuate thousands of Iraqi civilians trapped on a barren mountain in northern Iraq by militants, after four nights of humanitarian relief airdrops.
“We’re reviewing options for removing the remaining civilians off the mountain,” deputy U.S. national security adviser Ben Rhodes said.
“Kurdish forces are helping, and we’re talking to the [United Nations] and other international partners about how to bring them to a safe space,” he added.
The U.N. mission in Iraq has also said it is preparing a humanitarian corridor to permit the Yazidis to flee to safety.
The group follows of an ancient religion derived from Zoroastrianism. They are viewed as “devil worshippers” by the Sunni militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) who have reportedly told them to convert to Islam or face death.
More than 30,000 Yazidis, mainly from Sinjar, have already crossed into an area of northern Iraq controlled by Kurdish security forces after a week-long journey that took them through Syria after they left the mountain area, according to Yazidis and U.N. officials. [Al Arabiya News, 8/11/14]
International Union of Muslim Scholars: Islamic scholars condemn expulsion of Iraq’s ‘Christian brothers’
July 23, 2014 11:16 AM
The Christian community of Mosul fled to the Kurdish autonomous region last week, ending a presence stretching back nearly 2,000 years, after Islamic State militants set them a deadline to submit to their rule or leave.
“The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) condemns the forced expulsion of the Christian brothers of Iraq from their homes, cities and provinces,” the group said in a statement posted on the website of its leader, the influential cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi on Tuesday.
“These are acts that violate Islamic laws, Islamic conscience and leave but a negative image of Islam and Muslims.”
The IUMS, comprising senior Sunni religious scholars from around the world with links to more moderate factions of the Muslim Brotherhood, views the Islamic State, which has taken control of a swathe of northern Iraq, as being too extreme and says its doctrine contradicts the true teachings of Islam.
It has rejected the Islamic State’s declaration of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria as illegal under Muslim law, saying such a development can only be made after enough legitimate representatives of Muslim peoples have pledged their allegiance.
The Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot, relayed its ultimatum from mosque loudspeakers and spray painted Christian properties with the letter “N” for Nasrani, or Christian, residents said.
Fleeing Christians described being stopped by gunmen on the outskirts of Mosul and robbed of the goods they carried, suggesting the militants were implementing an order to Christians to leave behind all possessions.
The IUMS urged the Islamic State to allow Christians to return to their homes, saying the forced expulsion amounts to “spreading discord”, a serious crime in traditional Muslim law.
“They (Christians) are native sons of Iraq and not intruders,” it said. “The aim must be to bury discord, unite the ranks and solve Iraq’s problems, rather than thrusting it into matters that would further complicate the situation,” it added.
ISNA Condemns ISIS Execution of Journalist James Wright Foley – Terrorist Group Contradicts the Mainstream Teachings of Islam
(Plainfield, IN 8/20/14) Today the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) condemns the vicious execution of journalist James Wright Foley at the hands of the terrorist group that calls themselves “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” or ISIS.
According to media reports, Foley was kidnapped at gunpoint in northern Syria on Thanksgiving Day in 2012. He had not been heard from during his time in captivity. A graphic video was released yesterday purportedly showing Foley reciting threats against America before he is executed by an ISIS member.
“We condemn this un-Islamic behavior,” said ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid. “ISIS actions have never been representative nor in accordance to the mainstream teachings of Islam. This act of murder cannot be justified according to the faith practiced by over 1.6 billion people.”
Over a week ago, ISNA denounced ISIS attack on religious minorities near Northern Iraq and the Kurdish region. In 2005, ISNA was also a signatory to the Fatwa Against Terrorism issued by the Fiqh Council of North America. This expert legal opinion (fatwa) clearly stated that it is forbidden to commit terrorism and violence against civilians. Those who take part in acts of terror are criminals.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is the largest and oldest Islamic umbrella organization in North America. Its mission is to foster the development of the Muslim community, interfaith relations, civic engagement, and better understanding of Islam.
ISNA Denounces ISIS Attacks on Iraq’s Religious Minorities
(Plainfield, IN 8/9/14) Today, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) denounces the terrorist group known as Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) for its attacks on Iraq’s religious minorities and the destruction of their places of worship.
Earlier in the week, ISIS captured several towns in northern Iraq after battling Kurdish forces. The recent fighting has caused significant displacement of minority communities with media reports indicating that over 100,000 Yazidis and a quarter of Iraq’s Christians have fled their homes. Shia places of worship have also been destroyed and the tombs of the Prophet Jonah and Imam Abbas were also desecrated or destroyed.
According to Human Rights Watch, ISIS forces have killed Shiite Turkmens, kidnapped and murdered Shiite members of the Shabak minority and has scrawled letters across Christian homes, proclaimed them the property of the Islamic State and exiled the inhabitants. And more recently, it has forced out of Sinjar thousands of Yazidis.
“ISIS actions against religious minorities in Iraq violate the Quranic teaching, ‘Let there be no compulsion in religion’ (Surat al-Baqara 2:256) ,” said ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid. “Their actions are to be denounced and are in no way representative of what Islam actually teaches.” [The Islamic Society of North America, 8/9/14]
UK imams condemn Isis in online video
BBC News | 11 July 2014
Leading UK-based Shia and Sunni imams and clerics have filmed a video message urging young British Muslims against fighting in Iraq and Syria. They say their film is designed to be distributed online and via social media to counter “digital propaganda” put out by Isis and other extremist groups.
It comes amid concern about radicalised Britons who are travelling abroad. Abu Muntasir, from the Ipswich-based charity Jimas, describes Isis as “evil” and urges people not to “get mixed up”.
Jihadi videos posted online are one of the main tools used by the militant group Isis (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) to recruit and radicalise people. About 500 Britons are believed to have become involved in fighting in Syria and Iraq with the group. Sayed Ali Rizvi, head of the Majlis Ulama-e-Shia organisation, says in the video the UK is “united under various colours, nationalities, cultures and creeds”.
He says Isis “are cowboys. They don’t represent the religion and are not qualified to represent the religion… We are Muslims united against Isis, against terrorism, against atrocity, against pain and suffering.”
Imam Maulana Shahid Raza of Leicester Central Mosque, a leading Sunni cleric, accuses Isis of trying to create corruption and discord within the Muslim world. London-based Ayatollah Seyed Fazel Milani also condemns the militant group in the video, adding: “We benefit from opinions of others and experience and that’s why it is very important to have this unity.” And another Leicester Imam, Ibrahim Mogra, the assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, appears in the film, appealing to British Muslim communities to fight sectarian division and extremism.
The production of the four-minute video, which has been be posted on the imamsonline.com website, was organised by the Faith Associates consultancy.
Its chief executive Shaukat Warraich said: “The leaders of the Islamic faith within the UK felt it was their responsibility to spread the message of peace and unity outside of the mosque and galvanise an online movement, urging British Muslims to think twice about travelling to conflict zones to fight.”
Earlier this month, the same leaders were behind an open letter signed by more than 100 imams from urging British Muslims not to travel to war-torn regions. It called on communities “to continue the generous and tireless effort to make aid donations during Ramadan to help people in Iraq and Syria “in a safe and responsible way”, and warned them about going there themselves.
Al-Azhar: Islamic State Is Corrupt And “A Danger To Islam.
CAIRO: Egypt’s top religious authority condemned Al-Qaeda splinter group ISIS which has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria, describing it as a corrupt, extremist organization that is damaging Islam.
“An extremist and bloody group such as this poses a danger to Islam and Muslims, tarnishing its image as well as shedding blood and spreading corruption,” said Al-Azhar’s Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, the state news agency MENA reported Tuesday.
Egyptian media reports said Allam also expressed his objection to “widespread error” in referring to the group as “the Islamic State,” its new name, because it violates both long-established principles of Shariah and the contemporary foundations of humanitarian law.
ISIS has declared a caliphate in the territory it has captured in Iraq and Syria. It sees all Shiites as heretics and boasted of killing hundreds of captive Shiite soldiers in June.
Allam said ISIS’ actions strengthened the hand of those who wanted to harm Islam.
“[They] give an opportunity for those who seek to harm us, to destroy us and interfere in our affairs with the [pretext of a] call to fight terrorism,” Allam said.
The comments came as the Vatican called on Muslim religious leaders to take a “clear and courageous stance” and condemn “unspeakable criminal acts” by ISIS.
“The terrible position of Christians, Yezidis and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq demands a clear and courageous stance from religious leaders, especially Muslims,” the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue said.
Last week, the United States bombed ISIS targets in northern Iraq, saying it was protecting the Kurdish autonomous region and trying to prevent what U.S. President Barack Obama called a potential genocide of religious minorities.[ 8/13/14]
The Muslim Council Of Great Britain: “Violence Has No Place In Religion”
The Muslim Council of Great Britain condemned the Islamic State’s actions and expressed that they do not represent Sunni Muslims, according to The Independent. Shuja Shafi, a member of the council also said: “Violence has no place in religion, violence has no religion. It is prohibited for people to present themselves for destruction.” [The Independent, 7/11/14]
British Muslim calls for action on jihadi subculture after beheading video (Reuters)
LONDON/BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A senior British Muslim called on Thursday for action to tackle a jihadi sub-culture after an Islamic State video showed a suspected Briton beheading U.S. journalist James Foley held hostage in Syria.
In Washington, Attorney General Eric Holder said the U.S. Justice Department had opened a criminal investigation into the death of Foley on the video, which featured a masked man apparently speaking English with a British accent.
Horror at the video spanned from the West to Baghdad, where Iraqis asked why the United States and its allies had not cracked down on Islamic State fighters long before they captured large areas of Syria and Iraq.
Foley, 40, was beheaded by an Islamic State militant in the video that surfaced on the Internet on Tuesday, and officials in Washington revealed that U.S. special forces had tried unsuccessfully to rescue him along with other American hostages earlier this summer.
A firefight between the U.S. forces trying to rescue the hostages and Islamic State militants appeared to be the first direct ground engagement between the two sides.
In Britain, the video caused particular shock as it featured the as yet unidentified man apparently speaking with a southeastern English accent, although the sizeable numbers of young British Muslims fighting with the militants in Iraq and Syria have created concern for some time.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie, an adviser to the Muslim Council of Britain, said Britons from across the country’s communities had to stop young men being seduced by radical ideologies.
“This sub culture of this ‘jihadi-cool’ – as they call it in the media – within the margins of society …, that is the real challenge,” he told BBC Radio. “This is a problem that affects all of us and it will only be dealt with more effectively if all of us are working together on this.”
Sacranie said the Muslim community was pushing the message that “this is totally alien to Islam” and families were reporting to the authorities when they discovered their sons had headed to the Middle East to fight.
British officials have also expressed concern that the young men will return home to plan attacks there.
Muslim Public Affairs Council: ISIS Execution of American Journalist Underscores Need to Combat Extremism
August 20, 2014
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) condemns the barbaric execution of American Journalist James Foley by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and urges all people of conscience to take a stand against extremism. Mr. Foley was a journalist who courageously covered the atrocities against the Syrian people. We offer our condolences to his family and friends.
An essential measure to countering groups like the ISIS is to empower the mainstream and relegate extremists to the irrelevance they deserve. MPAC’s Declaration Against Extremism calls out the dangers of extremism and issues a clear call for action. The Declaration provides a platform to amplify voices of humanity, dignity and pluralism. It also challenges Muslims to respond to all forms of extremism through engagement, positive articulations of theology and a willingness to stand up to and push back against voices that use the garb of religious authority to further their destructive agenda.
“A major obstacle preventing the true message of Islam worldwide is extremism. In this, we are not alone. Sadly, extremists contaminate all religions,” reads the Declaration Against Extremism. “Thus, with this document, together we passionately reaffirm our opposition to extremists of all stripes, particularly all Muslim extremists who betray Islam’s true message. Furthermore, we pledge to collectively condemn and act to prevent extremism in all forms.”
Join your voice with Muslims around the world who are outraged by extremist groups that cannot be considered human and rob innocent people of their lives, human rights and free will. Share the Declaration with others who want to take a stand against extremism. We must amplify the voices of Muslims everywhere and drown out the extremist fringe. [Muslim Public Affairs Council, 8/20/14]
Turkey’s top religious body head condemns violence against Yazidis in Iraq
Hurriyet August 8, 2014
Islam does not approve of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) treatment of beleaguered Yazidi refugees in Iraq, Turkey’s top Muslim religious figure has said.
Religious Affairs Directorate head Mehmet Görmez said those who kill people due to their religion, force them to leave their homes and create violence cannot be approved by Islam.
Such violence cannot be done in the name of Islam, he said, calling on Muslims across the world to strongly react to the suffering of the Yazidi population in Iraq.
“All authorities and the world should not keep silent on this violence. We hope that measures will be taken immediately,” said Görmez.
“It is unacceptable for these people, with whom we have lived together in this region, to face inhuman treatments. It should be known that all people who have preserved their religion and identity for thousands of years are part of our civilization and are under our insurance,” said Görmez.
Yazidis are regarded by ISIL as “devil worshippers” and risk being executed by militants seeking to establish an Islamic caliphate and redraw the Middle East map. Around 40,000 have become marooned on Mt. Sinjar in northern Iraq; members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the People’s Defense Forces (YPG) have arrived to provide protection, but the refugees have little food and water and remain encircled by jihadists below.
A United Nations humanitarian spokesman said some 200,000 people fleeing the Islamists’ advance have reached the town of Dohuk on the Tigris River, in Iraqi Kurdistan, and nearby areas of Niniveh province.
OIC condemns ISIS threats and forced displacement of Christians in Iraq
The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Iyad Ameen Madani condemned what the terrorist group, “The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS)” is committing against innocent Christian Iraqi citizens in Mosul and Nineveh including forced deportation under the threat of execution; thus further tearing apart the social fabric of the Iraqi people.
The Secretary General added that this forced displacement is a crime that cannot be tolerated; and that the practices of ISIS have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for justice, kindness, fairness, freedom of faith and coexistence.
Such atrocities also contradicts the principles of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation that call for the entrenchment of a culture of tolerance and affinity among all nations and peoples, he added.
The Secretary General stressed that the OIC stands ready to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance to the displaced until they are able to return to their homes.
Egypt’s top religious authority condemns ISIS
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
Egypt’s top religious authority condemned the armed group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria, describing it on Tuesday as a corrupt, extremist organisation that is damaging Islam.
“An extremist and bloody group such as this poses a danger to Islam and Muslims, tarnishing its image as well as shedding blood and spreading corruption,” said Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt’s most influential Muslim cleric, the state news agency MENA reported.
The comments came as the Vatican called on Muslim religious leaders to take a “clear and courageous stance” and condemn “unspeakable criminal acts” by ISIS.
The grand mufti’s view represents the opinion of Al Azhar, one of the world’s oldest seats of Muslim learning, which influences the opinions of Muslims worldwide.
ISIS has declared a Muslim caliphate in the territory it has captured in Iraq and Syria. It sees all Shi’ite Muslims as heretics and boasted of killing hundreds of captive Shi’ite soldiers in June.
An Iraqi government minister said on Sunday that ISIS fighters had killed hundreds of Iraq’s minority Yazidis, burying some alive and taking women as slaves.
In comments made during a visit by former Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora, Allam said ISIS’s actions strengthened the hand of those who wanted to harm Islam.
“[They] give an opportunity for those who seek to harm us, to destroy us and interfere in our affairs with the [pretext of a] call to fight terrorism,” Allam said.
Last week, the United States bombed ISIS targets in northern Iraq, saying it was protecting the Kurdish autonomous region and trying to prevent what U.S. President Barack Obama called a potential genocide of religious minorities.
World’s Most Populous Muslim Nation Declares ISIS Support Illegal
BY MICHAEL GRYBOSKI , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
August 12, 2014|10:00 am
The nation with the largest Muslim population in the world has officially banned support for the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is responsible for mass killings of religious minorities in Iraq that has forced the U.S. government to respond with air strikes.
Indonesia, whose citizens comprise over 10 percent of the global Islamic population, recently announced the ISIS ban in response to ISIS recruiting efforts.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto said in a statement that ISIS, also known as ISIL, posed a threat to the nation’s religious and cultural diversity.
“The government rejects and bans the teachings of ISIS […] from growing in Indonesia. It [ISIL] is not in line with state ideology, Pancasila, or the philosophy of kebhinekaan [diversity] under the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia,” said Suyanto.
Yuliasri Perdani and Ina Parlina of the Indonesian news publication The Jakarta Post noted that government officials recently met to discuss how to implement the said ban.
“The meeting generated several strategies for curbing domestic support for ISIL, one of which includes the creation of a campaign organized by the Religious Affairs Ministry in cooperation with several religious figures to raise public awareness about the perils of ISIL,” reported Perdani and Parlina.
“The Foreign Ministry, the Law and Human Rights Ministry, BIN and the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) will also work together to detect and prevent would-be jihadists from traveling to conflict areas, including the areas where ISIL is currently waging battle.”
Although based in the Middle East, ISIS has sought to recruit members from across the globe including Southeast Asia, a region that has hundreds of millions of Muslims.
Last month, ISIS uploaded a video to YouTube calling for Indonesians to join their religious war against nonbelievers.
“We ask you, where’s your faith? Why are you worried? What’s the reason for your fear? Are your wives and children the reason that you’re prevented from jihad?” said one of the men in the eight-minute video.
In response to the calls for Indonesian recruits, Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin denounced the effort.
“Swearing an oath and pledging allegiance to a foreign nation or part of a foreign nation could make an Indonesian lose his/her citizenship,” stated Saifuddin earlier this month.
ISIS has garnered international attention due to their extreme ideology and intense violence against Iraqis, including religious minorities like Christians and other Muslims.
Recently, President Barack Obama approved a series of airstrikes to protect refugees fleeing ISIS as well as American personnel in Iraq.
Al Quds Al-Arabi Editorial ( London-based Qatari Daily)
In a scathing July 24, 2014 editorial on the issue, the London-based Qatari daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi stated that the targeting in Mosul of Christians, who have been part of the history and culture of Iraq for centuries, is the most extensive ethnic cleansing of modern times, and a black mark upon the reputation of Islam and the Muslims. The paper went on to call on moderate Muslims to condemn these terrible actions of the “cancerous” and “terrorist” IS, lest they become complicit in a crime against humanity. It also urged them to denounce extremist fatwas, such as the one by Sudanese cleric Muhammad Al-Jazouli, who cited a hadith permitting the killing of “infidel” men, women and children. The paper mentioned that this fatwa was widely published by MEMRI (view this clip on MEMRI TV here). It should be noted that, although the newspaper called this hadith “false” and “unreliable,” it actually appears in the Abu Dawud collection and is considered authentic.
Egyptian sociologist and human rights activist Sa’d Al-Din Ibrahim wrote in his weekly column for the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm that the IS’s barbaric, racist and murderous treatment of Christians, unprecedented in the history of the Arab East, is reminiscent of the Nazis and Tatars, and does great harm to Islam. He called upon the Arab League to condemn the IS’s actions.
Columnist Ahmad Al-Sarraf used a scathingly sarcastic tone to express his outrage. In his column in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas, he told the Christians to leave the Arab lands, because the Arabs no longer have any use for progress, civilization, tolerance or coexistence, but only for backwardness, fanaticism and violence.
Leading Sunni Iraqi Muslim cleric condemns killing of 28 Yazidis, displacement of 3,000 Christians
July 21, 2014 by Abdelhak Mamoun5 Comments
Mosul (IraqiNews.com) On Sunday, the most prominent Sunni Muslim cleric of Baghdad and head of the Iraqi Scholars Association in the South condemned the killing of 28 Yazidi citizens and the displacement of 3,000 Christian families from Mosul and urged the European Union and international organizations to intervene.
Sheikh Khalid Al Mulla said, in an interview for IraqiNews.com, that “What a pity that the extremist groups of the organization of Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant wore the dress of Islam falsely to kill and displace the Christian brothers who live with us for thousands of years; we have not seen any harassment of them before,” urging that “the religious scholars and Sunni scientists, in particular, should take responsibility in upholding the true voice of Islam “.
Pope Francis I expressed his solidarity with the displaced Christians from the city of Mosul, because of threats of the organization of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, addressing them by saying, “You can be overpowering violence to peace.”
The General Secretariat of the Arab League, earlier, condemned the forced displacement suffered by Christians in Mosul, considering it “a disgrace” that cannot be tolerated.
Indian Muslims unequivocally condemn brutal atrocities of ISIS
Submitted by TwoCircles.net on 19 August 2014 – 8:24pm
Muslim intellectuals and activists issued a joint statement denouncing religious intolerance, persecution and violence in the name of Islam.
By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,
New Delhi: Over 80 Indian Muslims, including activists, intellectuals, community and religious leaders, scholars and academics, representing very many organizations from across India released a joint statement at a press conference held simultaneously in New Delhi and Mumbai at 3.0 PM today, condemning the brutal atrocities of ISIS on minorities and denouncing persecution and violence in the name of Islam.
Navaid Hamid, Shabnam Hashmi, John Dayal and Safdar Khan addressed the media in Delhi while in Mumbai Dr. Zeenat Shaukat Ali, Irfan Engineer, Noorjehan Safia Niaz, Javed Anand, Fr. Frazer Mascarenhas and Dolphy D’Souza were present.
The speakers unequivocally condemned the brutal Atrocities by ISIS against minorities in Iraq and Syria and denounced their religious intolerance, persecution and violence in the name of Islam.
Later they issued a joint-statement signed by 83 Muslim personalities from various fields, including Shabana Azmi, Prof. Abusaleh Shariff, Professor Mushirul Hasan, Prof Zoya Hassan, Syeda Hameed, Sohail Hashmi and Juzar Bandukwala, among others.
“Indian Muslims are shocked and pained by the brutality and atrocities being perpetrated by the ISIS (Islamic State of Syria and Iraq) against Christians, Shias, Kurds, Yazidis and other minorities in the regions now under their control,” they said, adding, “We strongly condemn such barbarism which is against the teachings of Islam.”
While the ISIS must be held fully responsible for its unconscionable acts, the United States, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait etc. cannot escape their share of the blame in fueling the flames, they further said, while urging the United Nations to intervene.
Indian Muslims Condemn the Brutal Atrocities by ISIS against Minorities in Iraq and Syria; denounce religious intolerance, persecution and violence in the name of Islam
Indian Muslims are shocked and pained by the brutality and atrocities being perpetrated by the ISIS (Islamic State of Syria and Iraq) against Christians, Shias, Kurds, Yazidis and other minorities in the regions now under their control. We strongly condemn such barbarism which is against the teachings of Islam. We express our heart-felt sympathies and solidarity with the survivors of those whose near and dear ones have been mercilessly butchered, and the tens of thousands of Iraq’s minorities who have been dispossessed, forced to flee their homes and are now living in extremely difficult circumstances.
The barbaric conduct of the ISIS is all the more reprehensible because its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, proclaims to be the ‘Caliph’ of the entire Muslim world and his armed group are supposedly acting in the name of Islam. We welcome the fact that most religious leaders and Islamic scholars from across the world, including India, have debunked al-Baghdadi’s claim of being a Caliph.
Alongside the ongoing tormenting of common citizens and persecution of religious and ethnic minorities in areas under their control, the ISIS has been enforcing its own intolerant, extremist, violent, distorted interpretation of Islam on Muslims who are also Sunnis. This too deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible words. We call upon Muslim religious leaders in India and elsewhere to add their voice to that of Muslim organisations and individuals who have already denounced al-Baghdadi and his ISIS for distorting Islam’s message for peace and for their barbaric conduct.
The unspeakable atrocities and mass crimes against Iraq’s minorities are nothing short of ‘crimes against humanity’, ‘religious/ethnic cleansing’. We appeal to the United Nations to urgently intervene, create the circumstances where those forced to flee feel secure enough to return to their homes and cities with full honour and dignity, and hold the ISIS accountable for its heinous acts.
While the ISIS must be held fully responsible for its unconscionable acts, the United States, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait etc. cannot escape their share of the blame in fuelling the flames. The worsening plight of Iraq’s Christians is but a legacy of America’s illegal, unwarranted and criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003 and its subsequent engineering of sectarian strife to divide the Iraqi resistance to the occupation.
Dictator Saddam Hussain was no angel but under him the country’s 1.4 million Christians were free to practice their faith. Many occupied high government posts. It is ironic that the US is now bombing the very ISIS to which it had earlier provided training, arms and ammunition in an attempt to dislodge Syria’s authoritarian President, Bashar al-Assad. For their own myopic ends, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait etc have been backing an array of radical Islamist outfits of which the ISIS — a monster now seemingly out of control — was an integral part.
We urge a global condemnation of the ISIS and all its allies, overt or covert.