Top Muslim Leaders Worldwide Say ISIS Is Not Really Islamic
ABC News’ Laura Ingraham, Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Fox & Friends and other U.S. media commentators say that Muslims are silent and complicit in the barbarian crimes of ISIS. Fox News host Andrea Tantaros said that all Muslims are the same as ISIS, and implied that all Muslims should be met “with a bullet to the head”.
Why don’t we hear Muslims condemning the barbarian ISIS terrorists?
Turns out they are loudly condemning ISIS … but our press isn’t covering it.
Father Elias Mallon of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association explains:
“Why aren’t Muslims speaking out against these atrocities?” The answer is: Muslims have been speaking out in the strongest terms, condemning the crimes against humanity committed by ISIS (or, as it is increasingly called, IS) and others in the name of Islam.
Father Mallon is right …
Vatican Radio – an official Vatican news site – reports:
Two of the leading voices in the Muslim world denounced the persecution of Christians in Iraq, at the hands of extremists proclaiming a caliphate under the name Islamic State.
The most explicit condemnation came from Iyad Ameen Madani, the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the group representing 57 countries, and 1.4 billion Muslims.
In a statement, he officially denounced the “forced deportation under the threat of execution” of Christians, calling it a “crime that cannot be tolerated.” The Secretary General also distanced Islam from the actions of the militant group known as ISIS, saying they “have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for justice, kindness, fairness, freedom of faith and coexistence.”
Meanwhile, Turkey’s top cleric, the spiritual successor to the caliphate under the Ottoman Empire, also touched on the topic during a peace conference of Islamic scholars.
In a not-so-veiled swipe at ISIS, Mehmet Gormez declared that “an entity that lacks legal justification has no authority to declare war against a political gathering, any country or community.” He went on to say that Muslims should not be hostile towards “people with different views, values and beliefs, and regard them as enemies.”
Gormez said death threats against non-Muslims made by the group, formerly known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), were hugely damaging. “The statement made against Christians is truly awful. Islamic scholars need to focus on this (because) an inability to peacefully sustain other faiths and cultures heralds the collapse of a civilization,” he told Reuters in an interview.
120 top Muslim scholars – including top religious leaders from Nigeria, Bosnia and Egypt – have written a letter condemning ISIS as unIslamic.
The Independent notes:
Muslim leaders in Britain have condemned the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis), expressing their “grave concern” at continued violence in its name.
Representatives from both the Sunni and Shia groups in the UK met at the Palace of Westminster and relayed their message that the militant group does not represent the majority of Muslims.
Shuja Shafi, of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, said: “Violence has no place in religion, violence has no religion.
100 Sunni and Shiite religious leaders from the U.K. produced a video denouncing the Islamic State, saying they wanted to “come together to emphasise the importance of unity in the UK and to decree ISIS as an illegitimate, vicious group who do not represent Islam in any way.”
Two prominent Muslim leaders are urging Muslim men not to join the radical jihadists.
“The public have to be critical. This is not about [establishing] a Caliphate [Islamic State]; but [a group] working for its own cause and gains from a sectarian issue,” said Nahdlatul Ulama executive council chair, Slamet Effendy Yusuf.
The Nahdlatul Ulama is one of the largest Islamic organizations in the world and concentrates on traditional Islam.
Muhammadiyah, an organization with 29 million members, is more modern, well-known for educational activities, and avoids politics. Secretary Abdul Mu’ti said ISIS does not represent Islam.
“That’s my point, this [movement] is not in the context of religion [Islam],” Abdul said. “We all need to question the group’s goals. Don’t just follow radicals who tried to win their own wars in other countries; we will be the ones to suffer losses.”
These men are not the first Muslim leaders to denounce the Islamic State. The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) spoke out against IS’s expulsion of Christians in Mosul. The group claimed the rejection served to “violate Islamic laws, Islamic conscience and leave but a negative image of Islam and Muslims.”
Al Arabiya News reports that the Arab League Chief denounced acts committed by the Islamic State in Iraq as “crimes against humanity,” demanding that they be brought to justice, and he:
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.
The Daily Star writes that Egypt’s highest religious authority – Al-Azhar’s Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam – denounced the Islamic State as a threat to Islam and said that the group violates Islamic law:
[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.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – the largest Muslim group in the U.S. – called ISIS un-Islamic and morally repugnant,” notes that the Islamic State’s “human rights abuses on the ground are well-documented,” called the Islamic State “both un-Islamic and morally repugnant” and called the killing of American journalist James Foley “gruesome and barbaric”. See this, this and this.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) – the largest Muslim organization on the continent – released a statement denouncing the Islamic State “for its attacks on Iraq’s religious minorities and the destruction of their places of worship.” ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid said, “ISIS actions against religious minorities in Iraq violate the Quranic teaching, ‘Let there be no compulsion in religion’ … ” adding, “Their actions are to be denounced and are in no way representative of what Islam actually teaches.” INSA condemned the vicious execution of Foley at the hands of the terrorist group ISIS, terming it as “un-Islamic behaviour”, and said:
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.
Al Jazeera reports:
Saudi Arabia’s highest religious authority has condemned the armed groups Islamic State and al-Qaeda as apostates and labelled them the “number one enemy of Islam”.
“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” ….
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) released a statement condemning “the barbaric execution of American Journalist James Foley by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).” MPAC urged “all people of conscience to take a stand against extremism” and offered condolences to Foley’s family. MPAC also noted the importance of countering ISIS and other extremist groups by working “to empower the mainstream and relegate extremists to the irrelevance they deserve.”
ISIS and Al Qaeda Are FAKE Muslims
The Intercept points out that ISIS has “more in common with Mao’s Red Guards or the Khmer Rouge than it does with the Muslim empires of antiquity“.
The 9/11 hijackers used cocaine and drank alcohol, slept with prostitutes and attended strip clubs … but they did not worship at any mosque. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this. Hardly the acts of devout Muslims.
Huffington Post reports:
Can you guess which books the wannabe jihadists Yusuf Sarwar and Mohammed Ahmed ordered online from Amazon before they set out from Birmingham to fight in Syria last May? A copy of Milestones by the Egyptian Islamist Sayyid Qutb? No. How about Messages to the World: the Statements of Osama Bin Laden? Guess again. Wait, The Anarchist Cookbook, right? Wrong.
Sarwar and Ahmed, both of whom pleaded guilty to terrorism offences last month, purchased Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies. You could not ask for better evidence to bolster the argument that the 1,400-year-old Islamic faith has little to do with the modern jihadist movement. The swivel-eyed young men who take sadistic pleasure in bombings and beheadings may try to justify their violence with recourse to religious rhetoric – think the killers of Lee Rigby screaming “Allahu Akbar” at their trial; think of Islamic State beheading the photojournalist James Foley as part of its “holy war” – but religious fervour isn’t what motivates most of them.
In 2008, a classified briefing note on radicalisation, prepared by MI5’s behavioural science unit, was leaked to the Guardian. It revealed that, “far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could . . . be regarded as religious novices.” The analysts concluded that “a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation“, the newspaper said. [Here’s the Guardian report.]
For more evidence, read the books of the forensic psychiatrist and former CIA officer Marc Sageman; the political scientist Robert Pape [Pape found that foreign occupation – and not religion – made certain Arabs into terrorists; the CIA’s top Bin Laden hunter agreed]; the international relations scholar Rik Coolsaet; the Islamism expert Olivier Roy; the anthropologist Scott Atran. They have all studied the lives and backgrounds of hundreds of gun-toting, bomb-throwing jihadists and they all agree that Islam isn’t to blame for the behaviour of such men (and, yes, they usually are men).
Instead they point to other drivers of radicalisation ….
When he lived in the Philippines in the 1990s, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, described as “the principal architect” of the 11 September attacks by the 9/11 Commission, once flew a helicopter past a girlfriend’s office building with a banner saying “I love you”. His nephew Ramzi Yousef, sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, also had a girlfriend and, like his uncle, was often spotted in Manila’s red-light district. The FBI agent who hunted Yousef said that he “hid behind a cloak of Islam”. Eyewitness accounts suggest the 9/11 hijackers were visiting bars and strip clubs in Florida and Las Vegas in the run-up to the attacks. The Spanish neighbours of Hamid Ahmidan, convicted for his role in the Madrid train bombings of 2004, remember him “zooming by on a motorcycle with his long-haired girlfriend, a Spanish woman with a taste for revealing outfits”, according to press reports.
I agree with Bill O’Reilly when he said that it is unfair to call the Norwegian mass murderer a “Christian”. Likewise, we shouldn’t call Arab terrorists “Muslims”.
Postscript: I am not a Muslim. I am, however, American. And knee-jerk hatred of any group of people based on their religion – including Christians, Jews or Muslims, – is deeply anti-American.
And the most crazed, radical Islamic terrorists would never have gained power if the U.S. and our allies hadn’t overthrown the more moderate Arab leaders.