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September 26, 2014

Over 120 Muslim scholars reject IS ideology

September 26, 2014


PARIS: Over 120 Islamic scholars from around the world have issued an open letter denouncing the Islamic State militants and refuting their religious arguments.
The 22-page letter, written in Arabic and heavy with quotes from the Quran, is just as clear as those groups in condemning the torture, murder and destruction the Islamic State militants have committed in areas they control.
“You have misinterpreted Islam into a religion of harshness, brutality, torture and murder,” the letter said. “This is a great wrong and an offence to Islam, to Muslims and to the entire world.”
Its originality lies in its use of Islamic theological arguments to refute statements made by self-declared Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani to justify their actions and attract more recruits to their cause.
The letter is addressed to al-Baghdadi and “the fighters and followers of the self-declared ‘Islamic State’”, but is also aimed at potential recruits and Imams or others trying to dissuade young Muslims from going to join the fight.
Nihad Awad of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which presented the letter in Washington on Wednesday, said he hoped potential fighters would read the document and see through the arguments of Islamic State recruiters.
“They have a twisted theology,” he said in a video explaining the letter. “They have relied many times, to mobilise and recruit young people, on classic religious texts that have been misinterpreted and misunderstood.”
The 126 signatories are Sunni men from across the Muslim world, from Indonesia to Morocco and from other countries such as the United States, Britain, France and Belgium.
Amongst those who signed were the current and former grand muftis of Egypt, Shawqi Allam and Ali Gomaa, former Bosnian grand mufti Mustafa Ceric, the Nigerian Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar and Din Syamsuddin, head of the large Muhammadiyah organisation

in Indonesia. Eight scholars from Cairo’s Al-Azhar University also put their names to the document.
In the letter, the scholars not only denounced the killing of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines as murder, but also rejected it based on the Muslim custom of protecting emissaries between groups.
The letter described as “heinous war crimes” several cases of militants killing prisoners, totalling at least 2,850. To stress this point in an Islamic way, it gave several quotes from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) forbidding such practices.
It said that Arab Christians and the Yazidis, followers of an ancient religion derived from Zoroastrianism, were both “people of the book” meant under the Islamic Sharia law to be protected.“Reconsider your actions, desist from them, repent from them, cease harming others and return to the religion of mercy,” the letter concluded.
Monitoring desk adds: Meanwhile in Pakistan, the Ulema Board of Pakistan Sunni Tehrik has also declared the ISIS — an extremist organisation — the Khawarij of today’s world and said they had nothing to do with Islam.
Over 25 top religious scholars associated with the board in a declaration said the ISIS was causing strife in the world by killing innocent people, adding that the ISIS militants had shown their enmity towards Islam by destroying the tombs of prophets (AS) and their companions (RA).
Those who signed the declaration are: Allam Ghufran Mehmood Sialvi, Mufti Qazi, Saeed-ur-Rehman, Mufti Liaquat Ali Rizvi, Mufti Sharfuddin Siddiqui, Allama Pir Ghulam Murtaza Shakir, Allama Arif Chishti, Allama Atta-ur-Rehman, Allama Shahid Mehmood Abbasi, Mufti Usman Rizvi, Sahibzada Khalid Mehmood, Allama Abdul Latif Qadri, Allama Khalil-ur-Rehman Qadri, Pir Syed Waseem-ul-Hassan Naqvi, Pir Syed Abid Hussain Shah, Allama Mujahid Abdul-ur-Rasool, Mufti Sultan Mehmood Qadri, Mufti Muhammad Haseeb Attari, Allama Muhammad Tariq Shehzad, Mufti Muhammad Ayaz Saeedi, Dr Shahbaz Qadri, Mufti Muhammad Ahsan Naqeebi, Mufti Abrar Ahmed Attari, Mufti Asif Saeed and others.