Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Iraq, Syria War: Muslims Condemn ISIS (IS or ISIL)

 I will admit, dear Readers, that the persecution of Christians and Yazidis in Iraq, has kept me awake at night.

The actions of ISIS (or IS or ISIL) are repugnant to many people. Civilized people do not engage in beheading, stoning, raping of women, killing of innocent children, committing genocide --- the list goes on. And to say these actions are done in the name of God is breathtaking, because I cannot imagine a God who condones such violence and hatred.

It is clear that ISIS has made a concerted effort to acquire oil and gas fields, water dams, people's possessions -- in other words, they have been busy pursuing secular goals. ISIS betrayed Syrian rebels who had trusted them in their fight against Assad;  ISIS used (and continue to do so) people as hostages like inconsequential pawns that can be slaughtered on a whim. What gets me are the awful images of the Christians and Yazedis who have been killed, driven away from their homes ... pictures of beheaded children, women, and men. There was a man hugging the headless body of a girl, her neck an open wound; a naked woman, also decapitated, held up by IS militants to allow blood to flow from her neck wound onto a basin...these terrible images will haunt me forever.

These acts are not what decent human beings do, and most certainly not in the name of God!

I have wondered what other Muslims think of ISIS. Do they applaud ISIS? Do they tolerate them? Do they look askance and pretend that what they are doing isn't so awful, because after all, they are brother-Muslims?

I looked this  up and found some articles that talk precisely about Muslims condemning ISIS:

From Christian Post -  Indonesian Minister Djoko Suyanto (Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister) stated that ISIS posed a threat to the nation's religious and cultural diversity. "The government rejects and bans the teachings of ISIS..."

Regarding ISIS attempts to recruit members, Lukamn Haim Saifuddin (Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister) said, "Swearing an oath and pledging allegiance to a foreign nation or part of a foreign nation could make an Indonesian lose his/her citizenship."

(Note that Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, home to 12.7% of the world's Muslims.)

From Reuters, Cairo: The Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt's most influential Muslim cleric said: "An extremist and bloody group such as this (ISIS) poses a danger to Islam and Muslims, tarnishing it's image as well as shedding blood and spreading corruption."

From The Arab League accuses ISIS of "crimes against humanity" with Arab League Chief Nabil al-Arabi releasing a statement that denounced the "crimes, killings, dispossession carried out by ISIS against civilians and minorities in Iraq... the perpetrators must be held accountable and brought to international justice."

From Reuters: The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) issued a statement condemning the "forced expulsion of the Christian brothers of Iraq from their homes, cities, and provinces... These are acts that violate Islamic laws, Islamic conscience and leave but a negative image of Islam and Muslims." The IUMS is made up of senior Sunni religious scholars from around the world with links to more moderate factions of the Muslim Brotherhood." It has also rejected ISIS's declaration of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria as illegal under Muslim law.

Vatican Radio: From the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Iyad Ameen Madani, comes this official statement denouncing the "forced deportation of Christians as a crime that cannot be tolerated." He also said the actions of ISIS "have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for justice, kindness, fairness, freedom of faith and coexistence."

Turkey's top cleric, Memet Gormez, the spiritual successor to the caliphate under the Ottoman Empire, said that Muslims should not be hostile towards people with different views, values and beliefs and regard them as enemies. "Islamic scholars need to focus on this (because) an inability to peacefully sustain other faiths and cultures heralds the collapse of a civilization," Gormez said. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called the actions of ISIS "un-Islamic and morally repugnant" and called on other Muslim community leaders to speak out against the violence.

The Independent: The Muslim Council of Great Britain's Shufa Shafi said, "Violence has no place in religion, violence has no religion. It is prohibited for people to present themselves for destruction."

Maulana Shahid Raza of Leicester Central Mosque, said, "ISIS does not represent the main Sunni Muslims' ideology...They are involved in acts of terror and violence, they are involved in destruction and demolishing the Muslim shrines...We condemn it."
Recently Pope Francis had called on Muslim religious leaders to condemn the criminal acts of ISIS.
It is true that Muslims need to speak up and protest such brutality. Young Muslim people need to hear from their elders that these actions are not acceptable. The world needs to hear and be assured that not all Muslims think and behave as ISIS extremists do. 

I acknowledge the blog of Patheos, for the links. The pictures are courtesy of Wikipedia and Patheos.
Read also
Vatican: Military Action against ISIS "is probably necessary"
US Bishops organize Day of Prayer for Iraq Sunday August 17
Philippine Bishops - Day of Prayer for Iraq Monday August 18

Tags: Iraq, Middle East, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Muslims, Condemn, Christians, Yazidis,

This is all for now,

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