Lets talk: War and the letter by Muslim Scholars used to denounce IS

The front page of the papers decree that war is declared on the Islamists, the meaning of this for most

The front page of the papers decree that war is declared on the Islamists, the meaning of this for most of us remains quite unknown.  Will this be a war of soldiers and planes or will it be a technical war the likes of which we have never seen before?

At times like these it is important we all take the time to understand the impact of religion on the world we live in.  Last year, 120 Muslim Scholars joined together to write an open, 18 page letter addressing those who fight and follow Islamic State and denouncing them and their beliefs, using the Quran as evidence.  The letter was released back in September 2014 but seems so poignant now given all that happened this weekend.

The letter picks apart the extremist ideology of the militants who have left a wake of brutal death and destruction in their bid to establish a transnational Islamic state in Iraq and Syria and are shifting their attacks to western corners of the world like Paris.

Muslim Leaders said at the time that it was an unprecedented refutation of the Islamic State ideology from a collaboration of religious scholars. The leaders who released the letter in 2014 asked people to stop using the term Islamic State to describe these terrorists,  and argued that it plays into the group’s terrifying and misguided logic that it is protecting Muslim lands from non-Muslims and is resurrecting the caliphate — a state governed by a Muslim leader that once controlled vast swaths of the Middle East.

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations was there on the release of the letter among Muslim Civil Rights Leaders in America last year.

“The letter is written in Arabic. It is using heavy classical religious texts and classical religious scholars that ISIS has used to mobilize young people to join its forces,” said Awad. “This letter is not meant for a liberal audience.”

Awad said, according to the Huffington Post at the time that its aim is to offer a comprehensive Islamic refutation, “point-by-point,” to the philosophy of the Islamic State and the violence it has perpetrated.

The letter was authored by some very well-known Muslim leaders including Sheikh Shawqi Allam, the grand mufti of Egypt, and Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the mufti of Jerusalem and All Palestine.

Here is the executive summary of the letter.  It certainly makes for interesting reading

1. It is forbidden in Islam to issue fatwas without all the necessary learning requirements. Even then fatwas must follow Islamic legal theory as defined in the Classical texts. It is also forbidden to cite a portion of a verse from the Qur’an—or part of a verse—to derive a ruling without looking at everything that the Qur’an and Hadith teach related to that matter. In other words, there are strict subjective and objective prerequisites for fatwas, and one cannot ‘cherry-pick’ Qur’anic verses for legal arguments without considering the entire Qur’an and Hadith.

2. It is forbidden in Islam to issue legal rulings about anything without mastery of the Arabic language.

3. It is forbidden in Islam to oversimplify Shari’ah matters and ignore established Islamic sciences.

4. It is permissible in Islam [for scholars] to differ on any matter, except those fundamentals of religion that all Muslims must know.

5. It is forbidden in Islam to ignore the reality of contemporary times when deriving legal rulings.

6. It is forbidden in Islam to kill the innocent.

7. It is forbidden in Islam to kill emissaries, ambassadors, and diplomats; hence it is forbidden to kill journalists and aid workers.

8. Jihad in Islam is defensive war. It is not permissible without the right cause, the right purpose and without the right rules of conduct.

9. It is forbidden in Islam to declare people non-Muslim unless he (or she) openly declares disbelief.

10. It is forbidden in Islam to harm or mistreat—in any way—Christians or any ‘People of the Scripture’.

11. It is obligatory to consider Yazidis as People of the Scripture.

12. The re-introduction of slavery is forbidden in Islam. It was abolished by universal consensus.

13. It is forbidden in Islam to force people to convert.

14. It is forbidden in Islam to deny women their rights.

15. It is forbidden in Islam to deny children their rights.

16. It is forbidden in Islam to enact legal punishments (hudud) without following the correct
procedures that ensure justice and mercy.

17. It is forbidden in Islam to torture people.

18. It is forbidden in Islam to disfigure the dead.

19. It is forbidden in Islam to attribute evil acts to God.

20. It is forbidden in Islam to destroy the graves and shrines of Prophets and Companions.

21. Armed insurrection is forbidden in Islam for any reason other than clear disbelief by the ruler and not allowing people to pray.

22. It is forbidden in Islam to declare a caliphate without consensus from all Muslims.

23. Loyalty to one’s nation is permissible in Islam.

24. After the death of the Prophet, Islam does not require anyone to emigrate anywhere.

Read the full letter here.

Does this help you get a better picture of how the moderate Muslims have tried to denounce the activities of IS? 

  1. That is not enough, they need to publicly denounce them repeatedly

    • How do you know they don’t. They probably do it just isn’t reported. Islam doesn’t have an equivalent figure to a pope or archbishop. There is no “head” of the faith.

    • A lot of Muslims are out and about on Facebook denouncing them. And getting abused by rednecks telling them to shut up.

    • They aren’t reporting it just like the bombing in Beirut just before the Paris bombing… Hardly anyone knew about it until after the Paris attacks….

  2. 120 wise men. Now how do we get these men to educate the cretins that don’t follow the Koran

  3. aqiyya (also spelled taqiya, taqiyah, or taqiyyah) is a form of Islamic deception. The Quran (16:106 and 3:28) allows Muslims to lie in order to protect themselves or to protect the Muslim community. Protecting the Muslim community, however, involves lying about jihad and portraying Islam as a religion of peace.

  4. Very interesting, 120 wise men have not halted Isis as this was published September 2014. What can the grand mufti do now to stop these extremists? Hope it’s very soon if indeed they want to stop it.

    • Sadly you are most likely right Helen, they are barbarians and unfortunately war and extinction will be all that can stop the bastards.

    • How on earth do you expect any group of scholars to bring down ISIS when the world’s greatest powers can’t?
      At least they are condemning the actions, as has very loudly been been demanded of them.

    • Very little grand mufti here for 18 years and cannot or will not speak English as far as I know

  5. It just doesn’t matter. They are not really religious people – they are thugs and murderers who, they believe, are getting away with murder and can use their imaginations to wreak whatever bloodthirsty havoc they choose.

    • Who is this ‘they’ of whom you speak? The 0.003% of the worlds 1.6 billion Muslims. If that is the ‘they’ then you are right. If you are referring to the 99.993% then you are wrong.

    • I agree. any extremist is dangerous it does not matter which religion you choose, there are extremists in them all. These people hide behind religion to perform abominal acts. Just think Jones Town, the crusades, the shooters in American schools and churches………. the list is endless. people kill, not religion.

    • But people keep say they are killing in the name of religion when in fact they are just megalomaniacs who want power…

    • Robyn, the “they” I was referring to were the terrorists, of course! Try to read what is really written and not just look for the opportunities to have a racist rant!

    • Thankyou Robyn green. Exactly, broad statements like that have no place in this situation!!

    • Robyn – you are attempting to make an argument that not all Muslims kill innocent people. Correct. That is not the point here. People want the fanatics, who ARE Muslim, to be constrained and shut down. Get it? Quit obfuscating.

  6. Well, imo, this is but a whisper. These scholars/people/leaders need to be front, right and centre, seen and heard together gathering other Muslims to to join in an ever increasingly louder and united voice on the difference between right and wrong, to stop killing innocents. They need to be seen. Where are they? C’mon. Speak up!!

    • You’re not looking on the right places! The guardian for one has only blame shed Muslim leaders condemning IS.

    • Marlene – what do you mean I am not looking in the right places for God’s sake. I and not hiding. Where are these people, the Muftis, the Leaders of Islam? I am waiting for their voices and to LEAD. I should not have to look in any other places other than where I am looking right now – and that is all over the WWW.

    • yes and why have they not come out at the moment they were every where at martin place I do not see them in the crowd at the moment

    • Muslims and Muslim leaders speak out day in day out. My FB page was full of normal, every day Muslims expressing their disgust. The European papers have headline photos of Muslim leaders doing just this. You won’t find it in The Telegraph or on Andrew Bolts programme. It depends where you get your information from.

    • Robyn, I like your comment, what is reported in some medias is sometimes just attention grabbing news and we don’t read the whole truth. This article gives a not easily known piece of information.

    • Merran Heather Brown I assume you do not attend mosque sessions or speak the language so would have no idea what is being said so your statement comes from an uninformed position.

    • This was posted earlier today on SaS. I agree with what this man is saying. Libby Johnson – I hope you have a more respectful comment after reading this. A German’s View on Islam – worth reading.
      The author of this email is Dr. Emanuel Tanya, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist. A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism……

      ‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come.’
      ‘My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.’
      ‘We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is a religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.’
      ‘The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.’
      ‘The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China ‘s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.’
      ‘The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda , which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?
      ‘History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, We often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: peace-loving Muslims Have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our Enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world Will have begun.’
      ‘Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.’
      ‘Now Islamic prayers have been introduced in Toronto and other public schools in Ontario , and, yes, in Ottawa , too, while the Lord’s Prayer was removed (due to being so offensive?). The Islamic way may be peaceful for the time being in our country until the fanatics move in.’
      ‘In Australia , and indeed in many countries around the world, many of the most commonly consumed food items have the halal emblem on them. Just look at the back of some of the most popular chocolate bars, and at other food items in your local supermarket. Food on aircraft have the halal emblem just to appease the privileged minority who are now rapidly expanding within the nation’s shores.’
      ‘In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now dozens of “no-go” zones within major cities across the country that the police force dare not intrude upon. Sharia law prevails there, because the Muslim community in those areas refuse to acknowledge British law.’
      ‘As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts – the fanatics who threaten our way of life.’
      Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this without Sharing it , is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand.
      Extend yourself a bit and share this. Let us hope that thousands world-wide read this, think about it, and share it before it’s too late, and we are silenced because we were silent!!

      • Mia Van Der Stam  

        Well said Merran.
        I love the saying “all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” and that is exactly what is happening now.

    • …oh and for Libby Johnson – perhaps you would like to read Aayan Hirsi Ali’s books. And then perhaps you and I can have a conversation (not likely).

    • Well said Robyn Green, if people want to believe they won’t see what’s right in front of their face, while I was watching the TV over the weekend I noticed several Muslim people placing flowers and candles, however it seemed almost deliberate that the cameraman panned away from very quickly.

    • Working hard on recruiting more people for ISIS there you haters. I wonder if you realise just how your behaviour affects people who have already been traumatised enough to flee their country, come to Australia seeking peace and find themselves confronted with the mindless bigotry of uneducated xenophobes?

    • Read Aayann Hirsi’s books. Read. Get rid of the meaningless fluff. Peace-loving Muslims will become our Enemy if we and our leaders don’t speak up – so says Dr Emanuel Tanya. I agree with him. You don’t have to.

    • Merran Heather Brown answer the question when was the last time you attended a mosque so you can state that they are not preaching peace and tolerance. Try just typing in “Moslem condemn” in to Google and you might get a shock, if you just make statements off the top of your headed that are based on nothing more than a prejudicial view then expect to be called out on it. A tiny amount of research may enlighten you. By the way bugger off is hardly respectful.

    • They do. Over and over and over again. Look at any one of the European mainstream newspapers today. But if you are getting your information from Andrew Bolt, or Pauline Hanson or the Telegraph, you won’t find it reported there.

    • If they did Robyn Green it is useless. Clearly. The leaders of Islam need to stand up and be heard and be EFFECTIVE at stopping these killers of innocent people.

  7. They are not followers of any religion. They are not men. They are not human. They are cowards and animals who have no respect for their own people let alone the rest of the world.

    • If by ‘they’ you mean the 0.003% of the worlds 1.6 billion muslims, you are right. If you are referring to the 99.993% of the worlds muslims, you are wrong.

    • I am referring to the ones who would dominate the world through violence. I don’t care what religion they are.

  8. It is not acceptable or indeed in anyway helpful for people to strike out at innocent Muslims, we all live in this country and need to find away in which we can be united in our efforts to EXPOSE EXTREMISTS, that is the only way we can protect this beautiful country and the people who choose to live in it.

    • For God’s sake. The people want the FANATICS dealt with – the point is people want to be safe in their country and in a restaurant. There are innocent Muslims of which seem to peace loving – the point is stop the fanatics from killing. How much clearer does it need to be?????

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