One of the myths promulgated by the many public commentators, and latched on to by many Australians who have no direct experience of Muslim cultural life in Australia, is the idea that Muslims aren’t standing up and rejecting Extremists. This myth is blatantly inaccurate, with many Islamic religious and community leaders openly condemning ISIS and other extremist groups.
Part of the reason the myth persists is that news stories that show Muslim leaders condemning extremists rarely make it past the hysteria surrounding reporting of ISIS and the potential for local terrorism.
You only have to have an open mind and dig just a little below the surface to find that Muslim leaders are indeed condemning extremism, and without reservation.
This open letter to ISIS, signed by over one hundred of the worlds leading Muslim scholars, lays out in no uncertain terms how the actions by ISIS do not represent Islam. The letter lists the main Islamic laws that ISIS has failed to uphold, then addresses Al Baghdadi, the ISIS leader, directly. It lists 24 “essentials”; areas of Islamic custom which ISIS has not respected. The breaches include slavery, the killing of innocents, the killing of emissaries, (journalists), the harming of non-believers (forbidden in 90% of Islamic interpretations), destruction of graves, and others. Also rejected by the letter is the right of ISIS to declare a Jihad.
The letter concludes:
Islam is mercy and its attributes are merciful. The Prophet, who was sent as a mercy for all the worlds, summarized a Muslim’s dealings with others by saying: ‘He who shows no mercy, will not be shown mercy’; and: ‘Have mercy and you will be shown mercy.’ But, as can be seen from everything mentioned, you have misinterpreted Islam into a religion of harshness, brutality, torture and murder. As elucidated, this is a great wrong and an offence to Islam, to Muslims and to the entire world.
Not only are worldwide Muslim scholars denouncing ISIS and extremism. Pushed to the back pages, likely due to it’s un-newsworthy nature, are statements by Islamic leaders across Australia. Just a few stories are listed below:
- Muslims don’t support beheading: Rifi
- The moderates Muslims are talking if only you will listen
- Terror raids: Moderate Muslims rise up against evil within
- Muslim leaders denounce Islamic State, fear radicalisation at home
And further condemnations of ISIS from around the world
- World’s top Muslim leaders condemn attacks on Iraqi Christians
- Prominent Imams Denounce ISIS, Prohibit Muslims From Joining
- Muslims Condemn ISIS, Say Terrorist Group Doesn’t Represent Islam
These stories aren’t hard to find.