By Natalie O’Brien – Sydney Morning Herald
Australia’s leading imams have backed a fatwa against the Islamic State terrorist group, warning that any support for the group contradicts Islamic teachings.
In a New Year message to the nation’s Muslim community, the Grand Mufti of Australia together with prominent imams from NSW and Victoria have given their religious opinions and urged congregations, particularly the youth, to listen to their religious leaders.
The Grand Mufti, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, who is the spiritual leader of Muslims in Australia said “most Islamic Legal Circles and Fatwa Boards have condemned ISIS, declaring that Islam is innocent of all these barbaric actions despite ISIS using the term Islamic in its name. The term ‘Islamic State’ has been usurped by ISIS,” he said, using one of several acronyms for IS.
“We stand with all organisations that have condemned ISIS and declared innocence from its inhumane actions.
“Locally we would like to bring to the attention of our youth, and those who lead them, that ISIS is a trick designed to prey on youth, either by their being killed or locked up in prison. We doubt the origins of ISIS because since it was established it has not done one thing for the benefit of Islam and Muslims. Rather its actions and barbaric acts have been against the way of God,” he said.
“Therefore we warn our youth regarding the deceitful propaganda that ISIS uses through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. We remind our youth in Australia that social media and the medium of the internet cannot be a trusted means regarding religious knowledge.”
Dr Mohamed’s comments come as Muslim leaders around the world, including 70,000 clerics in India, have issued a fatwa against terrorist groups including ISIS and after the Australian National Imams Consultative Forum released a document, Australian Muslim perspective on some key contemporary concerns, addressing religious issues raised by IS’s activities and recruitment.
The document examines dozens of issues from citizenship in Australia and Islam, to jihad, and makes statements backed by more than 20 Australian imams against slavery, suicide, and foreign fighting. It bluntly states that the so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq, as proclaimed by IS is not legitimate and therefore Australian Muslims have no obligation to follow its dictates.
Sheikh Mohamadu Saleem, of the Board of Imams in Victoria, also had a New Year message for the community, saying that violent extremism is neither religious nor Islamic.
“We condemn and deplore ISIS’s violent propaganda that is perpetrated against innocent civilians in the name of Islam as the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: ‘Harm is neither inflicted nor tolerated in Islam.'”
He said that “ISIS is trying to justify ‘violence against innocent civilians’ by interpreting texts of the Koran and hadiths, statements of Muhammad ‘cherry-picked and out of context’ to suit their violent actions. Majority of the leading scholars and Islamic organisations have vehemently denounced ISIS for its illegitimate and misleading propaganda.”
Sheikh Yahya Safi, the imam at Australia’s biggest mosque in Lakemba, said: “I stand with the Islamic scholars from around the world who have condemned the actions of ISIS that contradict the teachings of Islam and I have stressed this on many occasions, especially in my Friday sermons.”
Sheik Taj el-Din al-Hilali, the former grand mufti of Australia, has also warned that IS is like a trap that had tricked people and countries.
“Joining them is a type of madness that does not concord with the teachings of any religion. I warn the Muslim youths from all over the world against joining ISIS or supporting them in any way,” Sheikh Hilali said.
“Joining such a group or supporting it contradicts the Islamic teachings 100 per cent, because this group is clear in breach of the Islamic teachings.”
COMMENT FROM MODE OF LIFE: Let us hope that this is not merely a public relations stunt by Australia’s Islamic leaders in the time honoured tradition of Muslim taqqiyya (lies/deception), which is a doctrine sanctioned by Quranic verse and the relevant Hadiths to wage war against Non-Muslims.
MUSLIMS’ RESPOND HILARIOUSLY TO ISIL LEADER’S CALL TO ARMS
Muslims have responded to a call to arms from Islamic State’s leader by saying they would rather go see the new Star Wars movie.
On Boxing Day the terrorist organisation released 24-minutes of audio from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as he ranted about needing more soldiers in Iraq and Syria.
“We urgently call upon every Muslim to join the fight, especially those in the land of the two shrines, rise,” al-Baghdadi says in the recording.
The statement came after ISIL’s heavy losses in Iraq while the group was getting pushed out of the city of Ramadi.
The reclusive leader al-Baghdadi was hoping for an influx of troops and support on social media, but what he got was a wave of sarcastic jokes and puns at the group’s expense.