Saudi Arabia Condemns Extremists, Egypt Vows to Confront Them

Saudi Arabia Condemns Extremists

Muslim leaders from across the world, including those in the United States, have condemned the barbarism displayed by terror outfit Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), describing it as nothing but “un-Islamic.” After Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh recently described ISIL as Islam’s number one enemy, many others joined in to say the same.

“We strongly condemn this gruesome and barbaric killing as a violation of Islamic beliefs and of universally-accepted international norms mandating the protection of prisoners and journalists during conflicts,” said the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization.

CAIR made the comments only days after ISIL released a video showing one of its members beheading an American journalist James Foley, who went missing in Syria in November 2012.

“The Geneva Conventions, the Quran - Islam's revealed text - and the traditions (hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad all require that prisoners not be harmed in any way. There can be no excuse or justification for such criminal and bloodthirsty actions,” CAIR said.

Similarly, Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) denounced ISIL’s actions, calling it “un-Islamic behavior.”

“ISIS actions have never been representative nor in accordance to the mainstream teachings of Islam. This act of murder cannot be justified according to the faith practiced by over 1.6 billion people,” said ISNA President Mohamed Magid.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) too criticized the vicious execution of Foley while urging all people of conscience to take a strong stand against religious extremism.

“A major obstacle preventing the true message of Islam worldwide is extremism. In this, we are not alone. Sadly, extremists contaminate all religions.... [T]ogether we passionately reaffirm our opposition to extremists of all stripes, particularly all Muslim extremists who betray Islam's true message. Furthermore, we pledge to collectively condemn and act to prevent extremism in all forms,” a spokesperson for MPAC said.

In addition, Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani damned ISIL for its violent crimes against innocent Christian Iraqis in Nineveh and Mosul. He said the way ISIL has conducted itself has only led to the further tearing apart of Iraq’s social fabric.

Yet, while Muslim leaders from across the world have been adopting a strong stand against Islamic extremism, the kind increasingly displayed by ISIL, Egypt’s Ministries of Endowment and Culture took a peculiar stance a week ago by saying it wants to confront extremism and atheism in the same manner. A newly agreed joint protocol drafted by the Ministry aspires to “spread true Islam” by separating it from extremists as well as atheists.

Endowment Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa went on to say that the ministries want to tackle both extremes simultaneously. Gomaa wished to communicate the tolerant values of Islam, which extremists seem to have distorted conveniently in recent years, more than ever before.

This agreement between both Ministries came right after the Endowment Ministry tied up with the State for Youth Affairs Ministry with aspirations of confronting atheism earlier this month.

Culture Minister Gaber Asfour explained how all bodies have been trying to confront terrorism but this time they hope to focus on tackling atheism as well.

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

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