Islamic scholars and Muslim leaders around the world have come together to condemn ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, issuing a letter accusing Baghdadi of failing to respect key tenants of Islam.
The letter, signed by 126 Muslims, offers an academic rebuke of Baghdadi’s interpretation of Islam, which the leader has claimed is the basis for founding an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
That letter outlines 24 violations of Islamic Law, noting it’s forbidden to kill the innocent, torture people, and disfigure the dead. ISIS beheaded US journalist James Foley as well as a British aid worker named Allan Henning, clear violations of the tenets outlined in the letter.
The letter comes after a significant backlash to ISIS among the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims. Around the world, Muslims have responded to the slick social media recruitment campaign by ISIS with their own social media endeavours, with many rallying behind the hashtag #NotInMyName.
While Muslims around the world have been at pains to distance themselves from ISIS fundamentalism, hundreds from Western countries and around the world have been drawn into joining the group.
National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad, told media the letter was in part an attempt to dissuade potential ISIS recruits.
“The intended audiences for this important letter include those who have joined or may consider joining ISIS or similar extremist groups, as well as all those who are led to believe the falsehood that ISIS in any way represents Islamic beliefs or practices,” he said.
Here are 10 fundamental edicts the group claims ISIS has violated, as well as the letter itself:
1) It is obligatory to consider Yazidis as People of the Scripture.
2) It is forbidden in Islam to deny women their rights.
3) It is forbidden in Islam to force people to convert.
4) It is forbidden in Islam to disfigure the dead.
5) It is forbidden in Islam to destroy the graves and shrines of Prophets and Companions.
6) It is forbidden in Islam to harm or mistreat Christians or any “People of the Scripture.”
7) Jihad in Islam is a purely defensive struggle. It is not permissible without the right cause, the right purpose, and the right rules of conduct.
8) It is forbidden in Islam to kill emissaries, ambassadors, and diplomats — hence it is forbidden to kill journalists and aid workers.
9) Loyalty to one’s nation is permissible in Islam.
10) It is forbidden in Islam to declare a Caliphate without consensus from all Muslims.
You can read the full “Letter to Baghdadi” here: