As the West grapples with the increasing reach of ISIS on home soil and as random and planned acts of terrorism continue to develop, the Islamic world is not siting idly by.
Earlier this week in his speech before the United Nations, President Obama signalled out the leadership being offered by a group of Muslim Clerics lead by Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah. This group, known as the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, issued a very powerful Fatwā* in opposition to the actions of ISIS and as a warning to young Muslims who may be attracted to it’s cause.
Entitled “This is Not the Path to Paradise, Response to ISIS”, the fatwā highlights that ISIS actions are against the tenets of Islam.
This is addressed to the young men who bear arms against their own nations and destroy both country and countrymen. You have abandoned all values and made enemies of the world. We call on you to pause, reflect, and heed this counsel for the sake of all who want good for our community.
It then offers 4 quotes from Islamic teachings before continuing with “A Statement to the Muslim World and its Leaders” reminding them to “Remember and Consider the Question Why?”
It is powerful stuff and it takes aim at Fatwā’s which “have justified bloodshed while disregarding Islamic law’s mandates of civil obedience, respect for life, and to refrain from divisiveness, irrespective of how morally degraded a society becomes. Instead, there are inappropriate claims of engaging in jihad and addressing the ills of society without fulfilling the conditions of doing so, which has led to even more suffering.”
The full text offers guidance with an aim at returning Islam and Muslims worldwide to core values, noting there is a “pressing need to strengthen the immune system of the Muslim world against the extremism and violence that exists within it, regardless of where the violence is directed or how it began. The time is now for Muslim societies—individuals and political entities — to work together towards what is right and good and to place the higher interests of humanity and the world above personal interests.”
It ends where it began with an entreaty to younger Muslims in the West saying they should, “remain steadfast in the face of the empty claims and promises made before them and to live the Islamic law properly so that they will not be duped into confusing falsehood with truth. This applies, in particular, to those who do not have a command of Arabic and do not understand the language of the Qur’an.”
You can read the full Fatwā here.
* A Fatwā in the Islamic faith is the term for the legal opinion or learned interpretation that a qualified jurist or mufti can give on issues pertaining to the Islamic law.