A recent Pew Study of 2,000 American adults indicates that Americans are increasingly concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism. In the survey, Pew found that 62% of Americans polled were “extremely” concerned about a global rise in Islamic extremism, while 53% are concerned about Islamic extremism within the United States. These are the highest numbers since 2007. [PDF DOWNLOAD OF PEW STUDY]
Muslim federations and their leaders have launched for the first time a united appeal, a “call of French Muslims,” against Daech.
“We firmly condemn the acts of violence committed by the organization Daesh…against civilians in Iraq and in Syria among Christians, Yezidis, Kurds, Turkoman, Shiite or Sunni Muslims, humanitarians, journalists,” wrote the signatories, who believe that the group has “nothing of a state nor of Islam.”
The text is broader than the “Call of Paris,” which signaled a particular solidarity with the Christians of the East. The new text is approved by ten large institutions, such as the Federation of the Great Mosque of Paris, the Turks of CCMTF, as well as the UOIF, an organization that has close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. The majority of places of worship for Muslims in France are thus represented.
“Given the scale of crimes committed by Daech and the importance of the material resources at its disposal, we call on the international community to conduct an investigation in order to determine the liability of supporters of this terrorist organization as well as the origin of their funds,” writes the signatories.
The text reiterates its “call to young French Muslims who would be tempted to go fight on the side of these terrorists, to realize the magnitude of the gravity of these crimes that they could be complicit in, and the heavy responsibility before God and before humanity, of such complicity.”
On September 19th , Muslim associations and 2000 mosques followed the call of the Coordination Council of Muslims, demonstrating for peace and tolerance and against the misuse of the name of Islam. Protests took place German wide in the cities of Hamburg, Berlin, Oldenburg, Mölln, Bielefeld, Frankfurt am Main and Stuttgart. Moreover, the participating mosques included the issues of violence and intolerance as the main themes for their Friday prayers. The Federal Minister of Interior Thomas de Maizière (CDU) and Commissioner for Integration Aydin Özoguz (SPD) joined the events in the cities of Hannover and Munich to show their solidarity with Muslims in Germany. “Muslims would demonstrate that hatred and violence could never be legitimate in the name of Islam” ,said de Maizière. He added that Germany would not be the place for violence against Christians, Muslims and Jews. The speaker of the Coordination Council of Muslims, Ali Kizikaya described the event as a symbol for the unity of society. Furthermore, he reminded the media about the recent fire assaults against mosques. According to Kizilkaya, the demonstrations would underline the position of Islam a religion for tolerance and against any form of extremism.
The Turkish-Islamic Union, the Islam Council, the association for Islamic Centers of Culture and the Central Council of Muslims participated at the demonstrations. The chair of the Central Council of Muslims, Ayman Mazyek condemned the propaganda and terror of the “Islamic State” (IS). Muslims should not remain silent, when Islam is “kidnapped by terrorists and criminals”. Mazyek expressed his solidarity with the victims of terror saying: “I am Jew, when synagogues are attacked. I am a Christian, when for instance Christians are persecuted in Iraq. I am a Muslim, when fire assaults are thrown at mosques.”
The speaker of the Turkish-Islamic Union (DITIB) Zekeriya Altuğ emphasized the relevance of the prayers. The Imams would pray for all religious groups including the persecuted Yezidi. Thousands of people gathered in Berlin to participate at a public Friday prayer in front of the Mevalana mosque, which had been the target of a fire assault weeks ago. In Frankfurt, the chairmen of the Central Council of Muslims and Jews in Germany, Aiman Mazyek and Dieter Graumann met to symbolize the unity of all religious groups against intolerance.
A coalition of imams and organisations representing British Muslims call on David Cameron and others to stop using phrase which they say gives credibility to a terrorist organisation. They argue that the prime minister and media should stop legitimising the terror group rampaging through Syria and Iraq by describing it as Islamic State. Use of the jihadis’ preferred title, they argue, gives credibility to the Sunni militants and slurs the Islamic faith.
Signatories to a letter to David Cameron, including Sughra Ahmed, president of the Islamic Society of Britain, admit that UK Muslims need to do more to dissuade their young men from being misled into taking part in the group’s “hatred and poison”. “We shall take every opportunity to continue to say clearly and loudly ‘not in our name’ and ‘not for our faith,’ ” they write. In a letter seen by the Observer, the signatories add: “We believe that it would send a powerful message in Britain and around the world if you would join us, as our prime minister, in leading a national debate to seek a suitable alternative way to refer to this group and further challenge its legitimacy and influence.”
British Muslim scholars, activists and the community speak out against ISIS. Scholars from the Orthodox Salafi school of Islamic thought have made a direct video appeal to release Alan Henning, warning the killing would directly oppose Islamic laws.
Furthermore, activists led by Britain’s Active Change charity are spreading peace online, using the same social media platforms that the terrorists are using to propagate hate. They have created and popularised a twitter hashtag “#notinmyname”. The young people are openly lambasting the Islamic State, for “hiding behind a false Islam.” The Muslim Council of Britain also roundly condemned the Islamic State’s actions and called for Henning’s release.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community have also spoken out against IS. Their president stated that the “Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, under the guidance of our Caliph, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, categorically reject extremists wherever they may be, whatever their cause.”
However, some Muslims – as noted by the Guardian article – are questioning whether or not Muslims need to apologise and speak out against IS. The article argues that it makes no sense for Muslims to apologise for crimes they played no part in. Muslims are as disgusted by them as any civilised person is.
An open letter signed by prominent Sunni scholars from around the world was released on September 24th calling on IS Leader Dr. Ibrahim Awwad Al-Badr, alias ‘Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. DOWNLOAD FULL PDF: Letter to Al-Baghdadi
France has lobbied for international action to combat extremists and is arming Kurdish authorities to fight jihadists. Francois Hollande is travelling to Iraq to host an international conference that will highlight initiatives to combat the group and aid Iraq.
Fabius referred to the group as Da’ash, the acronym in Arabic for its former name Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. He stated, “the determination of the Daesh butchers is strong. Ours must be even stronger.”
Egypt’s top Islamic authority also stated that the group should not be referred to as the Islamic State.
The French Council of the Muslim Faith came to the defense of Christians from the East, denouncing the “barbarity” of jihadists and a “crime against humanity” in a solemn appeal made at the Great Mosque of Paris.
“The Call of Paris,” will be followed by responses on September 12 in every French mosque and in Europe during the Friday prayer. The organizers also expect to host an international conference in Paris in which religious and political leaders will gather “to adopt strong resolutions” against jihadist violence.
The signatories include Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris and President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, and Patrick Karam, president of Coordination for Eastern Christians in Danger (Chredo.)
The Call affirms the “inalienable right of our Christian brothers in the East to stay and live in their land with the dignity and security to practice their faith in freedom.” In The Figaro, Boubakeur refutes in advance “cynical pouts about the alleged impotence of such a call.” “We are now in a cultural war. With the force of arms, we oppose the spiritual strength and power of the mind,” he said.
Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve applauded this initiative which “bears witness to the capacity of religions to unite for human rights and the values of the Republic.”
“It is a firm denial to those who wish to create amalgamations between terrorism and the Muslim religion at the risk of pitting Frenchmen against one another,” he wrote in a statement.
A number of Muslim leaders have spoken up within the last week condemning the violence of the Islamic State, an initiative that Jean-Marie Guénois looks at with caution.
In his recent op-ed he states that the initiative launched by Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris and president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, and Patrick Karam, president of Coordination for Eastern Christians in Danger (Chredo,) should be approached with “caution.” Together they launched the “Call of Paris” to condemn “with force and without any ambiguity” the abuses of the Islamic State against the Christian population in the East.
Guénois states that “the caution can come from the overflow of verbal condemnations of jihadists that feeds a sound box that is already full. Saudi Arabia, The Arab League haven’t they joined the chorus of complaints in the last few days? This global bubble of violent protests seems to be split, powerless, on the bloody sword blade that is more than ever brandished by these combatants.”
He adds that “Islam is a very sensitive issue for an anxious French public opinion. It is highly charged. Therefore, some don’t want to write a blank check to Islamophobia in our country, but others encourage it.”
Guénois suggests that the overwhelming amount of precautions and denunciations can lead to “indifference in the face of a genuine international scandal. Gross negligence when Christians undergo a mass ‘cleansing,’ as was reported Tuesday, because they do not think or believe in the right way according to the police of Islamist thought.
He states that it is important to closely follow the international conference scheduled for the end of the year “to see if it will be real or symbolic operation.”
Concerning a French plan: “Why are Muslim networks of mosques and different associations unable to detect and foresee the comings and goings of the 800 young jihadists of which the Minister of the Interior still possesses an accurate count? They come from real families, known in their neighborhood. First silence.”
He continues, “Concerning a international plan: Who finances and really controls this self-proclaimed caliphate and who does it benefit? Second silence.”
And finally: “Concerning a theological plan: all Muslims agree that these combatants ‘have nothing to do with Islam,’ but they claim it constantly. What is wrong? Third silence.”
Muslims from Hérault and Gard have decided to use the money allotted for purchasing sheep for slaughter during Eid Al-Adha for a school project or for a charitable association. The “boycott” is to raise awareness among local authorities around problems faced during the holiday.
On September 8 Muslim residents received an anonymous text message calling for a boycott. Several days later, local Muslim leaders gathered and decided to “not sacrifice any sheep this year.”
Abdallah Zekri, member of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, confirmed their decision. “There are not enough slaughterhouses to properly proceed with the rite. This poses a problem. And then, as I’ve already said, it’s the Muslims that are sheared, not the sheep. The prices go from 120 Euros to 280 Euros!” For Zekri, the boycott could raise awareness and help the situation in the future.
“In Paca, there are mobile slaughterhouses, that works better,” he said. “If Muslims mobilize, that will give sellers and farmers something to think about!”
The same text message said that fines for underground slaughterhouses were increased. In reality this is false. Since 2010 there has been a fine of 15,000 Euros and up to 6 months in prison.
Currently the boycott is limited to communities in Hérault and Gare.