Muslim leaders did not hesitate to condemn the execution of American journalist Steven Sotloff, who was kidnapped in Syria in 2013. The ISIS has claimed responsibility for his murder.
“The Muslims of France wholeheartedly condemn such barbaric acts which create horror and astonishment and ask that nations unite to eradicate these deadly abuses which misrepresent the Muslim religion,” stated Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris and President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith.
“The misguided interpretation of the Coran by terrorist groups distances them from the message of the Prophet of Islam and excludes them from the community of believers,” he added.
Mohammad Moussaoui, president of the Union of French Mosques stated that “the organization known as the Islamic State, which is neither a state nor Islamic,” was nothing more than “a bunch of bloodthirsty terrorists.”
The “ethnic and religious purification” in Iraq is shocking the world. In order to resist the forces of the Islamic State, Iraqi forces are receiving reinforcements from the American air force. Although no one is sure if these actions will be “sufficient” to stop these offensives, in France the “non-extremist” Muslims condemn the actions of their fanatic coreligionists. The Rally of French Muslims (RMF) strongly condemned the actions of extremists and stressed that Islam is a “religion of peace.”
The RMF calls on the international community “to act in order to stop a violence that spares no Iraqi ethnic or religious community, and who even attacks historical monuments of world heritage.” It further called for “French Muslims to keep the Iraqi people in their prayers, with respect for diversity and religious beliefs.”
The president of the Union of French Mosques (UMF) Mohammed Moussaoui also “firmly condemned the injustices affecting this community of faith.” The organization stated that “those who persecute men and women for their faith and their convictions bear a heavy responsibility before God and man.” Similar to the RMF, the Union called for member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to “make every effort so that Eastern Christians can practice their faith in dignity and freedom.”
The association Imams of France and its president Ahmed Miktar stated that the violence toward Christians is “condemned by all the ulemas of the Muslim world…The Christians of the Middle East are full citizens. They must be able to live freely in their country without any ideology or any person having the right to take it away.” His association reaffirmed its “support for the Christian part of our country and reaffirmed that these tragedies should not undermine the peaceful coexistence that we have built.”
The article concludes: “We know that we are in solidarity in a struggle that should in no case transform into a conflict of religions and civilization.”