Muslim statements condemning terrorism
Overview. Beliefs. Quotes from
sacred texts. Statements by ISNA
The problem is not that condemnations do not exist; it is that they are not well publicized in the media.
During mid-2005, Allie Shah wrote in the Star Tribune in Minnneapolis, MN:
"The fact is that many prominent American Muslim groups have clearly and
publicly denounced acts of terror in the name of Islam as barbaric, heinous
and just plain wrong. Though they religiously send out press releases and
e-mail statements after every attack, somehow their message doesn't seem to
penetrate [the media]." 1
Two of the largest Muslim groups in the U.S. -- the Muslim Public Affairs
Council (MPAC) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
regularly issue statements. However, they are rarely published in by news services, local newspapers, on
TV, or radio.
Allie Shaw continued:
"Last fall, CAIR launched a national petition drive as part of a campaign
by Muslims called 'Not in the Name of Islam.' To date, nearly 700,000
Muslims have signed the petition condemning terrorism committed in the name
of Islam, and many newspapers have covered the petition drive. As part of
the same campaign, CAIR also created and paid for public service
announcements set to air on television stations nationwide....."
"If all that wasn't enough, last Thursday the Fiqh Council of North
America issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, against terrorism and
extremism. Endorsed by more than 100 U.S. Muslim authorities, the fatwa
boldly and unequivocally forbids terrorism and admonishes those who commit
"The lengthy fatwa continues with references to the Qur'an that support
the ruling. It may not be enough to dissuade a minority of extremists
hellbent on destruction, but it is the right thing to do."
"In the meantime, we will continue to react with the same shock and
dismay and, yes, anger, at the misguided people who continue to show no
regard for human life. And we'll continue to speak out against terrorism in
the hopes that someone is listening." 1
Beliefs about terrorism in Islam:
Opinion is divided among Muslim commentators and theologians concerning "tattarrus"
-- the principle that deals with the killing of non-combatants. This
doctrine had been generally repudiated within Islam. The term is experiencing a new prominence as a result of
terrorist attacks in Iraq and elsewhere in the world. 2More info.
In response to major loss of life in terrorist attacks in Iraq; London, England; and Sharm
el-Sheikh, Egypt during 2005-JUL, Muslim leaders in the U.S., England and the
rest of the world have issued fatwas and numerous other statements condemning random acts of terrorism.
A sampling is shown below.
Applicable texts from the Qur'an and Sunnah:
Perhaps the most commonly cited passage from the Qur’an, Islam’s revealed
text, in opposition to killing states: "Whoever kills a person [unjustly]…it
is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as
though he had saved all mankind." (Qur’an, 5:32)
Other applicable passages of the Qur'an and Sunnah were cited by the Fiqh Council of North America in their fatwa against terrorism issued on 2005-JUL-28:
"Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others
treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will
do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good
and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil." (Al- Tirmidhi)
"We made you to be a community of the middle way, so that (with the
example of your lives) you might bear witness to the truth before all
mankind." (Qur’an, 2:143)
"Let there arise from among you a band of people who invite to
righteousness, and enjoin good and forbid evil.” (Qur’an, 3:104)
"All creation is the family of God, and the person most beloved by
God (is the one) who is kind and caring toward His family."
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) on 2005-MAY-22:
The Society issued the following statement condemning terrorism:
Not In the Name of Islam
"We, the undersigned Muslims, wish to state clearly that those who commit
acts of terror, murder and cruelty in the name of Islam are not only
destroying innocent lives, but are also betraying the values of the faith
they claim to represent. No injustice done to Muslims can ever justify the
massacre of innocent people, and no act of terror will ever serve the cause
of Islam. We repudiate and dissociate ourselves from any Muslim group or
individual who commits such brutal and un-Islamic acts. We refuse to allow
our faith to be held hostage by the criminal actions of a tiny minority
acting outside the teachings of both the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad,
peace be upon him.
"As it states in the Quran: 'Oh you who believe, stand up firmly for
justice, as witnesses to God, even if it be against yourselves, or your
parents, or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor; for God can
best protect both. Do not follow any passion, lest you not be just. And if
you distort or decline to do justice, verily God is well-acquainted with all
that you do'." (Quran 4:135) 3
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) on 2005-JUL-14:
Sayyid M. Syeed, Secretary General of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
issued the following statement:
ISNA joins American Muslims around the country in expressing their
shock, sadness, and outrage in response to recent findings that British
nationals were responsible for the horrific terror attacks in London last
week. These attacks not only violated Islamic principles that forbid the
taking of any innocent life, but betrayed Islamic teachings that members of
a community have a duty and obligation to protect, safeguard and uphold the
laws of that community.
ISNA condemns this breach of trust and senseless act of violence, and
stands with its fellow American citizens united against any such tendencies
in the Muslim community in this country and in the world, and committed to
the protection, security, and well being of the citizens of this nation that
is our home. To those who seek to divide us through fear or hatred, we will
not allow the voices of hate to defeat the voices of unity and goodwill. We
send our continued prayers and condolences for the family members and all
those affected by these deplorable acts. 4
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
Allie Shah, "Those who accuse Muslims of silence aren't listening
Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, 2005-JUL-31, at: http://www.startribune.com/
Amr Taheri, "To kill or not to kill," New York Post, 2005-JUN-10.
Online at: http://www.benadorassociates.com/
"ISNA denounces terrorism in the name of Islam," Islamic Society of North
America, 2005-MAY-22, at: http://www.isna.net/
"ISNA Condemns Role of Nationals in Terrorist Bombings in London,"
Islamic Society of North America, 2005-JUL-14, at: http://www.isna.net/
Copyright © 2005 & 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2005-JUL-30
Latest update: 2010-MAR-22
Author: B.A. Robinson