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Muslim statements condemning terrorism

Overview. Beliefs. Quotes from
sacred texts. Statements by ISNA

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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 terrorist attacks....."

"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

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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.

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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:

bullet "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)
bullet "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)
bullet "Let there arise from among you a band of people who invite to righteousness, and enjoin good and forbid evil.” (Qur’an, 3:104)
bullet "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."

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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

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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

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Allie Shah, "Those who accuse Muslims of silence aren't listening very well,"
    Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, 2005-JUL-31, at:
  2. Amr Taheri, "To kill or not to kill," New York Post, 2005-JUN-10. Online at:
  3. "ISNA denounces terrorism in the name of Islam," Islamic Society of North America, 2005-MAY-22, at:
  4. "ISNA Condemns Role of Nationals in Terrorist Bombings in London," Islamic Society of North America, 2005-JUL-14, at:

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Home page > World religions > Islam > Condemnations of terrorism > here

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Copyright 2005 & 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2005-JUL-30
Latest update: 2010-MAR-22
Author: B.A. Robinson

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