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Islam

Muslim leaders' statements condemning terrorism,
from 9/11 to ISIS/Islamic State atrocities in 2014.

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2001-SEP/OCT: Statements following the terrorist attack on New York and Washington on 2001-SEP-11:

  • Rashid Ghannoushi, leader of Tunisia's Ennahda party, with other leaders: Mustafa Mashhur, General Guide, Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt; Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Ameer, Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, Pakistan; Muti Rahman Nizami, Ameer, Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Bangladesh; Shaykh Ahmad Yassin, Founder, Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), Palestine; Rashid Ghannoushi, President, Nahda Renaissance Movement, Tunisia; Fazil Nour, President, PAS – Parti Islam SeMalaysia, Malaysia; and 40 other Muslim scholars and politicians:
  • "The undersigned, leaders of Islamic movements, are horrified by the events of Tuesday 11 September 2001 in the United States which resulted in massive killing, destruction and attack on innocent lives. We express our deepest sympathies and sorrow. We condemn, in the strongest terms, the incidents, which are against all human and Islamic norms. This is grounded in the Noble Laws of Islam which forbid all forms of attacks on innocents. God Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: ‘No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another’ (Surah al-Isra 17:15)." 1

  • Fatwah by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Grand Islamic Scholar and Chairman of the Sunna and Sira Council, Qatar, et al.:

    "All Muslims ought to be united against all those who terrorize the innocents, and those who permit the killing of non-combatants without a justifiable reason. Islam has declared the spilling of blood and the destruction of property as absolute prohibitions until the Day of Judgment. God (glory be to He) said:

    'Because of that We ordained unto the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a human being -- unless it be in punishment for murder or for spreading mischief on earth -- it would be as though he killed all of humanity; whereas, if anyone saved a life, it would be as though he saved the life of all humanity.' Qur'an: 5:32." 2

  • Shaykh Muhammed Sayyid al-Tantawi, Imam of al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, Egypt:

    "Attacking innocent people is not courageous, it is stupid and will be punished on the day of judgement. ... It’s not courageous to attack innocent children, women and civilians. It is courageous to protect freedom. It is courageous to defend oneself and not to attack." 3

  • Statement by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt:

    "[We] strongly condemn such activities that are against all humanist and Islamic morals. ... [We] condemn and oppose all aggression on human life, freedom and dignity anywhere in the world." 4

  • Statement by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi:

    "Al-Azhar is against terrorism, regardless of its source or target. The killing of innocent men, women, and children is a horrible and ugly act that is against all religions and against rational thinking." 4

  • Shaikh Abdulaziz Al-Ashaikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema [Religious Scholars] issued a statement:

    "Firstly: the recent developments in the United States including hijacking planes, terrorizing innocent people and shedding blood, constitute a form of injustice that cannot be tolerated by Islam, which views them as gross crimes and sinful acts.

    Secondly: any Muslim who is aware of the teachings of his religion and who adheres to the directives of the Holy Qur’an and the sunnah (the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad) will never involve himself in such acts, because they will invoke the anger of God Almighty and lead to harm and corruption on Earth.

    "Thirdly: it is the duty of the Muslim ulema (religious scholars) to make facts clear in this respect, and to clarify that Islam never accepts such acts.

    "Fourthly: the media which try to defame Islam and Muslims in order to rally against them the feelings of various nations, should immediately stop this unacceptable and unjustifiable practice, since all reasonable and just people know that such biased accusations have nothing to do with Islam." 5

  • Shaikh Saleh Al-Luheidan, Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council in Saudi Arabia, stated:

    “As a human community we must be vigilant and careful to oppose these pernicious and shameless evils, which are not justified by any sane logic, nor by the religion of Islam." 6

    Later, he said:

    “And I repeat once again: that this act that the United states was afflicted with, with this vulgarity and barbarism, and which is even more barbaric than terrorist acts, I say that these acts are from the depths of depravity and the worst of evils.”
    Televised statement of September 2001, in Muhammad ibn Hussin Al-Qahtani, editor, The Position of Saudi Muslim Scholars Regarding Terrorism in the Name of Islam (Saudi Arabia, 2004), pages 27-28. 2

  • Shaykh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, spiritual guide of the Hizbullah movement in Lebanon, said that he was:

    "... horrified [by these] ... “barbaric … crimes. ... Beside the fact that they are forbidden by Islam, these acts do not serve those who carried them out but their victims, who will reap the sympathy of the whole world. ... Islamists who live according to the human values of Islam could not commit such crimes." 7

  • Tahirul Qadri, head of the Awami Tehrik Party, in Pakistan, said:

    "Bin Laden is not a prophet that we should put thousands of lives at risk for. ... Bombing embassies or destroying non-military installations like the World Trade Center is no jihad. ... [T]hose who launched the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks not only killed thousands of innocent people in the United States but also put the lives of millions of Muslims across the world at risk." 8

  • Ayatollah Ali Khamene’i, supreme jurist-ruler of Iran said:

    "Killing of people, in any place and with any kind of weapons, including atomic bombs, long-range missiles, biological or chemical weapons, passenger or war planes, carried out by any organization, country or individuals is condemned. ... It makes no difference whether such massacres happen in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Qana, Sabra, Shatila, Deir Yassin, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq. or in New York and Washington." 9

  • Statement by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt:

    "[We] strongly condemn such activities that are against all humanist and Islamic morals. ... [We] condemn and oppose all aggression on human life, freedom and dignity anywhere in the world." 4

  • Statement by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi:

    "Al-Azhar is against terrorism, regardless of its source or target. The killing of innocent men, women, and children is a horrible and ugly act that is against all religions and against rational thinking." 4

  • Muhammad Khatami, President of Iran," addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations on 2001-NOV-09, saying:

    "[T]he September 11 terrorist blasts in America can only be the job of a group that have voluntarily severed their own ears and tongues, so that the only language with which they could communicate would be destroying and spreading death.”
    Address to the United Nations General Assembly, November 9, 2001 (via archive.org). 19

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2003-FEB: during preparations for the 2003 war in Iraq:

  • The Council of Saudi ‘Ulama' issued a fatwa:

    "What is happening in some countries from the shedding of the innocent blood and the bombing of buildings and ships and the destruction of public and private installations is a criminal act against Islam. ... Those who carry out such acts have the deviant beliefs and misleading ideologies and are responsible for the crime. Islam and Muslims should not be held responsible for such actions." 11

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2004-FEB: Sermon, at the time of the Hajj:

  • Abdulaziz bin ‘Abdallah Al-Ashaykh, chief mufti of Saudi Arabia, said after 9/11:

    "You must know Islam’s firm position against all these terrible crimes. The world must know that Islam is a religion of peace and mercy and goodness; it is a religion of justice and guidance. ... Islam has forbidden violence in all its forms. It forbids the hijacking airplanes, ships and other means of transport, and it forbids all acts that undermine the security of the innocent." 6

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2005: Quotation from Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's book: "What's Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West:"

  • The truth is that killing innocent people is always wrong — and no argument or excuse, no matter how deeply believed, can ever make it right. No religion on earth condones the killing of innocent people, no faith tradition tolerates the random killing of our brothers and sisters on this earth. ... Islamic law is clearly against terrorism, against any kind of deliberate killing of civilians or similar 'collateral damage'." 12

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2010-NOV: After a terrorist attack on a church in Iraq

  • Nasser Judeh, Foreign Minister of Jordon:
  • "We condemn the criminal and terrorist act that targeted a church in Baghdad. We condemn all forms of terrorism, particularly targeting civilians. Jordan supports all efforts seeking to enhance Iraq's security

Judeh said that King Abdullah II had expressed his sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the victims of the attack and wished the injured a speedy recovery." 13

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2013-APR: Statement following the bombing at the Baston marathon:

  • Imam Benjamin Abdul-Haqq of Washington’s Masjid Muhammad mosque, shortly after the bombing at the Boston marathon on 2013-APR:
  • "Just because they say they’re Muslim doesn’t make them Muslim. These are criminal acts, not religious acts." 14

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2013-OCT: Sermon, at the time of the Hajj:

  • Saudi's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh at a Hajj sermon, 2013-OCT:

    "Islam does not allow terrorism at any cost. Islam condemns all violence and terrorism plaguing the world today. Muslims should demonstrate a love for peace and unity. ... Oh Muslims be God-fearing; adopt the taqwa (fear of Allah); shun from earning money through unislamic means; hold fast the rope of Allah; don’t be divided into diverse schools of thoughts; and get united against injustice,* 15

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2014-AUG: Statements at the time of the ISIS/Islamic State atrocities in Iraq:

  • Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):

    "We will never allow ourselves to be hijacked by this attempt, and we will not allow the perception to be that there is any religion in the world that condones the taking of innocent life." 16

  • Speech by Mehtab Afshar, head of the Islamic Council in Norway, at a rally against Ïslamic State (ISIS) militants during 2014-AUG:

"They stand for terrorism, they stand for terror ... and we condemn that in the strongest terms." 17

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References used:

The following information sources were used toshasta

prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Muslim leaders condemn terrorism," Frame 4, Huffington Post, 2014-AUG-25, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  2. Charles Kurzman, "Qaradawi et al., Fatwa against 9/11," 2001-SEP-27, at: http://kurzman.unc.edu/
  3. Agence France Presse, 2001-SEP-14
  4. "Condemning aggression,"Al-Ahram Weekly Online, 2001-SEP-13 to 19, at: http://web.archive.org/
  5. "Saudi Grand Mufti condemns terrorist acts in U.S.," Archive.com, 2001-SEP-15, at: http://web.archive.org/
  6. "Public Statements by Senior Saudi Officials Condemning Extremism and Promoting Moderation," Archive.org, 2001-SEP-14, at: http://web.archive.org/
  7. Charles Kurzman, Ïslamic statements agaisnt terrorism," University of North Carolina, at: http://kurzman.unc.edu/
  8. "Former Dodger," Free Republic posting, 2005-JAN-07, at: http://www.freerepublic.com/
  9. "Leader condemns massacre of defenseless people ," Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). 2001-SEP-17, at: http://web.archive.org/
  10. "News headlines in Fri. 9 Nov 2001," Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). 2001-NOV-09, at: http://web.archive.org/
  11. Syed Rashid Husain, "Ulema forbid attack on non-Muslims," Dawn, 2003-FEB-08, at: http://web.archive.org/
  12. book cover image Feisal Abdul Rauf, "What's Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West," HarperOne, (2005). Available in Kindle ebook and paperback formats. Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store

    Amazon.com's book review states:

    "An American imam offers answers for today's toughest questions about Islam, and a vision for a  reconciliation between Islam and the West.

    One of the pressing questions of our time is what went wrong in the relationship between Muslims and the West. Continuing global violence in the name of Islam reflects the deepest fears by certain Muslim factions of Western political, cultural, and economic encroachment. The solution to the current antagonism requires finding common ground upon which to build mutual respect and understanding. Who better to offer such an analysis than an American imam, someone with a foot in each world and the tools to examine the common roots of both Western and Muslim cultures; someone to explain to the non-Islamic West not just what went wrong with Islam, but what's right with Islam.

    Focused on finding solutions, not on determining fault, this is ultimately a hopeful, inspiring book. What's Right with Islam systematically lays out the reasons for the current dissonance between these cultures and offers a foundation and plan for improved relations. Wide-ranging in scope, What's Right with Islam elaborates in satisfying detail a vision for a Muslim world that can eventually embrace its own distinctive forms of democracy and capitalism, aspiring to a new Cordoba - a time when Jews, Christians, Muslims, and all other faith traditions will live together in peace and prosperity."

  13. "Jordon condemns Iraq church attack,"Assyurian International News Agency (AINA), 2010-NOV-03, at: http://www.aina.org/
  14. Posting by "toe2toe," "One thought on Shastawatch," 2013-DEC-26, at: http://cwinston.blogs.redding.com/
  15. "Hajj Sermon: 'Islam Forbids Terrorism,' Says Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh," Huffington Post, 2013-OCT-15, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  16. "Muslim leaders condemn terrorism," Huffington Post, 2014-AUG-25, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  17. "Muslims protest Islamic State in Norway," Huffington Post, 2014-AUG-25, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  18. Kevin Eckstrom, "Muslim leaders: We stand against terrorism," Religion News Service, 2013-APR-19, at: http://www.faithstreet.com/
  19. Syed Rashid Husain, "Ulema forbid attack on non-Muslims," Dawn, 2003-FEB-08, at: http://web.archive.org/

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Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance 
Originally written: 2014-AUG-27
Latest update: 2012-AUG-27
Author: B.A. Robinson

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