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Compendium of Muslim condemnations of terrorism

Muslims are often accused of not doing enough to condemn terrorism. This is incorrect. Muslims regularly and vigorously condemn terrorism but this does not get reported enough. Accordingly I have started my own compendium of condemnations.

Posted 12 December 2014 updated 26 March 2017

Some other compendia I have come across

Muslim entities condemning Charlie Hebdo attacks

Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks

A listing of fatwas against terrorism

Fatwas, rulings and authoritative statements against terrorism in Islam

Google Docs spreadsheet listing over 5,700 condemnations. This was prepared by a student spending three weeks on it. She was mentioned in the Guardian on 26 March 2017 and has now constructed the website Muslims Condemn to hold her expanding compendium.

Like many other Muslims, I am fed up with hearing the refrain "Why do Muslims not speak up and condemn the terrible things that are done in the name of Islam?"

Sometimes this question is used as a tactic by anti-Muslim bigots, but in most cases the question is asked genuinely. The reality is that Muslims have condemned terrorism time and again. However quite often the media gives very little coverage to the condemnations. They may get a slight mention, and then they are forgotten. Even as someone who is particularly interested in these issues I cannot remember all of the major condemnations that have been issued.

Accordingly I have created this page and will add to it from time to time condemnations that I regard as particularly significant. The condemnations are listed in reverse date order. There are of course many condemnations issued by me and others which are not included; the page would become endless.

22 March 2016 Conservative Muslim Forum condemns the terrorist attack in London

The CMF issued a statement Today's horrific terrorist attack in London on its website about the vehicle and knife attack outside Parliament which was circulated by email to all members and supporters.

20 December 2016 Conservative Muslim Forum condemns the Berlin attack

The CMF issued a statement on the Berlin Christmas Market Attack on its website which was circulated by email to all members and supporters.

29 June 2016 Conservative Muslim Forum condemns the attack on Istanbul airport

The CMF issued a Statement on the killings at Istanbul Airport on its website which was circulated by email to all members and supporters.

13 June 2016 Conservative Muslim Forum condemns the killings in Orlando

The CMF issued a website statement The killings in Orlando yesterday which was circulated by email to all members and supporters.

22 March 2016 Conservative Muslim Forum condemns the bombings in Brussels

The CMF issued a website statement CMF shocked by today's bombings in Brussels which was circulated by email to all members and supporters.

14 November 2015 Conservative Muslim Forum condemns the Paris attacks

The CMF issued a website statement CMF horrified by yesterday's attacks in Paris which was circulated by email to all members and supporters.

3 July 2015 Dewsbury Imams and Scholars condemn ISIS

Dewsbury was the home of Talha Asmal who became a suicide bomber for ISIS in Iraq. On Wednesday 1 July 2015 Dewsbury Imams and Scholars representing 18 of the town’s mosques made a joint statement. Some extracts are quoted below:

“ISIS is an oppressive and tyrannical group which is killing innocent civilians, prisoners of war, journalists, and anyone who refuses to endorse their ideology. These actions are all opposed to Islamic teachings. ISIS is a deviant, extremist group and it is prohibited according to Islamic scriptures to support them. It is in fact an obligation upon all Muslims to actively oppose their poisonous ideology.

We categorically condemn all actions of violence, violent extremism, killing and destroying buildings and places of worship in any circumstances – be it committed by ISIS or any other such organisation. This is against the teachings of Islam, which is a religion of peace, compassion and mercy. We call upon all the youth of Dewsbury and beyond to remain steadfast in the face of the empty claims and promises made by ISIS."

There is more in the report of The Press newspaper.

27 June 2015 Conservative Muslim Forum condemns the killings in Sousse

The full CMF statement on its website is reproduced below.

Even in a world where terrorist carnage seems a daily occurrence, yesterday stood out with terrorist attacks on three continents.

In Tunisia innocent holidaymakers, including many fellow Britons, were murdered by gunmen whose aim seems to be to wreck the economy of a country which is doing its best to emerge as a genuine Arab democracy. In Kuwait Shia Muslims at Friday prayers were slaughtered by a suicide bomber with the apparent motive of sparking sectarian hatred between Muslims. In France we saw a gruesome murder; fortunately the attempt to kill more people by setting off an explosion failed.

Our prayers are with the deceased and for their relatives and friends who have been so cruelly bereaved.

A common theme unites all three incidents. It is what our Prime Minister David Cameron in his recent speech in Bratislava called “Islamist extremist ideology”.

This is an ideology as evil and as destructive as Bolshevism and Fascism, albeit an ideology falsely wrapped in the language of the religion of Islam. It is an ideology that can and will be defeated, by people of goodwill coming together to reject it and to stand up for the shared human values that unite righteous people of all religions and none.

16 March 2015 South African Ulama [Religious scholars] Press Statement on the Islamic State

A number of groupings of South African Islamic scholars have issued a joint statement which forthrightly condemns the so called "Islamic State."

A key extract is copied below.

The Islamic State (IS) is guilty of unambiguous and obvious violations of Islamic Law; it has perpetrated brazen brutality in the name of Islam. It’s litany of felonies include:

  1. Declaring an Islamic State with no legitimate Sharia procedure or consultation
  2. Branding Muslims as disbelievers
  3. Rejecting rulings of Islamic scholars
  4. Killing Muslims who differ with their ideology
  5. Accusing whoever opposes them of treachery and betrayal
  6. Refusing to subject themselves to an arbitrated settlement as demanded by the Quran
  7. Fighting fellow jihad military divisions in Syria
  8. Capturing and kidnapping activists, journalists and religious figures
  9. Brutally murdering non- Muslim ‘enemies’
  10. Compelling non- Muslims to embrace Islam

The IS draws its cue from the dogma of the Khawarij [also called Kharijite] sect which is premised on Takfeerism – Branding those who differ with them as apostates. The progression from Takfeerism to the spill of blood is both rapid and obvious which the IS has flaunted like emblems of pride, video-taped and uploaded for the whole world to see!

8 January 2015 The Muslim Council of Britain condemns the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris

The Muslim Council of Britain issued a statement which is on its website. A brief extract is below:

"Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: 'Nothing justifies the taking of life. Those who have killed in the name of our religion today claim to be avenging the insults made against Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace. But nothing is more immoral, offensive and insulting against our beloved Prophet than such a callous act of murder.  Our thoughts, prayers and solidarity go to  the families of the victims and the people of France.

Naturally, and unfortunately discussion will now fall on the right to intentionally publish hurtful material that denigrates religious figures and traditions. But however offended we may be, the ultimate denigration of our faith comes from these murderers who have unjustifiably taken life.'"

8 January 2015 The Conservative Muslim Forum condemns the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris

The Conservative Muslim forum statement on its website was drafted by me. A short extract is below:

"It was only some three weeks ago that we saw religion being used to justify the murder of innocent school children in Peshawar in Pakistan. Yesterday, assuming the above reports are correct, we saw religion being used to justify murder in Paris. Such unfounded claims seeking to justify murder in the name of Islam are indeed abominable and are a perverse distortion of a religion which preaches peace.

We call upon all French citizens to give the maximum possible support to the French police in apprehending these killers, and in foiling any other terrorist plots that may be being planned. We also hope that France will come together as one unified nation the way the UK did after the 7 July 2005 London bombings. We note that one of the two policemen who died doing their duty, Ahmed Merabet, was a French Muslim.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) died of natural causes nearly 1400 years ago. He needs no avenging. Satirical cartoons of him published by magazines like Charlie Hebdo have no power to damage his reputation; nor do the actions of those who commit murder in his name."

17 December 2014 The Dialogue Society condemns the attacks in Peshawar and Sydney

The Dialogue Society is a charity I have supported and collaborated with for a number of years. They issued a statement on these attacks which also has wider messages. One short quote:

"Those who commit such acts must know that they will only succeed in turning us against them, and that society at large of all faiths, religions, cultures and backgrounds will unite against those who commit terrorist actions, regardless of their so-called justifications, motivations or ideology."

16 December 2014 Conservative Muslim Forum condemns the Peshawar school attack

I wrote the statement issued by the Conservative Muslim Forum. One quote:

"There is no political cause which can justify mass murder of this kind. It is also an abomination when organisations such as the Pakistani Taliban use the language of religion to justify their crimes."

25 November 2014 Professor Joel Hayward (Shaykh Yusuf Moustafa Muhammad) condemns violent expressions of Islam

Joel Hayward is a convert to Islam originally from New Zealand who I have met several times. He has written about what the Quran says about war. His statement "Where I stand" is unequivocal. One brief quote:

"I firmly oppose and denounce the ISIS (the so-called Islamic State, or Da’ish), al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood and groups like them, and I utterly reject the notion that their struggles or goals legitimately constitute jihad."

3 October 2014 Muslim Council of Britain condemns the murder of Alan Henning

Full text of the statement from Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain on the MCB website:

“This reported murder is a despicable and offensive act, coming as it does on the eve of the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha. It is quite clear that the murderers of Alan Henning have no regard for Islam, or for the Muslims around the world who pleaded for his life. Alan was a friend of Muslims, and he will be mourned by Muslims. In this period of Hajj and this festival of Eid, Muslims remember the mercy of God and the emphasis God places on human life. Alan Hennings murderers have clearly gone against that spirit of Islam. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

25 September 2014 Over 120 Muslim scholars condemn the leader of ISIS Dr. Ibrahim Awwad Al-Badri, alias ‘Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’ in an open letter.

The magazine Slate has a short report.The full text of the 20 page open letter is on a dedicated website. Hundreds of others have subsequently signed up to support the letter, including me.

I have reproduced the Executive Summary below. Each of these points is expanded upon in the full letter which is comprehensive and damning.

  1. It is forbidden in Islam to issue fatwas without all the necessary learning requirements. Even then fatwas must follow Islamic legal theory as defined in the Classical texts. It is also forbidden to cite a portion of a verse from the Qur’an—or part of a verse—to derive a ruling without looking at everything that the Qur’an and Hadith teach related to that matter. In other words, there are strict subjective and objective prerequisites for fatwas, and one cannot ‘cherry-pick’ Qur’anic verses for legal arguments without considering the entire Qur’an and Hadith.
  2. It is forbidden in Islam to issue legal rulings about anything without mastery of the Arabic language.
  3. It is forbidden in Islam to oversimplify Shari’ah matters and ignore established Islamic sciences.
  4. It is permissible in Islam [for scholars] to differ on any matter, except those fundamentals of religion that all Muslims must know.
  5. It is forbidden in Islam to ignore the reality of contemporary times when deriving legal rulings.
  6. It is forbidden in Islam to kill the innocent.
  7. It is forbidden in Islam to kill emissaries, ambassadors, and diplomats; hence it is forbidden to kill journalists and aid workers.
  8. Jihad in Islam is defensive war. It is not permissible without the right cause, the right purpose and without the right rules of conduct.
  9. It is forbidden in Islam to declare people non-Muslim unless he (or she) openly declares disbelief.
  10. It is forbidden in Islam to harm or mistreat—in any way—Christians or any ‘People of the Scripture’.
  11. It is obligatory to consider Yazidis as People of the Scripture.
  12. The re-introduction of slavery is forbidden in Islam. It was abolished by universal consensus.
  13. It is forbidden in Islam to force people to convert.
  14. It is forbidden in Islam to deny women their rights.
  15. It is forbidden in Islam to deny children their rights.
  16. It is forbidden in Islam to enact legal punishments (hudud) without following the correct procedures that ensure justice and mercy.
  17. It is forbidden in Islam to torture people.
  18. It is forbidden in Islam to disfigure the dead.
  19. It is forbidden in Islam to attribute evil acts to God.
  20. It is forbidden in Islam to destroy the graves and shrines of Prophets and Companions.
  21. Armed insurrection is forbidden in Islam for any reason other than clear disbelief by the ruler and not allowing people to pray.
  22. It is forbidden in Islam to declare a caliphate without consensus from all Muslims.
  23. Loyalty to one’s nation is permissible in Islam.
  24. After the death of the Prophet Islam does not require anyone to emigrate anywhere.

17 September 2014 Over 100 Muslims' open letter calling for Alan Henning's release

The Independent newspaper carried a letter signed by over 100 British Muslim leaders calling for Alan Henning to be released and condemning ISIS and terrorism. The full text is on the Independent website and I have copied some brief quotes below:

"The un-Islamic fanatics are not acting as Muslims, but as the Prime Minister has said, they are acting as monsters. They are perpetrating the worst crimes against humanity. This is not Jihad - it is a war against all humanity."

"British Muslim communities have done a great deal to speak out over the evils of terrorism over many years. We will continue to do everything within our power to prevent any other young man or woman getting caught up in this poisonous ideology."

14 September 2014 Muslim Council of Britain condemns the murder of David Haines

An extract from the statement by Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain on the MCB website:

“David Haines went out to the region to help the people of the region. That extremists chose to murder him only shows once again the depravity of their warped ideology. They have killed so many innocent people in the region, and they perform such murders only to draw attention to their cause of destruction.”

“These extremists in Iraq and Syria claim to be acting in the name of Islam. But there is nothing in our faith that condones such behaviour. Muslims in Britain and around the world have condemned these people, and the arguments they use have been refuted comprehensively as being far from the religion of Islam.”

31 August 2014 Muslim clerics issue a fatwa against "Islamic State" (IS)

The Sunday Times reported a fatwa against British Muslims supporting IS. The full text of the fatwa is also on the Sunday Times website.

To quote just three paragraphs:

4. The IS persecution and massacres of Shia Muslims, Christians and Yazidis is abhorrent and opposed to Islamic teachings and the Islamic tolerance displayed by great empires such as the Mughals and Ottomans.

5. Based on all of the above: IS is a heretical, extremist organisation and it is religiously prohibited (haram) to support or join it; furthermore, it is an obligation on British Muslims to actively oppose its poisonous ideology, especially when this is promoted within Britain.

6. British and other EU citizens are bound by their duties to their home countries according to Islamic theology and jurisprudence: it is therefore prohibited (haram) to travel to fight with any side in Syria, including non-state actors, since this is forbidden by laws in EU countries.

20 August 2014 Muslim Council of Britain condemns ISIS

Quotes from the press release which is on the MCB website:

"ISIS does not speak for Islam, and has been repudiated by all Muslims. Their message only appeals to those who are easily duped by their twisted message purporting to be Islam. They seek to glamorise their violence, and unfortunately, the media has a part to play in adding to that glamour."

"We urge the media in refraining from giving them any further undue exposure beyond conventional reporting. And we urge Muslim communities to re-double their efforts in coming together, condemning the barbarity of ISIS and persuading those gullible enough to take in their message that they are on a path to futility."

20 August 2014 Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia condemns ISIS

The Saudi Gazette newspaper website reported the condemnation by Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority. A short quote below:

“The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism... have nothing to do with Islam and (their proponents) are the enemy number one of Islam,”

“Muslims are the main victims of this extremism, as shown by crimes committed by the so-called Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and groups linked to them,”

13 August 2014 Egypt’s top religious authority condemns ISIS

Shawqi Allam, Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar, the highest religious authority in Egypt was reported in "The Daily Star" newspaper of Lebanon as condemning ISIS. A short quote is below.

“An extremist and bloody group such as this poses a danger to Islam and Muslims, tarnishing its image as well as shedding blood and spreading corruption,”

11 August 2014 Secretary General of the Arab League condemns ISIS

The Arab League is the organisation that brings together a number of Arab majority states (22 at the time of writing). Its Secretary General Nabil Elaraby denounced "'crimes against humanity' committed by jihadists in Iraq against the minority Yezidi sect, demanding the perpetrators be brought to justice."

25 July 2014 Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation condemns ISIS

The Vatican Radio website reported :

The most explicit condemnation came from Iyad Ameen Madani, the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the group representing 57 countries, and 1.4 billion Muslims.

In a statement, he officially denounced the "forced deportation under the threat of execution” of Christians, calling it a "crime that cannot be tolerated.” The Secretary General also distanced Islam from the actions of the militant group known as ISIS, saying they "have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for justice, kindness, fairness, freedom of faith and coexistence.”

11 July 2014 Over 100 British imams condemn ISIS

They produced a four minute video condemning ISIS as an illegitimate, vicious group who do not represent Islam in any way.

7 July 2014 The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) condemns ISIS

The statement is on the CAIR website. It is quite short so I have reproduced it in full below.

"American Muslims view the actions of ISIS as un-Islamic and morally repugnant. No religion condones the murder of civilians, the beheading of religious scholars or the desecration of houses of worship. We condemn the actions of ISIS and reject its assertion that all Muslims are required to pay allegiance to its leader."

"CAIR strongly urges American imams and other community leaders to continue to speak out against American Muslims traveling abroad to join extremist groups and sectarian militias. While ISIS uses romanticized imagery in its propaganda materials, its human rights abuses on the ground are well-documented."

19 December 2013 Muslim Council of Britain speaking when Woolwich murderers were convicted

A quote from the statement by Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain on the MCB website:

“The murder of Drummer Lee Rigby was truly a barbaric act. Muslim communities then, as now, were united in their condemnation of this crime. This was a dishonourable act and no cause justifies cold-blooded murder.”

23 September 2013 Muslim Council of Britain condemns terrorist killings in Kenya, Pakistan and Iraq

A quote from the statement by Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain on the MCB website:

"These are acts that have no basis in our faith, and no cause should condone the slaughter of innocents. These people who perpetuate these murders have no regard for the sanctity for human life."

22 May 2013 Conservative Muslim Forum condemns the Woolwich murder of Drummer Lee Rigby

I wrote the text on behalf of the Conservative Muslim Forum. To give just a short quote:

"No political or ideological beliefs can justify such a crime. Any claim by the killers to be acting in the name of Islam is specious, and invoking God’s name while committing a crime is an obscene action offensive to all Muslims.

As well as facing prosecution and punishment by the legal system, in the fullness of time the killers will answer to God on the Day of Judgement for their crimes."

The full text is on the CMF website.

21 March 2012 Conservative Muslim Forum condemns killings in France

I wrote the text on behalf of the Conservative Muslim Forum. To give just a short quote:

"Firstly three French soldiers (two Muslims and one Catholic) were murdered and then three young Jewish children, two of them brothers, have been murdered along with the father of the two brothers. All of these murders were carried out in cold blood.

The murder of anyone is a monstrous crime. God says to us in the Quran, verse 5.32, Muhammad Asad translation, “Because of this did We ordain unto the children of Israel that if anyone slays a human being unless it be [in punishment] for murder or for spreading corruption on earth - it shall be as though he had slain all mankind”. The crime becomes even more appalling when the victims are young children."

The full text is on the CMF website.

2 March 2010 Issue of 600 page "Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings" by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri

The fatwa is reviewed in detail on my website, which also explains how the full text can be purchased or downloaded free as a PDF.

21 May 2009 A similar article by Kamran Pasha

His article "The Big Lie About Muslim Silence on Terrorism" makes the same points as this page, and has many useful links.

11 September 2001 Many American Muslim organisations condemn the 9/11 attacks

The website has a page where a number of American Muslim organisations and Muslim leaders condemn the 9/11 attacks.


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