Washington, DC: The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) August 14 strongly condemned the extreme and repugnant principles and actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), says an MPAC message. It adds:
The rise of ISIS and their rapid expansion in Iraq and Syria is an imminent cause for concern for not only local civilians facing their deadly threats, but also for regional and international stability.
Days after taking Mosul in early June, ISIS released a decree to residents of the surrounding Nineveh province which outlines 16 rules they must follow. In the guise of Islam, ISIS spells out that apostates face death, graves and shrines are outlawed, stealing will be punished by amputation, and women should stay indoors. The group has declared it “incumbent upon all Muslims to pledge allegiance…and support” to ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. By imposing their distorted and inhumane vision of religious practice, ISIS is violating the core Qur'anic teaching that “there shall be no compulsion in matters of faith” (2:256).
“This ‘caliphate’ is a disturbed and failed attempt to recreate the glory days of the Islamic civilization of over 1,000 years ago, yet it is a forgery of anything close to Islam," MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati wrote last week in an op-ed for the Huffington Post. “For the most part, groups like ISIS have lost that understanding by eroding their connection to their own history and religion and thus corrupting their Muslim identity. ISIS is the toxic and dogmatic response to centuries-old colonial propaganda that aimed to demonize and dehumanize the Muslim world.”
ISIS also continues to brutally oppress Shia Muslims, Christians and Yazidis, killing thousands and forcing others to convert or flee. Their forces have reportedly destroyed Shia places of worship, as well as the tombs of Imam Abbas and Prophet Jonah, a key figure in Jewish, Christian and Islamic and traditions.
SEE ALSO: “Diagnosing the Sectarian Disease of ISIS” (MPAC)
In Nov. 2013, MPAC released the “Declaration Against Extremism,” authored by MPAC’s co-founder and senior adviser Dr Maher Hathout, which calls out the dangers of extremism and issues a clear call for action.
The Declaration challenges Muslims to respond to all forms of extremism through engagement, positive articulations of theology and a willingness to stand up to and push back against those voices who use the garb of religious authority to further their own political and social agendas.
Last week, MPAC launched a social media campaign Called #ISpeakOutBecause to raise the collective voices of those outraged by violations of human rights and free speech taking place around the world.