Arab Muslims deride ISIL 'caliphate' as un-Islamic

[04-07-2014 01:37 AM]

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - Muslims speaking with Al-Shorfa from across the Arab world rejected the call by the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) to swear allegiance to its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and to accept the establishment of his "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria.

ISIL, whose violent acts have drawn outcry in the region and world, does not have the authority nor the ability to establish a "caliphate", they said.

"What ISIL is doing is in complete contradiction of the principles of the Islamic caliphate: a righteous caliphate which preserves the rights of all people, and respects all people and the opinions of others who are of different faiths, race, time and place," said Sheikh Khaldoun Oraymet, secretary-general of Lebanon's Supreme Islamic Council.

Its actions are offensive to the principle and method of the righteous caliphate, and they contradict Islam, he told Al-Shorfa, adding that ISIL's pledge of allegiance to al-Baghdadi is not a pledge by all Muslims.

The goal of Islamic dawah (proselytising) "is tawheed (oneness) in God, taarof (acquaintance so peace may prevail) and compassion among people", Oraymet said, asking, "Does what ISIL is doing lead to all of that?"

"Al-Baghdadi and ISIL do not meet any of the conditions of the Islamic caliphate, not by any stretch," he said. "Muslims reject what he claims, and his threats will fall on deaf ears."

Besides, he added, the call for the establishment of a caliphate is out of its time and place.

A caliphate is normally established after the entire Islamic ummah (nation) unanimously agrees to do so, Oraymet said. It requires that the rulers and people of influence led by religious scholars meet to consider that nation's interest and decide to have a sole leader, sole army, sole flag and vast territory.

Only then can all Muslims pledge allegiance to the caliphate, he said.

"On the other hand, if Arab and Muslim countries currently recognise each other's borders and do not agree on a single ruler, and scholars and jurists have not submitted an opinion on the establishment of a caliphate, then no group of people, whoever they are, have the right to declare a caliphate," he said.

Oraymet said all Muslims in Lebanon and in Arab and Muslim countries are "definitely and decidedly not obligated" to comply with ISIL calls.


The announcement of the "Islamic caliphate" is unacceptable in the name of religion and threatens Islam more than anything else, Abdul Ghani Ibrahim, an employee at a Lebanese publishing house, told Al-Shorfa.

"Forcing us to pledge allegiance to the so-called caliph is dictatorial and unacceptable," he said. "There is no place among us for such a caliphate; it does not even exist in our dictionary or thinking."

"While what was announced is not worthy of comment or publicity," said Lebanese contractor Imad al-Danna, "the Islamic dawah is not accomplished in this manner and is not imposed on anyone. Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) did not impose the Islamic state on anyone, so who is al-Baghdadi to make those claims?"

"There is no place for this group, which distorts religion with its terrorist practices," he added.

Jordanian sales manager Mohammed al-Sheikh described the caliphate as a "farce".

"ISIL and its supporters are terrorists, and their actions they are gangs whose only aim is to spread chaos and destruction," he said.

The voices and forces of moderation will not allow ISIL to transform their region "with its terrorism and violent methods", al-Sheikh added.

Adel Khalil, a Jordanian national and father of five, echoed his sentiment.

ISIL and its followers do not represent "the true moderate humanitarian Islam which calls for peace", he said.

Who authorised these ISIL terrorists to appoint themselves as leaders over the Muslims, he asked.

"These ignorant people think they can impose their control, but that is impossible because people are familiar with their terrorist acts, killing and bloodshed," Khalil said. "We, in the Arab countries, thirst for democracy, and ISIL's terrorist approach will not meet with support or acceptance."


The idea of a caliphate is "outdated by hundreds of years and is no longer viable on the ground", Omani political analyst Ahmed al-Balushi told Al-Shorfa. "No one can any longer drive the masses to something they disapprove of."

"How can a group that has neither a political ground nor a popular base in any country in the world, and is even viewed by the vast majority of Muslims as a terrorist group, appoint itself as a ruler of peoples who reject its ideological orientation and practices?" he said.

In Egypt, accountant Mahmoud Omran also rejected the "caliphate".

"It is a shame that the criminal Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi could be a caliph for Muslims," he said. "What caliph is appointed over the Islamic ummah when he is nothing but a gangster in a gang whose occupation is theft and murder, and most importantly, a gang leader whose occupation is trading in religion?"

The Arab people in general, and Muslims in particular, "are not so naive as to consent to this farce [carried out] in the name of religion", Omran said.

Saudi merchant Rashed al-Jahni told Al-Shorfa that what ISIL is doing is a mockery and denounced its announcement of a caliphate and appointment of a caliph as "categorically unacceptable".

Those who fall into ISIL's trap are "imbued with distorted religious teachings taught by extremist preachers who only serve extremist religious gangs", he said, adding, "It is time to get rid of these extremist groups which have offended Islam and Muslims."

Twenty-four-year-old Yemeni Omar Ali Ahmed also condemned ISIL's caliphate announcement, saying: "It is impossible for us to submit ourselves to a group that is addicted to killing and bloodshed for no reason other than to murder."

"It is impossible for me to swear allegiance to them, even if I were the last Arab citizen to do so," Ahmed told Al-Shorfa.

Sheikh Zaid bin Abdul Rahman bin Yahya, head of Al-Noor Centre for Studies and Research in Sanaa, said ISIL's announcement tampers with the values of Islamic sharia and matters of the Islamic caliphate.

"Those who announced the caliphate are ignorant of sharia policies in Islam, because a caliphate is not established simply by someone announcing it and announcing [the appointment of] someone as a caliph," said bin Yahya, who is a member of the Yemeni Scholars Association.

Such a declaration is unacceptable, he said, both in terms of the manner in which it was done and the person pegged as "caliph", especially as his hands are stained with blood.

"What al-Qaeda and its affiliates like ISIL are doing killing, shedding innocent blood, and carrying out destruction and devastation is incompatible with the meaning of the caliphate, which is to build, construct and preserve the lives of individuals," bin Yahya said.


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