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Muslim statements condemning terrorism

Statements by Muslim individuals and
groups, mostly outside of North America

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Prof. Charles Kurzman of the Department of Sociology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has collected dozens of statements by Muslim academics, authors, commentators, politicians, theologians etc which condemn religiously motivated violence. The collection spans the interval from 9/11 (2001-SEP-11) to the present time.

A few examples:

  • 2001-SEP-13: Muslim Brotherhood, an opposition Islamist group in Egypt, said it was "horrified" by the attack and expressed "condolences and sadness:"

    "[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."

  • 2001-SEP-14: 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)."

  • 2001-SEP-13: Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the Sunna and Sira Council, Qatar:

    "Our hearts bleed for the attacks that has targeted the World Trade Center [WTC], as well as other institutions in the United States despite our strong oppositions to the American biased policy towards Israel on the military, political and economic fronts. Islam, the religion of tolerance, holds the human soul in high esteem, and considers the attack against innocent human beings a grave sin, this is backed by the Qur’anic verse which reads: ‘Who so ever kills a human being [as punishment] for [crimes] other than manslaughter or [sowing] corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and who so ever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind’ (Al-Ma’idah:32)."

  • 2001-SEP-15: Abdulaziz bin ‘Abdallah Al-Ashaykh, chief mufti of Saudi Arabia:

    "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."

  • 2001-SEP-27: Shaykh Yusuf Qaradawi, Qatar; Tariq Bishri, Egypt; Muhammad S. Awwa, Egypt; Fahmi Huwaydi, Egypt; Haytham Khayyat, Syria; Shaykh Taha Jabir al-Alwani, U.S.:

    "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. ... [It is] necessary to apprehend the true perpetrators of these crimes, as well as those who aid and abet them through incitement, financing or other support. They must be brought to justice in an impartial court of law and [punished] appropriately. ... [It is] a duty of Muslims to participate in this effort with all possible means."

  • 2002-SEP-09: 57 leaders of North American Islamic organizations, 77 intellectuals, and dozens of concerned citizens:

    "As American Muslims and scholars of Islam, we wish to restate our conviction that peace and justice constitute the basic principles of the Muslim faith.  We wish again to state unequivocally that neither the al-Qaeda organization nor Usama bin Laden represents Islam or reflects Muslim beliefs and practice. Rather, groups like al-Qaeda have misused and abused Islam in order to fit their own radical and indeed anti-Islamic agenda.  Usama bin Laden and al-Qaeda's actions are criminal, misguided and counter to the true teachings of Islam."

  • 2003-JUN-30: Dr. Sayed G. Safavi, Iranian religious scholar and director of the Institute of Islamic Studies, London, England:

    “The targeting of innocent persons cannot be allowed. Islam is against any form of terrorism, whether it be carried out by an individual, a group or a state. ... For Muslims to kill civilians unconnected with any attack on them is a crime. The principal law of Islam is: don't attack civilians. This includes civilians of any faith, whether Jewish, Muslim or Christian. According to Islam, all people are the family of God. The target of religion is peace.”

  • 2005-MAR-17: Islamic Commission of Spain: "Text of the Fatwa Declared Against Osama Bin Laden:"

    "Muslims, therefore, are not only forbidden from committing crimes against innocent people, but are responsible before God to stop those people who have the intention to do so, since these people 'are planting the seeds of corruption on Earth'.... The perpetration of terrorist acts supposes a rupture of such magnitude with Islamic teaching that it allows to affirm that the individuals or groups who have perpetrated them have stopped being Muslim and have put themselves outside the sphere of Islam."

  • 2005-JUL-18: Fatwa signed by more than 500 British Muslim scholars, clerics, and imams:

    "Islam strictly, strongly and severely condemns the use of violence and the destruction of innocent lives. There is neither place nor justification in Islam for extremism, fanaticism or terrorism. Suicide bombings, which killed and injured innocent people in London, are HARAAM - vehemently prohibited in Islam, and those who committed these barbaric acts in London [on 2005-JUL-07] are criminals not martyrs. Such acts, as perpetrated in London, are crimes against all of humanity and contrary to the teachings of Islam. ... The Holy Quran declares: 'Whoever kills a human being… then it is as though he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a human life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.' (Quran, Surah al-Maidah (5), verse 32) Islam’s position is clear and unequivocal: Murder of one soul is the murder of the whole of humanity; he who shows no respect for human life is an enemy of humanity."

  • 2005-JUL-25: Fiqh Council of North America, an association of 18 Muslim legal scholars. The fatwa was endorsed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), the Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers (AMSE), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and more than 130 Muslim organizations, mosques and leaders in the United States:

    "We have consistently condemned terrorism and extremism in all forms and under all circumstances, and we reiterate this unequivocal position. Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians' life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram - prohibited in Islam - and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not 'martyrs.'"

  • 2005-DEC-09: Organization of the Islamic Conference, Summit Conference:

    "We are determined to fight terrorism in all its forms. ... Islam is the religion of moderation. It rejects extremism and isolation. There is a need to confront deviant ideology where it appears, including in school curricula. Islam is the religion of diversity and tolerance."

  • 2007-JUL-10: Islamic Society of North America:

    "The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) condemns in the strongest terms the recent acts of terrorism in Glasgow, London and Yemen. We reaffirm our long-standing, unqualified condemnation of all acts of terrorism and all acts of violence committed against the innocent, and our denunciation of religious extremism and particularly the use of Islam to justify terrorism in any of its forms. We sympathize with the victims of these senseless attacks and offer our heart-felt condolences to the families who have lost their dear ones."

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References used:

  1. Charles Kurzman, "Islamic Statements Against Terrorism," University of North Carolina, at: http://www.unc.edu/ This essay has links to over a dozen other websites containing lists of statements by Muslims condemning terrorism.

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Site navigation:

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

Home page > Morality> Condemnations of terrorism > here

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Copyright remains with the original authors
Originally posted: 2010-MAR-22
Latest update: 2010-MAR-22
Author: B.A. Robinson

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