Let there be no compulsion in religion. --Qur'an 2:256

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Muslims in Germany protest against extremist Islamic State group

Thousands of Muslims in Germany have taken part in a “Day of Peace” to protest against the Islamic State extremist group.

The event was organized by mainstream Muslim organizations to emphasize that the vast majority of believers reject the group’s ideology and its brutal actions in Syria and Iraq.   »»» Fox News

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Muslim extremists account for far less terrorist attacks on U.S. soil than of all other major religious groups.

According to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database, Jewish extremist terrorist attacks account for 7% percent of all acts of terrorism, compared with 6% committed by Muslims on U.S. soil. These Jewish extremist groups are no different than Al-Qaeda or ISIS in their sociopathic ideology. However, most Americans are unable to name even one of the 18 terrorist attacks committed by Jewish extremist groups, such as the Jewish Defense League.

This is because of the disparity in media coverage, in which one-dimensional reports on Muslim extremist terrorism completely neglect the other 94 percent of terrorist attacks committed by other religious extremist groups on American soil.

It is time for these long-time detrimental stereotypes to be broken. Islam is not a perennial and existential threat to the West. Islam is not an intrinsically violent or a terrorism-fueled religion. Every terrorist attack is not committed by Muslim extremist groups, contrary to mainstream media reports. The proof is out there. Just open your eyes and see.   »»» AddictingInfo.org

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Muslim scholars call on Islamic State to release British hostage

Three high-profile, conservative British Muslim clerics have made a direct appeal to the Islamic State (Isil) to release the British hostage Alan Henning, warning that killing him would go against Islamic law.

The latest plea to free Henning, an aid worker who was kidhnapped in Syria last year, comes from a judge on the Sharia council in London, a Manchester-based cleric and an Imam from Lewisham. All belong to the highly conservative Salafi strand of Islam.

In a video posted on YouTube on Friday, Shaykh Haitham Al Haddad, a judge on the Sharia Council, said: “This is to confirm that executing this man is … impermissible, prohibited according to Sharia.”

Henning, 47, a taxi driver from Eccles in Salford, was driving an ambulance in an aid convoy when he was kidnapped just half an hour after crossing the Syrian border on Boxing Day 2013. He is the latest hostage to be threatened with beheading by the Islamic State, appearing at the end of a video in which fellow British hostage David Haines was murdered.

Ustadh Abu Eesa, Manchester-based cleric, said he would “personally vouch” for Henning, warning that killing him would “deface” the religion of Islam.

Imam Shakeel Begg, of the Lewisham Islamic Centre, quotes from the Koran in the video, explaining that there is “no justification in our religion that allows you to continue to hold him let alone harm him”.

They were joined by a jihadi ideologue based in Jordan.

Abu Mohammed al-Maqdisi, who was released by Jordan in June after serving a five-year sentence on terror charges, said in a statement posted on his website that non-Muslims who aid needy Muslims should be protected.

Al-Maqdisi said Henning worked with a charitable organisation led by Muslims which sent several aid convoys to help the Syrian people. “Is it reasonable that his reward is being kidnapped and slaughtered? … He should be rewarded with thanks.”

“We call on the (Islamic) State to release this man (Henning) and other aid group employees who enter the land of Muslims with a guarantee of protection… according to the judgment of Shariah law,” he said, adding that he hoped to “protect the image of Islamic Shariah law from being disfigured.”

Their appeal follows a statement signed by more than a hundred Muslim leaders from various groups, including the Muslim Council of Britain, and published by the Independent, calling for Henning’s life to be spared.    »»» Telegraph U.K.

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Isis NOT Islamic, Australian imams say

Australian imams have called for the term “Islamic” not to be used when referring to the Islamic State (Isis) group, saying it serves only to give credibility to the group’s claims of religious authority.

There was nothing Islamic about its murderous actions, the Australian National Imams Council said, and the phrase “Islamic State” referred to an era when Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together harmoniously.

“Since the Isis group was established we have been very clear about denouncing their lies and betrayal of our faith,” the grand mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Mohammad, said in a statement on Monday.

“These criminals are committing crimes against humanity and sins against God. Forced eviction, threats of execution and burning of places of worship including churches have no place in any faith.”   »»» theguardian.com

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French Muslim leaders denounce Islamic State

The most prominent Muslim leaders in France have joined in an unprecedented condemnation of the Islamic State’s persecution of Christians.

In a “Paris Appeal,” issued on September 9 at the Grand Mosque in Paris, the French Islamic leaders “unambiguously denounce these terrorist acts, which are crimes against humanity, and solemnly declare that these groups, their supporters, and their recruits cannot lay claim to Islam.”

The Paris Appeal condemns the “barbarians” for their brutality, and insists that “their rash calls for jihad and their campaigns to indoctrine young people are not faithful to the teachings and values of Islam.”   »»» CatholicCulture.org

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Muslim leaders in U.S. condemn ISIS

In uptown Charlotte (NC) today, the president of the Muslim American Society joined fellow Muslim leaders and called on local media outlets to highlight the differences between the Islamic faith and the extremists who carry out the ISIS agenda.

“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,” said Osama Idlibi.    »»» WBTV

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Islamic State kills another US hostage–Steven Sotloff

An Islamic State video has appeared which purports to show the beheading of Steven Sotloff, a US journalist being held hostage by the militants.

Mr Sotloff, 31, disappeared in Syria in 2013. He appeared at the end of a video last month which showed fellow US journalist James Foley being killed.

A militant in the latest video also threatens to kill a British hostage.   »»» BBC News

The members of ISIS are heretics, renegades and blasphemers.

It is an important Islamic duty to treat prisoners of war kindly and gently, be hospitable to them, and provide them with food and clothing. They must never be subjected to ill-treatment or torture. The Qur’an says, that the believers give food out of love for Allah to the poor and the orphan and the captive (Al-Insan 76:8). Furthermore it is forbidden to take innocent non-combattants hostage since they are not responsible for the actions of others.

The Prophet gave this general order: “Be sure to treat captives kindly.” He is also reported to have said “Be kind to your prisoners, and let them have their afternoon rest, and provide them with water to drink.” After the Battle of Badr, the Prophet ordered that those unbelievers who were taken captive should be treated kindly. Complying with his order, the Companions of the Prophet gave the captives food before they themselves ate.

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British Muslim leaders issue fatwa AGAINST would-be jihadists

Muslim leaders have issued a fatwa condemning British jihadists.

The fatwa prohibits would-be jihadists from joining the “oppressive and tyrannical” Islamic State (Isis) in Iraq and Syria, the Sunday Times reported. It said the imams had ordered Muslims to oppose the promotion of the “poisonous ideology” of Isis in the UK.

Six senior Islamic scholars have endorsed the fatwa, the first of its kind issued in the UK, describing Britons allied to Islamic State cells as “heretics”.    »»» British Muslim leaders issue fatwa against would-be jihadists | UK news | theguardian.com

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The big players in the growth of Islamic fashion online

Islamic veiling is a global political issue and the debate tends to move in two different directions: it’s framed as either a matter of the freedom of female self-expression or as emblematic of gender inequality and suppression. Its role as a fashion statement is rarely discussed.

The biggest players in the development of Islamic fashion are young Muslim fashion bloggers. These young Muslim women, sharing ideas, styles and trends with one another, have become pseudo-celebrities within the blogging world.

Last year Vogue reported that demands for designer fashion in Middle Eastern and Islamic regions have grown in the last few decades. This boom has given rise to Muslim fashion designers who create clothing especially designed to cater to a market of fashion-loving modest women.

In 2007 a Chicago-based journalist, Miraiam Sobh, developed the first online entertainment site for Muslim women wanting to keep up with Western culture and fashion. The website, better known as HijabTrendz introduced fashion trends to Muslim women living in the United States. Many Muslim women have since followed suit by posting videos on YouTube, providing step-by-step tutorials and how-to guides on different ways to wear hijabs.   »»» The Conversation

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Religion is NOT the main motivator for ISIS

Like Al-Qaeda and other militants, ISIS offers a militant warped and distorted Salafi brande of Islamic ideology/religious rationale or rationalization to justify, recruit, legitimate and motivate many of its fighters. Much of what they do violates Islamic law, its unabashed acts of terrorism: slaughter of civilians, savage use of beheadings, killing of innocent Muslims and Christians. While there are similarities between ISIS and other terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda in their ideological worldview and tactics, there is also distinctive difference. ISIS seeks to create a state, to occupy and control areas, to govern, not just to dream of or speak of but to create and impose their version of a transnational caliphate, with its harsh version of law and order. At the same time, they are far more ruthless in driving out, suppressing and executing Shiah and Kurds, Sunni imams/religious leaders and others who disagree, as well as minorities such as Christians and Yazidis, demanding conversion to their warped and extraordinarily violent brand of Islam. Having populations forced to publicly pledge their allegiance (baya) to the caliphate in exchange for which they are offered security, a mafia like version of “protection” and social services.

Is religion (Islam) the primary driver of this so-called Islamic caliphate?

While religion/Islam, a particularly harsh and distorted version, does play a role to legitimate, recruit, and motivate, studies of most jihadists and movements, like ISIS, show that the primary drivers are to be found elsewhere. As in the recent past, so too today, this has remained true for Europeans and Americans who have joined ISIS.

Studies by the EC’s European Network of Experts on Violent Radicalization on radicalization in Europe as well as those by terrorism experts like Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist and former CIA officer and the University of Chicago’s Robert Pape) on global terrorism and suicide bombing have found that in most cases religion is not the primary source of most extremist behavior. In many cases terrorists are neither particularly religiously literate nor observant. Drivers of radicalization include moral outrage, disaffection, peer pressure, the search for a new identity, and for a sense of meaning, purpose and belonging. For many it is the experience or perception of living in a ‘hostile’ society, disenfranchisement and heightened political consciousness, anti-imperialism and social justice, emancipation and the personal search to be a good Muslim or the headscarf as liberation, bringing together a constellation of narratives. The vast majority of the Muslim populations of Europe are also members of a visible ethnic minority. Their experiences are therefore likely to be shaped by experiences such as xenophobia, lower employment and educational levels and, more recently, Islamophobia.

Mehdi Hassan in a recent (Aug 21, 2014) Huffington Post blog post cited an MI5 briefing report on radicalization (2008), which noted, “far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practice their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could… be regarded as religious novices.” Analysts concluded that, “a well-established religious i∂dentity actually protects against violent radicalization.

Moreover, ISIS’s use of Islamic texts as well as its savage and disproportionate slaughter of military and civilians, among its many other policies, are CONTRARY to the prescriptions of Islamic law.   »»» ISIS: Informed Comment

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