In his article examining the siren-call for ‘Muslims to condemn ISIS’, Sunny Hundal makes some excellent points:
- Most of those fighting ISIS, are Muslim.
- Most victims of ISIS, are Muslim.
- Moreover, the same demand is not made of other minorities: notably, Jews were not – are not - being asked to condemn Israel, over its bombardment of Gaza.
However, some troubling aspects need illuminating:
Most importantly, ISIS claim to be acting in line with the Holy Qur’an and Hadith. This is so crucial a point, it is worth repeating - the 'Muslim violence merely reflects Islam' position, is not one simply being taken by antagonists, but by those calling themselves Muslim. The Islamic State's justification - and inspiration - for taking slaves, expelling Christians, public beheadings etc etc, is their interpretation of the ultimate source for Muslims: God's book, and the example laid down by His Prophet (SA):
Here's a more sober explanation of the same ideology:
Finally, the British historian, Tom Holland, covers similar ground here, but with particular reference to the happy-snaps being posted online by ISIS Jihadis, alongside those they behead:
It is therefore undeniable that, for some Muslims, ISIS represent the purest form of Islam, with all other interpretations being some degree of corruption.
In this context, Muslim condemnation of ISIS is not enough – the ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ defence, is, surely, dead. Moreover, given the tsunami of Muslim rage over Israel's collective punishment of Gazans, the Ummah's more muted, even ambivalent, response towards the destruction of churches and the expulsion of Iraqi Christians, and the treatment ISIS have meted out to Yazidis and other minorities, has, rightly, attracted attention.
The Ummah's energy is wasted by crying foul over Anglo-American hypocrisy, however true. It needs urgent focus to defeat ISIS **theologically** – not for purposes of PR, but to reclaim the religion for future generations.