Ever since the Islamic State (ISIS) came into being or as they prefer to say, formed a “caliphate” in June, right-wing pundits in American media have criticized Muslims for not speaking out against the militant organization.
Matters became worse after the tragic death of American journalist James Foley. Hosts and analysts including ABC News’ Laura Ingraham and Fox News’ Sean Hannity – yet again – took it up as an opportunity to target Muslims all over the world.
Fox’s Andrea Tantaros went as far as saying that the whole religion of Islam was essentially the same as ISIS and implied all Muslims should be met “with a bullet to the head.”
However, contrary to whatever these xenophobic analysts might want to assert, the fact remains that Muslims denounce ISIS and their diabolical tactics as much as the rest of the international community.
As we can derive from Tantaros’ statement, the existence of the terrorist group is further fueling Islamophobia all over the world. It’s only adding to the miseries of a religious community already misunderstood in the era of the so-called "War Against Terror."
Therefore, in order to help people understand that terrorism does not represent Islam, Muslims all over the world are coming together to condemn ISIS.
On Aug. 12, Indonesia, the nation with the largest Muslim population in the world, officially banned support for the terrorist group.
Moreover, on Thursday, the country’s president called the actions of ISIS militants "embarrassing" to the religion and urged Islamic leaders to unite in tackling extremism.
"We do not tolerate it; we forbid ISIS in Indonesia," said Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, adding, "Indonesia is not an Islamic state. We respect all religions."
The Iranian president denounced ISIS fighters as "killers and terrorists," and promised to protect Iraq’s Shiite shrines.
"I advise Muslim countries that support the terrorists with their petrodollars to stop," said Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani in a television broadcast.
"Tomorrow you will be targeted... by these savage terrorists. Wash your hands of killing and the killing of Muslims," he said.
Tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee as terrorist took over Iraq's largest Christian town Mosul.
Holding posters that read, "I am Iraqi, I am Christian,” around 200 Muslims reportedly joined Iraqi Christians at a rally in Baghdad in July.
Egypt’s top religious authority condemned ISIS earlier this month, describing it as a corrupt, extremist organization that is damaging the reputation of Islam.
“An extremist and bloody group such as this poses a danger to Islam and Muslims, tarnishing its image as well as shedding blood and spreading corruption,” said Al-Azhar’s Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, the state news agency MENA reported.
Formed in Cairo, Egypt, the Arab League – a regional organization of Arab countries in and around North Africa, the Horn of Africa and Southwest Asia – denounced ISIS attacks as “crimes against humanity.”
“The perpetrators must be held accountable and brought to international justice,” stated Arab League Chief Nabil al-Arabi, adding, “These terrorist crimes amount to crimes against humanity that cannot be overlooked.”
Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh issued a statement on Tuesday that was released by the Saudi Press Agency.
"Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on earth, destroying human civilization are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims," said al-Sheikh.
United States of America
America’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, condemned ISIS as "un-Islamic and morally repugnant.”
“American Muslims view the actions of ISIS as un-Islamic and morally repugnant. 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 and reject its assertion that all Muslims are required to pay allegiance to its leader,” CAIR said in a statement.
The Islamic Society of North America reiterated the same point:
"ISIS actions against religious minorities in Iraq violate the Quranic teaching,” said ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid. "Their actions are to be denounced and are in no way representative of what Islam actually teaches."
British Muslims also expressed "grave concern" at the repeated attacks by ISIS on shrines and places of worship in Iraq.
"We vehemently condemn such threats that are abhorrent to all Islamic values and principles, and cannot be considered as representative of any denomination within Islam,” declared the group of senior Muslims said during a meeting in the Palace of Westminster.
"Acts of violence and brutality committed by ISIS are un-Islamic and barbaric," they concluded.
A wide range of Muslims living in Norway mobilized for a major demonstration against Islamic extremists both in the country and abroad last week.
“We’re tired of seeing (extremist groups such as) ISIS and Profetens Ummah dominate the debate,” said one of the organizers, 28-year-old student Thee Yezen Obaide.
“It goes against what we Muslims believe,” he told newspaper Dagsavisen. “What’s happening in Syria and Iraq is a bloodbath. ISIS does not represent Islam.”