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Egypt’s Top Islamic Authority: ‘Do Not Call It The Islamic State’

August 25, 2014
Picture distributed by ISIS, showing militants including a commander known as Abu Waheeb.

Egypt’s Dar Al-Iftaa, the international flagship institute for the issuing of religious edicts and Islamic legal research since its founding in 1895, has called on international media to no longer refer to ISIS as the ‘Islamic State’ but as Al-Qaeda Separatists in Iraq and Syria (QSIS).

The campaign came days after the Dar Al-Iftaa, which is under the supervision of the Grand Mufti and is Egypt’s top Islamic authority, declared that “whoever sympathizes with the terrorist ISIS with even a word is deemed an accomplice in their crimes against humanity.”

Upon launching the campaign, which has since been written about across Western media outlets, including The Washington Post, Fox News, ABC News, the Huffington Post and more, Dar Al-Iftaa announced that the campaign is aimed at “clarifying the tarnished image of Islam across the globe due to the terrorist group’s horrendous act of attaching the name of Islam to their appalling acts which could not be justified under any religion or creed.”

“Dar al-Iftaa looks for the engagement of both Muslims and non-Muslims around the world to be an active participant in this international campaign which does not only seek to exonerate the name of Islam from the terrorist group’s heinous acts but also to condemn these dreadful acts under the name of humanity,” read a statement released by Dar Al-Iftaa.

The international campaign, which has been echoed by Muslim scholars and figures across the Muslim world, also included the launch of a social media campaign under the motto ‘Call it Qai’da Separatists not Islamic State.’

The Facebook page of the ‘Call it QS not IS’ campaign has gained thousands of likes within just 48 hours of launching and has been sharing educational articles and posts on Islam.

In one post, the Facebook page sent its condolences to the family of beheaded US journalist James Foley, “Muslims mourn today with the family of James Foley. No words can console you after this utter act of horror. You are in our prayers. We send our love for your strength. The Quran has a clear stand against religious intolerance. Killing people for what they believe is what the enemies of prophets (AS) did.”

The launch of the international campaign came after Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam declared on August 13 that ISIS is a “terrorist group that presents a bloody threat to all Muslims.”

Click here to check out Dar Al-Iftaa’s campaign on Facebook.

Comments (12)

  1. Minymina says:

    How about instead of coming up with these BS campaigns, we (Arabs) take the fight to them. I’m certain that militarily action composed by Egypt, U.A.E, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan can wipe them out within days. Hell, Egypt alone can wipe them out by sending in F-16’s. But as usual, we Arabs would rather just wait it out and then complain about war in the middle east.

    1. Bystanding Witness says:

      While one can discuss your “option” of just wiping them out – do you see it feasible that some states just go and bombard the heck out of a group of people who are not to their liking? That would put the Arab states in the same shoes with the US and its “allies” as well as with Israel who bombard whomever they don’t like or whose resources they want. Personally I don’t think that this is the right path.
      Real education instead of brainwashing people (in religious terms and views) would be a much more humane option although it takes longer. But it would be a sustainable long-term way.
      Yet, IF your option would truly be on the table the Arab states must have a mandate by the UN otherwise they are just rogue states. We already have enough of those …
      As a last thought: why don’t we hold those accountable and responsible who created ISIS in the first place? Very much like holding those responsible who created Hamas? Instead we always go and hit and lash out at the messenger …
      Mission accomplished – nobody asks about the financiers, trainers, handlers, weapon suppliers and those who have a vested interest in pitting people against each other!

    2. Minymina says:

      I’m not talking about an invasion. I’m simply stating that we should be helping the Iraqis deal with ISIS and Libya with the Islamist militias. Both nations asked for foreign intervention in this issue and we as fellow Arabs should do something about rather then just sit back and watch terrorist behead people. Unlike the US and it’s EU allies, we have a legitimate reason for going in and taking these extremist group out.

    3. Bystanding Witness says:

      Hi Minymina – Basically I agree with you that these regional issues should be dealt with by the region itself. As you know the region is not allowed to do that. On the contrary – everything is imposed incl. our leaders (see Mursi as the last example). Some say that even Pres Sissi goes into that category. I don’t know.

      “Back when NATO was seeking approval to go into Libya, they asked the Arab league first before the UN.” I would assume, going by the way you write, that you’re an educated person. My remark about the UN was not that serious, sorry. I believe we all know that “approvals” by the UN are just for public consumption. The deal was done long before by those in control of the UN, i.e. the US and its friend(s).

      Just look at how the UN handles the IL/Pal conflict. How many times have the Palestinians called for UN peace keeping forces to protect them? How many times for inquiries? How many times for going to the ICC – the latest call just a few days ago and they’d accept the results? BUT if the US and IL don’t agree – the whole world could stand on their heads and nothing would happen.

      I’m not even saying that matters would be better if it were left to the regional powers. No. But the above is the situation as it presents itself right now.

      I don’t know the right path either but pandering to the highest bidder is not going to solve our problems that’s for sure. We people must start getting really involved in the political process and take matters serious. Requesting this and requesting that … and then sit back and watch is not going to bring results. And to close the circle – this requires education first as the way it presents itself today the one with the best offer for security (both in terms of physical and emotional) paired with a religious undertone gets the people on his/her side without being asked about the motives. That’s NOT how it should be.

      Admittedly we’re in a mess and this is why we need checks and balances to hold our governments at all time accountable for their doings and take corrective actions where necessary. Even if that means disposing of an elected government before its time is up. Equally we should support our government in its strive to better the overall situation and not just put in demands.

      Again take the ME so-called peace process as an example: why are the very basic human rights denied to the Palestinians and Egypt is firmly aligned with US/IL? If this inhumane blockade is not lifted and the Palestinians (I’m not talking about Hamas or any other party – I’m talking about PEOPLE) can not get somehow a life in dignity the extremists on both sides get more canon fodder as the days pass by. This is in the interest of all political parties – but is it in the interest of the people on both sides who are yearning for peace? No. This is why people everywhere start seeing the truth and stand up.

      Sorry that this got a bit long but we should not be deceiving ourselves anymore.
      Have a good day!

    4. michael says:

      dear bystanding witness
      I agree with you about educating people but how can you educate animals?

    5. Bystanding Witness says:

      Hi Michael – believe me animals can be educated! I’ve had cats and dogs and it always worked out well ;-). Seriously – the Egyptian education system has been systematically destroyed over the last 30 yrs – together with not controlling the population growth – add to that corruption and a few other things … I don’t envy Pres Sissi at all! He needs all of our support if there’s a ray of hope.

    6. Semweni says:

      Cats and Dogs are capable of compassion. The animals he refers to are not. IMO 🙁

    7. Semweni says:

      It takes a lot to get moderate people, especially moderate Arabs, to fight each other. It’s easy for extremists, on either side of the coin, to fight-it’s what they live for. I totally agree with you though-I think if Arabs would take more thorough and brisk measures to take down such organizations, the world would be a better place.

      And let’s face facts: if the world saw Arabs and Muslims taking actual, physical action to all-out fight extremist networks (outside of the Muslim Brotherhood, and outside of Egypt), it would make a massive difference in international relations, as well as anti-Arab, anti-Islamic sentiment.