India Sunni and Shiite Muslims have united against the rise of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), asserting that the actions of destroying holy sites, supporting sectarianism and divisions between Muslim groups cannot be attributed to a true Islamic state.
“The call [for a] caliphate by ISIS is an attempt to create misunderstanding among Muslims and to divide them across the globe,” Zulfiqar Ahmad Chamman, All India Shia Sunni Front general secretary told Khabar South Asia, referring to ISIL by its other name ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).
“Sectarianism and infighting between various groups have already ruined the life of Muslims and this will further deepen the divide among various schools of thought.”
A same position was announced during an anti-ISIL rally by the All India Shiite Sunni Front last August 6th at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
“Shiite and Sunni should unite together and fight against [this] evil,” Chamman said.
“Loss of life by the terrorists of ISIS can never ever be the jihad in the way of Allah.”
Arif Siddiqui, editor-in-chief of the Urdu language Delhi newspaper Rabta Times, shared a similar opinion.
“We are united against them and have no confusion that they are enemies of Islam and don’t belong to any thought of school of Muslims,” he told Khabar.
“They (ISIL) have nothing to do with the unity and prosperity of Muslims. They are trying to create division between Shiites and Sunnis.”
The world focus was turned to the volatile area after Al-Qaeda splinter group, ISIL, seized control of Iraq’s second city of Mosul on June 10, storming government buildings, TV stations, banks and hoisting the blacks.
The fall of Mosul followed that of Tikrit, Anbar’s Fallujah and Ramadi as well as other parts since last December.
The situation on the ground has further deteriorated after Iraq’s most senior Shiite Muslim scholar Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged followers to take up arms against a Sunni militant insurgency in Iraq.
Last June 30, ISIL made a surprise announcement of the establishment of a new Islamic “caliphate” and changed its name into the Islamic State.
The declaration was made in an audio recording distributed online in which ISIL declared its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “the caliph” and “leader for Muslims everywhere”.
According to Indian Muslim scholars, ISIL’s destruction of worshipping houses and killing of innocent people was according to a plan to provoke worldwide sectarian divisions.
“What was the motive behind the destruction of Muslim holy places and killing of innocents? It can’t be a part of a caliphate movement,” said Maulana Wali Rahmani, a renowned scholar who heads the Bihar-based NGO Rahmani Foundation.
“Whosoever claims to be the representative of Allah, can never be a killer of humanity, destroyer of the properties and demolisher of the shrines; such people are surely misguided [and] unaware of the Islamic caliphate,” Rahmani said.
Other scholars condemned ISIL for misinterpreting Islam and misappropriating the Qur’an and Shari`ah to fit their actions.
“The individuals or organizations who want to project Islam as a violent religion and interpret Qur’an and Hadith (sayings of the Prophet) according to their whims and wishes, are enemies of Allah,” Maulana Naseem Akhtar, Hadith professor at Darul Uloom Deoband, told Khabar.
“Muslims should be mindful and unite against such forces. They should be exposed in every part of the world, as they do not belong to Muslims.”
Condemnations to ISIL’s actions were not limited to Indian scholars.
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Islamic group has condemned ISIL, urging the government to take firmer action against the possible spread of the movement in Indonesia.
The Islamic Student Union (HMI) has also condemned Indonesian Muslims condoning and adhering to ISIL’s ideology.