Extremist ideologies must be countered, says Muslim World League chief

Islam forbids the targeting of civilians? Where?

Western laws of war, which developed recently, in historical terms, established the categories of combatants and non-combatants. The Qur’an divides people by religion–Muslims and non-Muslims. If you are a non-Muslim, and you are at war with Muslims, you have no protections. If you are a woman or a child, you may be spared, but enslaved.

To be fair, until the period after the Thirty Years War the West was little better. Our concepts of warfare are recent (since the seventeenth century) and Western! The Islamic world often wages war under the concepts outlined not by the Europeans of the Enlightenment, but by what’s written in the Qur’an and by the model of the Prophet Muhammad as a military leader.

That’s why groups such as ISIS manage to sell their concept of warfare (terror) around the world. Their arguments are based on Scripture, not the interpretations of Imams such as Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa.

Terrorists, extremists and those with political agendas should not be allowed to exploit religion and to distort religious texts to serve their own narrow self-interests.
So said the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, in a speech at a gala organized by the Washington Institute for Near East Studies in Washington on Thursday.
Al-Issa joined Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute, on a panel where he was questioned about the best way to counter violent extremism.
Asked about whether he agrees with the notion of a “moderate Islam”, Al-Issa said that it is important to acknowledge that there are extremist Muslims who have distorted the moderate and tolerant essence of true Islam.
He added that all that extremist ideologies must be countered, including Islamophobia. Daesh is the biggest beneficiary of Islamophobia because it allows it to recruit more followers, he added.
He also said that Islam unequivocally forbids the targeting of civilians “anywhere on earth.”


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