Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ibrahim Issa on ISIS and the Barbarity Found in Islam's Early Sources

The Egyptian journalist and television personality Ibrahim Issa spoke some harsh words to Muslim religious leaders, pointing out that "Nobody [Among Them] Dares to Admit That ISIS Crimes Are Based on Islamic Sources" (Memri, February 3, 2015, Clip No. 4773).

The video can be viewed by clicking on "Memri Video" under the image, but for ease of access and saving time, here's the transcript, from which I quote:
Whenever ISIS carries out an act of barbarity, such as decapitations, throat slitting, or the burning of a person alive, as they did today, various sheiks tell you . . . that this has nothing to do with Islam, that Islam is not to blame, and whatever. But when the people of ISIS perpetrate slaughter, murder, rape, immolation, and all those barbaric crimes, they say that they are relying on the sharia. They say that this is based on a certain hadith, on a certain Quranic chapter, on a certain saying of Ibn Taymiyyah, or on some historical event. To tell the truth, everything that ISIS says is correct . . . . All the evidence and references that ISIS provides to justify its crimes, its barbarity, and its horrifying, criminal, and despicable violence . . . . All the evidence and references that ISIS provides, claiming that they can be found in the books of history, jurisprudence, and law, are, indeed, to be found there, and anyone who says otherwise is lying . . . . [Whenever ISIS members] kill a person claiming that he is an infidel, when they rape women, when they kill prisoners, and when they slaughter and decapitate people, they say that the Prophet Muhammad said so. Indeed, the Prophet said so! . . . None of those [Al-Azhar clerics {in Egypt}] . . . . have the courage . . . to admit that these things are indeed to be found [in Islamic sources] . . . . I would like to see a single Al-Azhar cleric in Egypt have the courage to admit that Abu Bakr burned a man alive. That's right. He burned Fuja'ah [Al-Sulami]. This is a well-known historical story.
Issa goes on to argue that massive reinterpretation of Islamic sources is needed, and he urges Muslims to condemn the barbarous commands and acts found in the early sources, or at least to argue that those commands and acts were uttered and committed, respectively, in a context limited to the era of early Islam.

Let's hope to see more of this honest, critical self-reflection by Muslims.

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