Some Muslim voices have strongly rejected recent fatwas [issued by the Islamic State (IS)] that call for the killing of citizens [whose countries are] participating in the international coalition against IS.
Australia's grand mufti, Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, commented on these fatwas, telling An-Nahar, “Assaults on human freedom and dignity and killing are not accepted or advocated by any humanitarian law. One shall not incite to shed the blood of others and prejudice their honor.” Abu Mohamed rejected violence, counterviolence and any act of violence that may come from individuals, groups or states, saying, “Violence is unacceptable in all its forms and people should live in safety.”
He called on the international community to distinguish between groups demanding their own freedom and those spilling the blood of innocents. He said, “There are groups facing tyranny and subject to practices that prevent them from living freely and expressing their beliefs, and there are other groups who are shedding the blood of people and prejudicing their honor in the name of Islam.”
He added, “I call on people in Australia to remain calm, to act rationally and not based on their instincts and steer clear of escalation. Love should prevail over hatred. Here, we enjoy complete freedom and we must not lose this privilege as a result of calls for actions and reactions.”
He said that Australian society does not discriminate between Muslims and Christians and that everyone wants to live in peace without being disrupted by any foreign provocations. “We do not want any foreign conflict to be transferred to Australia, and we support the measures undertaken by the Australian authorities to prevent any attack in the country. However, this must be done within the framework of the law. The law must not be violated in such a way that worsens the situation and leads to an unwanted reaction.”
Answering a question about the arrests in Australia and whether they were directed against Islam, he said, “The Muslim community in Australia accounts for half a million people and the recent arrests targeted 15 houses. One person was indicted and investigations are still ongoing. These arrests are not directed against Islam but against terrorist groups seeking to undermine Australian security.”
Commenting on the incident that took place at the Maronite College in Harris Park in Sydney, he said: “It is totally unacceptable. It does not only affect Christians, but we are also subject to such behaviors. This incident may be isolated, but we condemn all forms of such behaviors. I met today with some Christian officials and we discussed our problems and concerns regarding the current situation.”
Abu Mohamed called on the international community to deal with current world events with one standard — the standard of justice. He said, “There should be no dual standard in dealing with these sensitive issues, since this could lead to irrational insurgencies. I hope the international community will think sensibly and handle the ongoing events according to the standard of truth.” He said that whoever financed, trained and armed IS must answer these questions with full transparency.
The grand mufti sent a message to those who called for the killing of Australians, saying: “Go back to your senses. This is not preached by Islam. If you want to commit massacres, do not do so in the name of Islam and do not speak on behalf of Islam.”