I want to comment properly on ISIS.
This can be made easier for me by just using what Tariq Ramadan has said about ISIS today (sorry Tariq, no particular reason why I chose you, they won't care what you say anyway, or me, but it's just easier for me to do it this way!). He states:
"What the jihadi extremists are doing in northern Iraq is hateful and anti-Islamic. Mistreating Christians and removing crosses from churches is a clear betrayal of Islamic principles. These men, supposedly acting in the name of Islam, must be confronted, first, by the Muslims from around the world, determined to denounce them (and those who control them), condemn their behaviour and resist their actions, in the very name of Islam. This is our dignity, this is our duty. NB: and, of course, we must also condemn what they do to their fellow Muslims and all the people of other faith, without exception."
I agree with what he says about ISIS being extremist, and that there is much hate and ignorance that drives them on. They are as politically naive as what you would expect from a motley crew of folks who just came into possession of an Aladdin's cave of weapons and think that they can just blast their way to an Islamic State.
Their murdering those who (a) don't agree with them, or (b) are part of other Resistance groups fighting against Al-Assad, or (c) those who were employed in civil positions in the Maliki government, is their biggest and most catastrophic crime, one which makes them the enemy of Ahlus-Sunnah. No doubt about it. It is absolutely haram to even "harm" your Muslim brother by pointing a weapon at him playfully, so what then of taking his LIFE whilst he says "La ilaha illallah"!
And no, I don't take my news or facts on such sensitive issues except from those who are directly involved or on the ground locally and who I personally trust. There is no question about the facts of the above.
The final thing I agree with is the way they are targeting fellow Muslims and non-Muslims in a frenzy of imaginary Islamic politik. This is to be condemned without doubt. But not for the "humanist" reasons Ramadan mentions but instead because of reasons that are Islamically unsound.
ISIS have assumed for themselves the status of an Islamic State. Their supporters are now so deluded with this rhetoric that they have established a Caliph and have been demanding allegiance as well. There is not a single scholar of any worth - and in particular, those scholars that ISIS-minded folks previously would have taken as authorities - that considers ISIS to be a legitimate Islamic State or to be a group that is upon the Haqq.
This is important to understand before anything else. Because those matters which are ijtihad and/or politically based such as taking jizyah from Christians and the Yazidi Mushrikin, which typically cannot be condemned because they fall under well-established ahadith and fiqh rulings, CAN actually be condemned because such ijtihad is only possible from a legitimate Islamic authority. And the problem here is that ISIS are *not* an Islamic authority, they just believe they are and want to force it that way.
That is why the People of Knowledge will not make the crimes of ISIS into something which they're not. Justice is paramount and it doesn't befit Ahlus-Sunnah to make up lies or to speak without 'ilm. Yes, ISIS is a creation of the Enemies of Sunni Islam - not some conspiracy theory direct creation like all these stories about Mossad and the US etc etc, but by that I mean they came into creation as a counter reaction to the horrific crimes of their enemies: all those who (a) want the Sunnis wiped off the face of the Earth and have been doing their best to do that in Iraq over the last decade i.e. Iran, and (b) those Western *and* Eastern foreign countries which have been *indirectly* supplying ISIS with weapons and funds in order to keep the Muslims killing each other, remaining weak, and keep Iran busy so that they don't harm their own national interests.
That is why in the West, the idiotic ISIS mistakes, extremism and indeed crimes against the minorities such as the treatment of the Christians etc and their destruction of infrastructure and religious sites have now been turned into bigger crimes than they actually are and of course with a blind eye turned to the real massacres and oppression of the Sunni Muslims at the hands of the Iraqi authorities for the last decade.
That is why however much we condemn the actions of the ignorant deviant groups such as ISIS, we must not let our bigger enemies dictate our agenda. ISIS are not bigger enemies or a bigger danger to Ahlus-Sunnah than those who slaughter the Sunnis, curse the Sahabah, and rape, torture and oppress innocent people in the hundreds of thousands in Syria and no-go areas of Iraq.
And that is why Ramadan's last point - I even wonder if he realises what he is saying - is so horribly wrong. He says that "the Muslims must resist their actions in the very name of Islam" which in practical terms means "fight them."
You might have wondered why many scholars don't just call a spade a spade and say "ISIS are khawarij" and that will be the end of it. Well, it is exactly because that "end of it" will lead to a vicious cycle of the killing of Sunni Muslims by one another as history has shown so many times before.
Our advice to those who come across them is to just get out of their way and not to fight them, even if they make takfir of you. I am not a pacifist. Not by any means. And if someone is attacked personally, then he is allowed to fight back and defend himself and even kill if necessary. But to organise yourselves into a unit to fight them formally is exactly what our Prophet (peace be upon him) told us to avoid when it comes to the Believers. We don't have wahy that makes them Khawarij like the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) would be able to recognise if he was here. We can warn against them and show how they are Khawarij-esque etc. We don't make takfir like ISIS do. We don't want to fall into the trap of giving them exactly what they want: ISIS expect us to be anti-Islam and pro-Kufr and thus fight them and give them the excuse that they are fighting "in the very name of Islam" just like we want be seen to be "resisting in the very name of Islam".
ISIS are a deviant group, a transgressing party which has waged war on all those who stand in their way whether friend or foe. But we will not make their blood halal like they make our blood halal. We condemn them but we condemn their enemies - our enemies - even more.
Here in the West, we warn against them and their actions, and we warn all those young youth in the UK/US/Europe/Australia who think ISIS is some kind of dream come true, that ISIS is some kind of Khilafat'l-Rashidah, that ISIS must be supported and must be made Hijrah to, that this is all ignorance and a huge mistake and just stay where you are and do nothing. Yes, do nothing. Because your "nothing" i.e. non-support of ISIS is better for you and your Din than your support and joining them.
Posted by Abu Eesa on Facebook on 7 August 2014CE.