(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/30/14) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced today that Muslim groups and individuals worldwide may now endorse the open letter signed by more than 120 international scholars of Islam and Muslim leaders refuting the ideology of the terrorist group ISIS and urging its supporters to repent and "return to the religion of mercy."
CAIR, along with the Fiqh Council of North America and a number of national and local Muslim scholars and leaders, released the letter last week at a National Press Club news conference in Washington, D.C.
The open letter -- which uses classical religious references and covers 24 issues such as "the killing of innocents," "killing of emissaries," "jihad," "declaring people non-Muslim," "torture," and "the caliphate" -- is a result of deliberations by dozens of experts on Islamic law and offers a point-by-point deconstruction of any claimed religious justification for ISIS's brutal actions.
[NOTE: The open letter, the original of which is in Arabic, has been translated into English and German. SEE: http://lettertobaghdadi.com/translations.php ]
In its executive summary, the letter notes that Islam forbids the killing of innocent people, including diplomats, journalists and humanitarian aid workers. It also states that any jihad may only be defensive in nature with strict rules of conduct, that it is forbidden to harm religious minorities like Christians and Yazidis, and that it is forbidden to practice slavery, destroy religious shrines or deny the rights of women.
To read the entire letter and initial list of signatories, go to: http://lettertobaghdadi.com/index.php
Individuals and organizations wishing to endorse the open letter should go to: http://lettertobaghdadi.com/support.php
"Those signing this important letter send a strong message to ISIS and to the world community that Muslims reject religious extremism and repudiate those who would carry out acts of violence while falsely claiming to represent Islam," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
CAIR has repeatedly condemned the "un-Islamic and morally repugnant" violence and religious extremism of ISIS.
SEE: CAIR Condemns Killing of Journalist Steven Sotloff by 'Anti-Islamic' Terror Group ISIS
CAIR: ISIS Is Not Just Un-Islamic, It Is Anti-Islamic (TIME)
Video: CAIR Director Interviewed by BBC About Scholars' Open Letter Refuting ISIS Ideology
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
- END -