Time for all to condemn Islamic State for their violence


Fighters from Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant hold their weapons as they stand on confiscated cigarettes before setting them on fire in the city of Raqqa

Islamic State fighters in Syria are seen here with confiscated cigarettes to be burnt last month. The group’s brand of extremism and atrocities against fellow Muslims in the name of Islam has only been condemned by two Muslim leaders, Dr Mahathir and Indonesian president Susilo Bambang. – Reuters pic, August 21, 2014.

Thus far, only two global Muslim leaders have come out to condemn the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) – or Islamic State (IS), as they call themselves now – for their violence and large-scale slaughter in both the Middle East countries.

Former Malaysian prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Dr Mahathir condemned the group four days ago, saying it has misinterpreted Islam which is a religion of peace.

“There is no place for violence in Islam. Islam is a religion of peace and some people have wrongly interpreted the religion,” Dr Mahathir told reporters after a youth forum in Putrajaya.

Yudhoyono today called the actions of IS militants “embarrassing” to the religion and urged Islamic leaders to unite in tackling extremism.

“It is shocking. It is becoming out of control,” he said in an interview with The Australian, a day after IS released a video showing a masked militant beheading US reporter James Foley, provoking worldwide revulsion.

“This is a new wake-up call to international leaders all over the world, including Islamic leaders,” he said, adding that the actions of IS were not only “embarrassing” to Islam but “humiliating”, the newspaper reported.

But other leaders, particularly Muslim leaders in Malaysia, have been quiet. Not a peep, not a word about a group that has killed more people, including Muslims, in the past year than any other group or even Israel in Gaza.

Yes, Israel must be condemned for its disproportionate use of force and violence in Gaza against Hamas. There is no defense for the occupying force that has killed more than 2,000 in this round of violence.

But the silence over IS is deafening.

The militant group, built on the remains of Al-Qaeda in 2013, have even issued an annual report for last year boasting it had 15,000 armed men that have carried out at least 10,000 terror attacks.

This year, it has become more violent, killing Muslims and Christians alike and this week, beheading a journalist.

Yet, not one word of condemnation from Muslim leaders in Malaysia.

No one except Dr Mahathir has come out to speak against the atrocities by IS.

Aren’t we the country that set up the Global Movement of Moderates? Shouldn’t our leaders condemn this outright now rather than keep silent?

As it is, Malaysian police have reported that a few militants have been procuring explosives for raids against breweries and other facilities. And one more Malaysian militant has been killed in Syria.

What are we waiting for? IS is doing a great disservice to Islam and Muslims around the world. We need to condemn them and anyone following their ideology. Now. – August 21, 2014.
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