Canada’s Muslim community took a stand against Islamic State recruiting Canadian people for extremist activities. Imam Syed Soharwardy, on behalf of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, issued a fatwa against the terrorist organisation.
The fatwa, a religious edict, was issued by Soharwardy and 37 other Imams of the country. There is only one American among the Imams while everyone else is based in Canada.
While the fatwa was issued against IS forces, it did not mention other Middle Eastern extremist groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate which reportedly has a number of Canadian fighters. This is, however, not the first time a fatwa was issued against IS forces. Islamic leaders in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UK have previously issued fatwa against the militant group.
Soharwardy is the founder of the Calgary based Islamic council which he established in 2000. He also founded “Muslims Against Terrorism.” He has been working on the prevention of the radicalisation of the Canadian youth. According to the Islamic leader, IS fighters violate the teachings of the Quran.
According to Soharwardy, the extremist organisation is “not sincere to Islam.” He believes that the group works more on its political ideology than its religious faith. He also said that the organisation was based on “greed or temptation to control the area.”
Soharwardy explained why some of the Islamic leaders were reluctant to take a stand against IS. He blamed it on threats of retaliation. “In my opinion I am doing the right thing standing up against this evil which is not only disturbing the peace of the world but is also responsible for killing thousands and thousands of Muslims around the world,” Soharwardy said. He said that he was not worried that he might be targeted by IS followers in Canada.
According to Oren Steinitz from the Mount Royal University in Calgary, the fatwa has a significant message to convey. The professor of religious studies that the Imam put IS “in the same rubric as the most radical group that Islam has ever had.” Steinitz added that the real strength of a fatwa would depend on the number of followers of the person who issued it.
Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au