The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has again denounced the actions of Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, saying their attempts to create a ‘caliphate’ was violating laws governing Christian minorities living under Muslim rule. The MJC was commenting on a recent video purported to be that of IS fighters, pledging their allegiance to the armed group. A man said to be from South Africa is also featured in the video, which has sparked concern from local religious bodies.
The 20 minute video, “Eid Greetings from the Land of Khilafah” has gone viral. It depicts the lives of so-called “foreign” fighters in the Islamic State as they call on their countrymen to join in the fight against the “kufr” infidels of the Western world. In the visuals, some of the fighters are seen praising the achievements of the IS.
Over the weekend, the KwaZulu-Natal Jamiatal Ulama said it received “reliable reports” that South African men were being recruited to join IS.
“Muslims should be aware of falling prey to these deceptive claims of Khilafat (caliphate) when it is driven by western intelligence political agendas,” the ulema body was quoted as saying.
While the MJC declined to comment on the recruitment of foreign fighters to IS, in a statement on Monday, the ulema body referred to the indigenous Christian communities of Mosul as “actions that violates the rights of minorities as prescribed by Islamic Law”.
“These communities have lived in peace along with the Muslim community for centuries in a city where church bells intermingled with the Islamic call to prayer. Islamic law governs Muslim leadership towards upholding and implementing justice and affords all groups protective rights as a prerequisite towards peaceful coexistence. It was precisely these guidelines that paved the way for all denominations living under Muslim rule in countries like Spain and Palestine for centuries,” the ulema body stated.
“Likewise, while the Christian community have lived in Mosul and Nineveh for 1700 years, they enjoyed the protection and peace guaranteed them as a minority under Islamic Law since Muslims governed the country. These communities agree and accept a form of tax to the state in return for their protection and peaceful coexistence under Muslim rulers.
“We therefore in the strongest terms reject the current actions by ISIS as it is not in conformity with Islamic Law. We convey our sympathies to the Christian families who find themselves having to leave their place of birth as they travel to Kurdistan for refuge.” VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)