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ISIS theology originated from Saudi institutions: Al-Nadawi

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Maulana Salmaan Al Husaini al-Nadwi, a highly respected Indian scholar who serves as Dean of the Faculty of Shariah at the world-renowned Darul-uloom Nadwatul Ulama in Lucknow in India, addressed a gathering of local ulema at the Islamia Auditorium on Thursday to tackle the phenomenon of extremism in the modern era. The discussion, entitled “Unmasking ISIS”, addressed the impact of the world’s most influential terror group on the lives of Muslims the world over.

Amongst the key area of focus were the historical references of ISIS, its ideologies and theological foundations, as well as its framework of operations. The discussion also reflected on the origins of extremism as a whole.

Much of the scholar’s discussion traced the group’s extremist views to the education systems and institutions in Saudi Arabia. Shaykh Isgaak Taliep, who was amongst those in attendance, provided a rough breakdown of al-Nadwa’s address.

“He reflected on the specific influences (of extremism) that emerged from the schools of thoughts located within the Najd area, located in what is today known as Saudi Arabia. He also reflected on how those institutions, especially the Islamic University of Madina have from time to time been overtaken and controlled by persons whose own thoughts have veered very clearly towards extremism,” he noted.

Reflecting on this, the scholar noted that such ideologies and attitudes had down the years been entrenched into the minds of students and graduates at such institutions.

According to Taliep, despite the matter being raised with Saudi authorities by Nadwatul Ulama during the reign of Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who subsequently issued a royal decree condemning and outlawing extremist views, this had brought about little change.

“He (al-Nadwa) explained that at the time the royal decree came through he was optimistic there would be a change for the better. In his own words however, this has not taken place,” Taliep explained.

Al-Nadwa also raised the matter that radical groups like ISIS were now effectively turning against those very sources of their theological foundations.

“The main essence of the discussion and discourse around locating the theological foundations of Daesh and ISIS was his concern around the proliferation of the mindset of takfir,” Taliep added. VOC

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