The cruel beheading of US photo journalist James Foley claimed by the Islamic State in Syria has sparked angry condemnations for the self-claimed Caliphate, fearing it will spark a backlash against local Muslim communities.
“These guys are lunatics,” Dr Ameer Ali, former chairman of the Federation of Islamic Councils in Australia told The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, August 20.
“They are talking about a caliphate but really they are just a medieval, barbaric group who have nothing to do with Islam,” he added.
Foley’s murder appeared in a video released by the Islamic State (IS) on Tuesday.
IS claimed that the killing of the journalist, who went missing in Syria in 2012, was revenge for US air strikes against its fighters in Iraq.
In the video, titled A Message to America, a man identified as James Foley is dressed in an orange jumpsuit, kneeling beside an armed man dressed in black.
He gives a message to his family and links his imminent death to the US government’s bombing campaign of IS targets in Iraq.
Clearly under duress, he says: “I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the US government, for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality.”
Then the masked radical, who speaks with a British accent, delivers a warning to the US government: “You are no longer fighting an insurgency. We are an Islamic Army and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide.
The cruel murder was expected to spark anti-Muslim violence.
“This is going to create problems for Muslims in Australia. I would like the imams to come out openly and condemn this group before the cameras and in their sermons,” Dr Ali added.
Other Muslim leaders condemned beheadings carried out by the IS, terming them deplorable atrocities that tarnish the image of Islam.
Islamic community leader Dr Jamal Rifi said: “I picked up my iPad this morning and read there had been a beheading and thought ‘oh no, not again’.
“From their actions there is a backlash against all Muslims, but none of their actions or ideology are Islamic. Muslims in Australia are absolutely horrified by this.”
A spokesman for the Grand Mufti of Australia, Professor Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, shared similar condemnations.
“It is utterly deplorable for extremists to use Islam as a cover for their crimes and atrocities,” he said day ago.
“Their misguided actions do not represent the overwhelming majority of Muslims who emulate the pure teachings of Islam such as justice, mercy and freedom.”
In UK, Exeter mosque opened its doors giving Devon residents a chance to tour the mosque after the deplorable murder, Mid Devon Gazette reported.
People will be given the chance to ask questions about Islam and tour the building at the open day, which runs from 2pm to 5pm.
Muslim community leaders, who were quick to deplore Foley’s murder, will be available to offer any answers needed regarding Islam or the mosque. ONISLAM