Several prominent British Muslim leaders have signed a letter addressed to UK Prime Minister David Cameron saying that politicians and the media should stop referring to the terror group rampaging through Iraq and Syria as the “Islamic State” (formerly ISIL).
The letter used strong terms to convey the message that ISIL does not represent Muslims or Muslim values.
“We shall take every opportunity to continue to say clearly and loudly ‘not in our name’ and ‘not for our faith,’ ” the letter read.
The letter echoed other statements by Muslim leaders around the world saying that calling the group the “Islamic State” is a misrepresentation, and tarnishes the image of Islam.
“We do not believe the terror group responsible should be given the credence and standing they seek by styling themselves Islamic State. It is neither Islamic, nor is it a state,” the letter read.
“The group has no standing with faithful Muslims, nor among the international community of nations. It clearly will never accept the obligations that any legitimate state has, including the responsibility to protect citizens and uphold human rights.”
Members of the Islamic State executing captured Iraqi military personnel (photo: Reuters)
ISIL has been condemned by many majority-Muslim countries and institutions, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Egypt’s Al-Azhar, which is considered the world’s pre-eminent authority on Sunni Islam.
The letter continued to say that “we believe the media, civic society and governments should refuse to legitimise these ludicrous caliphate fantasies by accepting or propagating this name.”
“We propose that ‘UnIslamic State’ (UIS) could be an accurate and fair alternative name to describe this group and its agenda – and we will begin to call it that.”