SHAFAQNA – Earlier this November 2015, Dr John Andrew Morrow delivered a powerful lecture on radicalism, its ideology and how it absolutely does not align with Islam’s teachings, philosophy and tenets at the Ivy Tech Community College in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Following is a transcript of his lecture:
“Ladies and gentlemen. Brothers and sisters. Children of Adam.
It is a blessing to be in your presence this afternoon at Ivy Tech Community College in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
I commence by thanking Almighty God for this opportunity at the same time that I thank Professor Daniel Hall and all the administration here at Ivy Tech for making this event possible. For verily, as the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “He who does not thank people does not thank God” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban).
I would also like to thank our audience and all of our guests for taking the time to attend this event which, I hope and pray, will open minds and hearts, and succeed, not only in the theoretical sphere but also in the practical sphere.
Islam vs. ISIS. ISIS vs. Islam. The topic is timely. It is very much a matter of life or death.
If, God forbid, we listen to right-wing radio headed by hate-mongers who follow in the footsteps of Paul Joseph Goebells, or read the writings of political pundits who pretend to be experts on Islam; you know, people like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, we will have inevitably come to the conclusion that Islam is the mother of all evil and that ISIS is the embodiment of Islam. To be fair, you will come to same conclusion, namely, that Islam is inherently evil, even if you listen to the liberal media. Just ask Bill Maher.
For educated individuals, however, with a capacity for critical thinking this conclusion is unwarranted, ignorant, and ill-informed. There is a great deal of anti-Jewish propaganda yet I have never accepted it blindly. There is a great deal of racist propaganda yet I have never accepted it blindly.
As intelligent adults we have an obligation to investigate matters, to question claims, to seek verification, and to examine counter-arguments. We need to see all sides of a story. We need to draw our information from credible sources. We must come to a balanced and informed conclusion concerning any topic.
When I see Western powers invade, occupy, and colonize the Americas, leading to the death of 80 million indigenous people, my people, I do not blame the Cross despite the fact that the perpetrators of this physical and cultural genocide claimed to act in its name.
When I see 100 million Africans enslaved by self-professed Christians, I do not blame the Gospels.
When I see the suffering caused by Western imperialism and colonialism all around the world, I do not condemn the Christian faith.
When I see self-professed Christian fundamentalists and Dominionists spewing hatred like volcano spews lava, I do not blame Jesus.
When I see images of the Ku Klux Klan castrating and killing Irish Catholics and African Americans, I do not blame Christianity.
When I see so-called German Christians exterminate Jews, Muslims, gypsies, homosexuals, and the disabled, I do not blame Christ.
When I see nuclear bombs dropped on civilian populations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki—Nagasaki, which was then the most Christian city in Japan, whose cathedral towers were used by the B-29 crew to mark ground zero—in two of the greatest acts of terrorism the world has ever seen, I do not blame the Bible.
When I see millions of Vietnamese civilians massacred by the US army, I do not blame the Church.
When I see the Israeli Defense Forces bomb schools and hospitals and kill civilians by the thousands, I do not blame the Torah; I do not disrespect Judaism.
When I see over one million Iraqi civilians murdered in the course of two illegal invasions, I do not blame Christianity.
When I see the brutal government in Burma strip its indigenous Muslim population of its citizenship, confine them to concentration camps, engage in pogroms, and expel them from their country in a campaign of ethnic, linguistic and religious cleansing, I do not blame Buddha.
Likewise, when we see the likes of the Taliban, al-Qaedah, al-Nusrah, and ISIS committing war crimes and acts of genocide, we should not be so quick to condemn the Prophet Muhammad, the Qur’an, and Islam.
My intention is not to offend. My intention is to clear the table. Set things straight. Get God out of the picture. Get religion out of the picture. Get the prophets of God out of the picture. And put the blame where the blame belongs: on human beings regardless of their race, ethnicity, nationality, culture or religion.
I will admit that things are not always clear, particularly when the criminals in question commit atrocities in the name of Allah, in the name of Muhammad, in the name of Islam, in the name of the Qur’an, and in the name of the Shari‘ah.
Yes, even generally well informed people; good, kind, generous and tolerant people, can get confused; and can entertain doubts about the true nature of Islam. This is why I am here. This is why you are here. We are all here to learn or at least to remind ourselves of what Islam really is and what Islam really teaches.
Islam prohibits murder. ISIS murders indiscriminately.
As we read in the Qur’an: “Whosoever kills a human being for other than murder or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all humankind, and whoever saves a human life, it is as if he has saved all of humankind” (5:32).
Islam prohibits the killing of civilians. ISIS encourages the killing of civilians.
KILLING THE ELDERY,THE SICK, AND THE BLIND
Islam prohibits killing the elderly, the sick, and the blind in times of military conflict. ISIS encourages such cowardly crimes.
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Do not kill old men” (Muslim, Bayhaqi).
Abdullah Azzam, the godfather of terrorism, wrote that: “Those who can be useful to the unbelievers and to others must be killed, whether they are old people, priests or invalids.”
It’s the exact opposite of what Islam teaches.
Islam prohibits the killing of women during times of war. ISIS not only kills women, they make sure to rape them, degrade them and humiliate them before doing so.
Islam prohibits the killing of children. ISIS encourages the killing of children.
In fact, Islam prohibits the use of child combatants. However, ISIS is eager to use child combatants and even go to schools, with a handy apostate or infidel in hand, to show children, hands on, how to behead a so-called unbeliever.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Do not kill children” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Muslim, Bayhaqi)
Islam prohibits the killing of prisoners. The only exception is made for those who have committed war crimes. ISIS, however, routinely executes prisoners.
Islam prohibits rape. ISIS encourages rape.
ISIS terrorists go door to door in search for girls to sexually assault. If they resist, they are gang-raped, crucified or decapitated. Tens of thousands of girls have been sold into prostitution by ISIS, some, for as little as a pack of cigarettes. ISIS encourages its fighters to enslave Yazidi women, Christian women, and Apostate women. By Apostate, they mean Muslim women who are not Wahhabis. They allow a single girl or woman to be owned collectively by a group of men, all of whom have the right to rape her even if she has not reached the age of puberty.
Islam commands Muslims to respect Christians. ISIS has nothing but contempt for them.
As Almighty God says in the Qur’an: “You will find the nearest in love to those who believe to be those who say: Verily, we are Christians. That is because there are among them priests and monks, and they are not proud” (5:82).
For ISIS, however, all Christians are infidels whose blood is legal to shed.
This is not to say that there are no bad Christians. That would be like saying there are no bad Muslims.
The world, however, is not black and white. Islam’s view of the Other is nuanced. As Almighty God says in the Holy Qur’an: “They are not all alike. Among the People of Book is an upright community, who recite the verses of God in the watches of the night, and who prostrate [to Him]; they believe in God and the Last Day, enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and hasten unto good works; they are among the righteous” (3:13).
Early Muslims distinguished between Christians who were friends and allies and Christians who were enemies. Muslims never described Western colonizers, and imperialists, as Christians. They described them as crusaders and infidels. The Christians of the Middle East, those who had been granted covenants of protection by the Prophet, and who had harbored and protected him when his own people, the Arab pagans, persecuted him, were described as “our Christian brothers.” In the Middle East, Muslims, Christians, and Jews, fought together against their common foes.
Islam prohibits the killing of Christians. ISIS encourages it.
As the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Whoever kills a Christian shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelled at a distance of forty years [of traveling]” (Bukhari).
As Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, said: “Beware not to kill those who benefit from the protection of Allah for Allah will ask you about His protection and will cast you into the Fire face-first” (Hajjar).
Islam prohibits the killing of monks. ISIS encourages it.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Do not kill monks” (Abu Dawud, Ahmad, Tirmidhi).
Abdullah Azzam, the forefather of al-Qaedah, al-Nusrah, and ISIS, said: “Monks living in society must be killed.” He wrote this in his ironically titled Morals and Jurisprudence of Jihad; written by a man devoid of morals and values.
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “If anyone wrongs a man or a woman with whom a covenant has been made, or curtails any right of his, or imposes on him more than he can bear, or takes anything from him without ready agreement, I shall be his adversary on the Day of Resurrection” (Abu Dawud, Abu Yusuf).
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “He who robs a Christian or imposes on him more than he can bear will have me as his opponent [on the Day of Judgment]” (Abu Yusuf).
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Whoever oppresses a Christian, I will testify against him on the Day of Judgment” (Bukhari and Abu Dawud).
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “He who causes damage to a Muslim or non-Muslim is to be cursed!” (Abu Yusuf).
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Observe scrupulously the protection accorded by me to non-Muslim subjects. Whoever oppresses non-Muslim subjects, shall find me to be their advocate on the day of Resurrection (against the oppressor)” (Muslim and Mawardi).
‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Caliph, was even more explicit: “I warn you concerning those who have been placed under the protection of Allah for the protection of your Prophet covers them” (Hajjar).
DESTROYING CHURCHES AND MONASTERIES
Islam prohibits the destruction of churches and monasteries. Not only does ISIS destroy churches and monasteries, they take particular pleasure in blowing up mosques, without bothering to remove the Qur’ans that were inside, of course, showing how much they really respect the Word of God. They take pleasure in blowing up the graves of prophets, messengers, companions of the Prophet, and other saintly figures. How much respect to you have for these figures if you desecrate their graves and scatter their remains?
CONVERTING PEOPLE BY FORCE
Islam prohibits converting people to Islam by force. ISIS encourages it.
As Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256). As Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “To you your religion and to me mine” (109:6).
ISIS routinely offers people the choice of conversion or death. Recently, they crucified a Christian boy because his father refused to convert to Islam.
Islam prohibits torture. ISIS tortures people for pleasure. They torture prisoners routinely and they torture the populations under their control.
As the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him said: “The punishment by fire does not behoove anyone except the Master of the Fire (God Himself)” (Abu Dawud). Who the hell is ISIS to burn prisoners alive?
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, is also reported to have said that “He who tortures people will be tortured by God” and “Those who torture people in this world will be tortured in the other world” (Abu Yusuf 86).
And yet we find ISIS gouging out people’s eyes, throwing people of building, crucifying them, drowning them, dousing them with gasoline, and burning them alive. We see them make a mockery of shari‘ah punishments, which are supposed to be swift, hacking away at a man’s hand or neck with a dull knife.
Islam prohibits cannibalism. The terrorists from al-Nusrah, however, cannibalize corpses and ISIS terrorists have forced prisoners to eat their dead relatives.
Do you seek how ridiculous this gets?
It’s like asking Christians to prove that Christianity is opposed to fornication, adultery, murder, pornography, pedophilia… If Christians engage in these activities, then Christianity is to blame…
We, as Muslims, should not be forced to apologize for crimes committed by Muslims anymore than Jews, Christians, Buddhists or Hindus should be forced to apologize every time a person who claims to profess their faith commits a sin or a crime.
ISLAM VS. ANTI-ISLAM
Although we speak of Islam vs. ISIS or ISIS vs. Islam, it is clear that we are speaking of Islam vs. Anti-Islam.
When we are talking about ISIS, al-Nusrah, al-Qa’idah, and the Taliban, these modern-day Kharijites and Nawasib, we are not talking about misinterpretations of Islam.
When we are talking about Takfiri/Wahhabi/Islamist/Jihadists, we are not talking about aberrations of Islam.
THE ISLAMIC STATE IS NOT ISLAMIC: IT IS SATANIC.
ISIS IS NOT SUNNI
ISIS IS AN EXISTENCIAL THREAT TO SUNNI ISLAM
To put things into a Christian framework, it is like comparing Christianity to the Klan or Christianity to Apartheid, or Christianity to White Supremacy.
You insult Christianity by considering such people to be Christians.
Let us take some of the Ten Commandments for example, something Jews, Christians, and Muslims all agree upon.
God says: “You shall have no other gods but Me and You shall not make idols.”
And then you have someone who usurps divine authority, acts as God, arrogantly believing that he can judge a person’s faith; and that he can act as judge, jury, and executioner.
God says: “You shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain.”
And then you have these people who invoke the name of God, blasphemously, while they rape, torture, mutilate, and murder, soiling the name of God and spitting on the name of God.
God says: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
While there is no Sabbath in Islam, there are plenty of holy days, days that have been desecrated; and sacred celebrations like ‘Id al-Adha that have been outlawed.
God says: “Honor your father and your mother.”
And then you have someone who disrespects his mother, his father, his family, and his community, by accusing them of being apostates whose blood is permissible to shed. You don’t honor your Muslim mother by calling her an infidel. You don’t honor your Muslim father by calling him an unbeliever.
God says: “You shall not murder.”
And then you have someone who murders and promotes murder.
God says: “You shall not commit adultery.”
And then you have someone who rapes, gang-rapes, traffics women, and forces them into sexual slavery.
God says: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
And then you have someone who bears false witness against his neighbors, accusing them of infidelity, heresy, and apostasy in order to get them executed and to steal their homes.
God says: “You shall not covet.”
And then you have someone who robs, steals, and pillages, and who profits from the sale of archeological and historical treasures.
If Judaism has a certain set of beliefs and practices, and a person, who professes to be Jewish, violates them all, not just as a sinner, but with conviction, can he be considered Jewish?
If Christianity has a set of beliefs and laws, and a person, who professes to be Christian, does the complete and total opposite and holds beliefs that are diametrically opposed and contradictory, can that person truly be considered a Christian?
Certainly there are different interpretations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; there is a spectrum. Some people are in the center. Some people are center right. Some people are center left. Some people are on the periphery of both sides. And then, there are people who are outside of the religious tradition completely and totally.
There are different interpretations of Islam. There are different schools of thought, law, and theology in Islam: but they all form part of the Islamic Tradition. Takfiri terrorists, however, people like the Pseudo-Islamic-State systematically violate the teachings of the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet. Consequently, they cannot be remotely connected to Islam.
As al-Shaykh al-Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri said to me, “We must make a clear break between Muslims and Takfiris.” They are not Sunnis. They do not belong to Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama‘at. It is not even an issue of them having left the Jama‘at. Wa Allahi, they were never part of it to begin with! In fact, they have declared war against Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama‘at. They have destroyed hundreds of Sunni mosques and they have executed hundreds of Sunni Imams.
Islam is a religion; a world religion, founded by a man of sublime character, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah, peace and blessings be upon him.
ISIS, on the other hand, is a diabolical death cult that serves imperial interests.
So, what can we do? What can be done?
We do not have private armies
But we have our voices.
And our voices need to be heard.
And to make sure that this important gathering doesn’t turn out to have been a flash in the pan, I want to leave you with a set a concrete steps that you can take as a Muslim, as a Christian, as a Jewish person, or simply as a decent human being.
Engage in Interfaith Work. Get to know your neighbor. Christians! You will be surprised. Most Muslim are perfectly normal human beings. Muslims! You will be surprised: Most Jewish people are perfectly normal human beings.
I know some people think interfaith work is pointless. Some think that it is counterproductive. Some think that it weakens and dilutes different traditions. No; on the contrary; unity does not mean uniformity. What is more, interfaith work has shown its power.
Dozens upon dozens of violent, armed, anti-Muslim protests have been organized around this country. It could easily have gotten ugly. Do you think we aren’t willing and able to respond to threats of force with some serious force of our own? God have mercy on anyone who dares aim a gun at our women and children. It’s called an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and a life for a life.
But we didn’t respond to threats of violence with more threats and more violence. Why? Because the Qur’an does not teach us to fight fire with fire. Because the Qur’an teaches us to fight evil with good; to fight wrong with what is better. So, we greeted violent, ignorant bigots, racists, and hate-mongers with hugs, with tea and crumpets, and with hospitality. And we won many of them over. We brought them into our mosques. We gave them tours. And they saw, that we are university professors, lawyers, engineers, medical doctors, business owner, entrepreneurs, and hard-working loyal Americans who love this country and would not hesitate to fight anyone who tries to harm it.
How ironic it is, that many of those people who came to protest Islam actually ended up embracing Islam or, at the very least, realizing that what was being falsely presented as Islam by certain sectors in the mass media and political establishment was not, and is not, Islam.
Interfaith work begins with the recognition of our mutual humanity; the next step is the recognition of our common enemy—ISIS, for example, along with its outside supporters whose names and agendas we should learn. The third step is to begin to talk about concrete plans for our mutual defense.
The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad
Spread the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad. I encourage all of you to read The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, available through Amazon.com, and available right here right now, to share it with friends and family, and to ask your public and university libraries to acquire it for their collections.
The work provides an overview of Christian-Muslim relations from the time of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, to the present, focusing on the treaties, and covenants that he concluded with the Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian communities of his time.
The full study, which is available in English, Spanish, Italian, and Arabic, is nearly 500 pages long. There is also a shorter booklet, titled Six Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of His Time, which is available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Portuguese, and a half a dozen other languages.
ISIS does not speak for Islam. ISIS does not represent Islam. It is the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, who speaks for Islam. See for yourself the rights, privileges, and protections that he granted non-Muslim minorities, Jews, Christians, and others.
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, granted covenants of protection to the Jews, to Zoroastrians, to Greek Orthodox Christians, to Assyrian Christians, to Syriac Orthodox Christians, to the Coptic Christians, to Armenian Orthodox Christians, to the Christians of Persia, and to the Christians of the world.
He granted them freedom of religion; freedom of belief; and freedom of religious practice. He protected churches, monasteries, and synagogues. He protected monks, priests, and rabbis. He granted them religious autonomy. He protected pilgrims. He prohibited forced conversions. He prohibited excessive taxation. He prohibited Muslim men from taking non-Muslim women by force or coercing them into marriage. In the event a Muslim man married a Jewish or Christian woman, he was obliged to respect her religion and take her to church or to the synagogue. He commanded Muslims to help Jews and Christians maintain and rebuild their places of worship in order to help keep them loyal to their alliance. He exempted clerics from military service. He commanded Muslims to treat non-Muslim with love and care. He prohibited Muslims from oppressing them. In the case of conflict, he commanded dialogue and urged reconciliation. He commanded Muslims to protect Jews and Christians from their enemies. Finally, he made these covenants binding upon all parties until the end of times and prohibited Muslims from changing them.
The Covenants of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, are found in Jewish sources; they are found in Christian sources; and they are found in Muslim sources. They all confirm each other.
If you want Arabic and Muslim names, I will give you names: Waqidi, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Tabari, Mas‘udi, Abu Yusuf, Yahya ibn Adam, Abu ‘Ubaydah, Abu Dawud, Baladhuri, Ya‘qubi, Ibn al-‘Athir, Shaykh al-Mufid, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, Qalqashandi, Ibn Kathir and Ibn Hawqal… These are only some of the early Arab and Muslim sources that support the Muhammadan Covenants.
If you want Christian names, I will give you names: Latin names, Greek names, Assyrian names, and Armenian names: Sebeos, Sahak, Yohanes, Samuel, Kirakos, Grigor, Ahmad ibn Yusuf, Abu al-Fidah, Ibn al-‘Amid, Habib, Bar Hebraeus, Mari ibn Sulayman, Nektarios of Sinai, Amrus, Assemani, Scaliger and Sionita… These are only some of the early Christian sources that support the Muhammadan Covenants…
The Covenants of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, were respected by the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs and by all the righteous rulers that followed them.
I am not saying that all the Caliphs abided by them. Just like we have good presidents and bad presidents, we have had good Muslim rulers and bad Muslim rulers. However, if one looks at Islamic history as a whole, we find that most of the Ummayads, ‘Abbasids, Ayyubids, Fatimids, Safavids, and Ottomans respected the Covenants of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.
The Muhammadan Covenants were well known throughout most of Islamic history; and were renewed until the end of the Ottoman Empire. However, after the collapse of Islam as a political power, a mere century ago, the Covenants of the Prophet have been forgotten and have fallen into oblivion.
It is therefore our duty, as Muslims, and as non-Muslims, to resurrect these covenants of protection as they represent a solution to many of the problems we face today in the Muslim world.
The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, are ancient equivalents of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the Bill of Rights. As Muslims, we have the solution to all our problems in our own religious tradition. We just need to follow it.
The Covenants Initiative
If you are a Muslim, I encourage you to sign the Covenants Initiative available on covenantsoftheprophet.com. Simply put, the signatories agree to abide by the letter and spirit of the Covenants of the Prophet in their dealing with the People of the Book. The Covenants Initiative, available at covenantsoftheprophet.com has been signed by over one hundred and fifty leading Muslim scholars, academics, and activists.
The Genocide Initiative
Finally, we call upon all parties, regardless of their religion or lack thereof, to sign the Genocide Initiative which is available onchange.org (https://www.change.org/p/all-political-players-the-genocide-initiative). It reads:
We, the undersigned, call upon all political powers: beyond all questions of political affiliation, and in the true spirit of human solidarity and decency, to categorize the crimes being committed by ISIS and other Takfiri terrorists against Christians, Twelver Shiites, Ismailis, Alawis, Sufis, traditional Sunnis, and others, as acts of religious, cultural, and ethnic genocide.
Before ISIS, all religious denominations stand in the line of fire. Christians and Muslims know only too well the bitterness and despair of a life spent under the ominous flag of Takfirism—a heretical perversion of Islam, also known as Wahhabism, which reared its hideous head a mere two centuries ago. Evil has a new face and it is Takfirism! Doing nothing while millions of lives are at risk is tantamount to murder. We owe it to our children to carry on this fight so as to prevent the shadow of our shameful inaction from falling on future generations.
Before the threat of Wahhabi-inspired radicalism the world can no longer afford to stand on the sidelines—the enemy needs to be engaged on all fronts: ideologically through the denunciation of its nefarious dogma, religiously through the coming together of people of all faiths, politically, militarily, financially … everything conceivable must be done and no effort should be spared.
We demand that local, regional, and international powers act decisively to neutralize ISIS and other Takfiri terrorists by cutting off their legs from under them—systematically dismantling their networks, whether financial, political or religious.
While we remain committed to peace, local populations have the right to defend themselves; and we have a duty of care towards them. Therefore, concerted efforts, in keeping with international and territorial sovereignty, should be made to combat this evil by all means necessary.
We urge political and economic powers to freeze all bank accounts of ISIS and other Takfiri terrorists; to seize their assets; and to prosecute any and all who provide material support to genocidalist war criminals.
We further urge these powers to do all they can to determine how the black market trade in oil, drugs, arms, art treasures and enslaved human beings that ISIS and other Takfiri groups rely upon to fund their efforts can be interrupted and brought to a halt, and how anyone involved in any aspect of this trade, as either seller or buyer, can be prosecuted under existing laws.
We challenge all international organizations, human rights groups, intelligence agencies, national security agencies, law enforcement agencies, and military forces to coordinate their efforts to locate, arrest, indict, try, and convict any and all parties responsible for supporting ISIS and other Takfiri terrorists in any form or fashion, including, but not limited to, financial, military, strategic, political or ideological assistance. We call upon members of the legal profession to determine how the perpetrators of these crimes can be indicted under existing laws, including but not limited to those against criminal conspiracy, hate speech, and providing aid to the enemy in time of war.
Finally, we demand that any and all parties who have supported ISIS and other Takfiri groups, in any form or fashion, be labeled as war criminals guilty of genocide.
Google: Genocide Initiative and Change.org and sign the petition
What’s the point? You may ask. What difference will it make? It has already made a difference. The Genocide Initiative has been picked up by media sources all around the world. Thanks to our efforts and those of our partners, a resolution was introduced in Congress in September.
The resolution, introduced in part by our change.org petition, is “House Congressional Resolution 75.” It reads:
H.Con.Res.75 – Expressing the sense of Congress that those who commit or support atrocities against Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities, including Yezidis, Turkmen, Sabea-Mandeans, Kaka’e, and Kurds, and who target them specifically for ethnic or religious reasons, are committing, and are hereby declared to be committing, “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” and “genocide.”
Introduced in House (09/09/2015)
- the atrocities committed against Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities targeted specifically for religious reasons are crimes against humanity and genocide;
- each of the Contracting Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and other international agreements forbidding war crimes and crimes against humanity, particularly the governments of countries and their nationals who are in any way supporting these crimes, are reminded of their legal obligations under the Convention and these international agreements;
- the United Nations (U.N.) and the Secretary-General are called upon to assert leadership by calling the atrocities war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide;
- the member states of the U.N., with an appeal to the Arab States that wish to uphold religious freedom and justice, should collaborate on measures to prevent further war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, and collaborate on the establishment of tribunals to punish those responsible for the ongoing crimes;
- the governments of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Lebanese Republic, and other countries are commended for having undertaken to shelter and protect those fleeing extremist violence;
- those who force the migration of religious communities from their ancestral homelands, including specifically the Nineveh Plain and Mount Sinjar, should be prosecuted in accordance with the laws of the place where their crimes were committed and under applicable international criminal statutes and conventions.
We need you to pressure policy makers and politicians. We need you to pressure your elected representatives to support this resolution. We need to get it passed in the House and passed in the Senate. You can help make this happen.
There is no more time or space in the Interfaith Movement for smiles, cordial handshakes and expressions of undying friendship on the part of those who still choose to ignore the crimes and attacks of our common enemies. If we do not band together to defend ourselves against these enemies, then all our expressions of interfaith amity are worse than irrelevant: they are hypocritical. Actions speak louder than words – or, in the words of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, “when you pray, pray with your hands.”
ISLAM VS. ISIS, WHAT WOULD THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD DO?
HE WOULD ACT.
HENCE, I CALL UPON YOU TO ACT.
This is our country. This is our home. We are not leaving.
We all share the same planet.
We must do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
We need to unite, as believers, as Jews, Christians, and Muslims–as fellow human beings–against the plague of extremism and hatred that threatens us all.
To injustice and hatred with respond with justice and love.
I leave you in peace: Salam and Shalom!