Last September, 126 Islamic scholars signed an open letter to the followers of the Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. At Religion News Service, Lauren Markoe quoted a signatory and spokesperson, Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations.
“The letter is written in Arabic. It is using heavy classical religious texts and classical religious scholars.” … Even mainstream Muslims, he said, may find it difficult to understand.
Awad said its aim is to offer a comprehensive Islamic refutation, “point-by-point,” to the philosophy of the Islamic State and the violence it has perpetrated.
… the Muslim leaders who endorsed Wednesday’s letter called it an unprecedented refutation of the Islamic State ideology.
It’s ironic in light of the extent to which the Islamic State publishes detailed religious justifications for its, um, policies, at its magazine, Dabiq. Links to all its issues translated into English, can be found at the Clarion Project website. Meanwhile, the letter, also translated into English, can be found at Scribd.com: Open Letter to Baghdadi (Islamic State). To give you an idea of all of the Islamic State’s violations against Islam that need to be addressed, pasted below is the letter’s Executive Summary (you don’t have to be an executive to read it!) in its entirety. The first point is the key to the rest.
1-It is forbidden in Islam to issue fatwas without all the necessary learning requirements. Even then fatwas must follow Islamic legal theory as defined in the Classical texts. It is also forbidden to cite a portion of a verse from the Qur’an — or part of a verse — to derive a ruling without looking at everything that the Qur’an and Hadith teach related to that matter. In other words, there are strict subjective and objective prerequisites for fatwas, and one cannot ‘cherry-pick’ Qur’anic verses for legal arguments without considering the entire Qur’an and Hadith.
2-It is forbidden in Islam to issue legal rulings about anything without mastery of the Arabic language.
3-It is forbidden in Islam to oversimplify Shari’ah matters and ignore established Islamic sciences.
4-It is permissible in Islam [for scholars] to differ on any matter, except those fundamentals of religion that all Muslims must know.
5-It is forbidden in Islam to ignore the reality of contemporary times when deriving legal rulings.
6-It is forbidden in Islam to kill the innocent.
7-It is forbidden in Islam to kill emissaries, ambassadors, and diplomats; hence it is forbidden to kill journalists and aid workers.
8-Jihad in Islam is defensive war. It is not permissible without the right cause, the right purpose and without the right rules of conduct.
9-It is forbidden in Islam to declare people non-Muslim unless he (or she) openly declares disbelief.
10-It is forbidden in Islam to harm or mistreat — in any way —Christians or any ‘People of the Scripture’.
11-It is obligatory to consider Yazidis as People of the Scripture.
12-The re-introduction of slavery is forbidden in Islam. It was abolished by universal consensus.
13-It is forbidden in Islam to force people to convert.
14-It is forbidden in Islam to deny women their rights.
15-It is forbidden in Islam to deny children their rights.
16-It is forbidden in Islam to enact legal punishments (hudud) without following the correct procedures that ensure justice and mercy.
17-It is forbidden in Islam to torture people.
18-It is forbidden in Islam to disfigure the dead.
19-It is forbidden in Islam to attribute evil acts to God.
20-It is forbidden in Islam to destroy the graves and shrines of Prophets and Companions.
21-Armed insurrection is forbidden in Islam for any reason other than clear disbelief by the ruler and not allowing people to pray.
22-It is forbidden in Islam to declare a caliphate without consensus from all Muslims.
23-Loyalty to one’s nation is permissible in Islam.