Muslim Organizations Condemn Boko Haram - updated 5/13/14

Muslim Organizations Condemn Boko Haram


...  Sunni Islam’s foremost authority, Egypt’s Al-Azhar Mosque, has condemned the activities of Boko Haram as un-Islamic and demanded the immediate release of at least 180 school girls abducted by the group on 15 April.

In a statement issued on 6 May, Al-Azhar said: “this action does not relate to the noble teachings of Islam in any way.” Given that it is one of the oldest Sunni institutions and is highly respected throughout the Islamic world and particularly in Africa, Al-Azhar’s intervention constitutes an authoritative and significant riposte to Boko Haram’s claims of divine sanction. ... **


The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned as “un-Islamic and obscene” the kidnapping and threat to “sell” more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by the terror group Boko Haram.
In its statement, CAIR said:

“It is almost impossible to express the level of disgust felt by American Muslims at the un-Islamic and obscene actions of the terrorist group Boko Haram for the kidnapping and threat to ‘sell’ hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls. We urge authorities in Nigeria and throughout the region to do everything they can to return the girls safely to their families and to eliminate the threat to peace and security posed by Boko Haram.”

CAIR also renewed its condemnation of Boko Haram’s decade-long campaign of violence and intimidation targeting Christians and Muslims.
In 2011, CAIR condemned bomb attacks on churches in Nigeria that left at least 35 people dead and many more injured.

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago

CIOGC, a coalition of more than 60 Islamic groups representing more than 400,000 Muslims, condemned the April 14 abduction of the girls at the hands of the terrorist group Boko Haram, which has said it plans to sell the girls into slavery.  The CIOGC denounced Boko Haram as a group of misguided terrorists who wrongfully identify themselves as Islamic. ... **

Islamic Fiqh Academy of OIC

... said that this “crime and other crimes committed by the likes of these extremist organizations contradicts all humanitarian principles and moral values and violates the provisions of the Quran and Sunnah,” or teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.

The academy is part of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is comprised of some 57 Muslim majority member-nations.

Also on Thursday, the OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission said Boko Haram is misguided to claim that the abduction of the girls and the threat to sell them off as slaves is in conformity with the injunctions of Islam. The rights body described the abduction of the schoolgirls as a “barbaric act”.

“Right to education is a fundamental human right, and is in consonance with the basic tenets of Islam,” the rights body said. **

Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies

Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah, President of Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, condemned the recent kidnapping of hundreds of young Nigerian schoolgirls by the Boko Haram group.  He released a statement to media expressing the organizations dismay at the spate of violence in Nigeria. 

“We absolutely…assert that it has no religious or logical justification. We implore this group to return these innocent girls to their homes and families, and to desist from these vile acts that all revealed religions unite in prohibiting, especially Islam, whose image has been vilified and its sanctity violated at the hands of individuals who do not comprehend its reality nor consult its learned religious leaders.”

He called on Islamic scholars and Christian religious leaders in Nigeria and West Africa to cooperate and support each other in saving the missing girls.

“It is their collective responsibility to stop this killing and fighting, which will not end except in destruction, chaos, and anarchy. Leaders from both groups must also support the efforts for peace not only in Nigeria alone, but also in Central Africa, which has witnessed - and continues to witness - many terrible events.”  ...  **

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI)

MUI has condemned the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram and demanded the group release them.

“[Boko Haram] is not on the right path and contradicts Islamic values,” the chairman of MUI Din Syamsuddin said in Jakarta on Monday, as quoted by  **


The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the oldest and largest American Muslim umbrella organization, today condemned the kidnapping of and threat to sell off the over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram.

In a statement, ISNA Vice President Azhar Azeez said:  “We condemn wholeheartedly, the disgusting and un-Islamic actions that the terrorist group known as Boko Haram has committed.  Kidnapping and threatening to sell the over 200 Nigerian school girls has no validation in the religious tradition of Islam and we urge the Nigerian authorities to find the missing school girls and bring their captors to justice.”

ISNA was among the several American Muslim organizations that condemned the terrorist bombing attacks on Nigerian churches in 2011.  SEE: Religious Leaders Condemn Attacks On Christians in Egypt and Nigeria


The Muslim Public Affairs Council today condemned the repugnant actions of Boko Haram, which claimed responsibility for kidnapping over 300 teenage schoolgirls from a school in Nigeria three weeks ago. Boko Haram, which translates as “Western education is sinful,” has once again violated core Islamic teachings that value all human life as sacred, prohibit depriving people of their basic freedoms, and mandate seeking knowledge as an obligatory duty of every Muslim.

SEE: “‘I Will Sell Them,’ Boko Haram Leader Says of Kidnapped Nigerian Girls” (CNN)

In a video message released yesterday, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau described the girls as “slaves,” and said “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah… There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women.”

“Boko Haram has committed a heinous act that defies all faith, reason and humanity,” said Haris Tarin, Director of MPAC’s Washington, DC, office. “Their ugly distortion of Islam to attempt to justify their evil actions is outrageous and must be challenged. In the Quran, God calls on us to liberate those who are oppressed and enslaved and that is exactly what we must come together to do now in response to this act of extremism.”

Nigeria’s police report that 276 remain in captivity and 53 successfully escaped. Reports have also surfaced that some of the girls have been forced to marry their abductors who allegedly paid a bride price of $12 and the Christian girls have been forced to convert to Islam, which is a direct violation of the Quranic verse which guarantees freedom of religion: Let there be no compulsion in matters of faith (2:256).

Since they were abducted in the middle of the night from a boarding school in Chibok in the north-eastern Borno state, the Nigerian government has failed to act except when faced with international attention and criticism. Hundreds of Nigerian women marched on parliament over the weekend, and are planning a “million-woman march” today to call on the government to find and rescue the girls and punish their abductors. People around the world have sprung into action denouncing the kidnapping through the #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign, which is trending globally.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who is visiting Africa, said that the United States “will do everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes and to hold the perpetrators to justice.” Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton posted the following on Twitter, “Access to education is a basic right and an unconscionable reason to target innocent girls… We must stand up to terrorism.”

How women fare correlates directly with how society fares overall. A school should be a place of refuge for children, which makes these kidnappings have the compounding effect of making young girls feel unsafe to even leave their homes.  In far too many places around the world, women are being disproportionately abused using outdated rulings and ages-old customs. In an effort to address this injustice, MPAC released “Abusing Women, Abusing Islam,” a paper that exposes how patriarchal and distorted interpretations of sharia have been used to subjugate women and rob them of their fundamental rights in some situations.

ABC News reports Muslim Officials Condemn Abductions of Girls:

... Some of the reactions to the crisis:

— EGYPT: Religious Endowments Minister Mohammed Mohktar Gomaa said “the actions by Boko Haram are pure terrorism, with no relation to Islam, especially the kidnapping of the girls.”

Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb of the Cairo-based Al-Azhar, one of Sunni Islam’s most prestigious institutions, said the abductions “completely contradict Islam and its principles of tolerance.”

— PAKISTAN: Dawn, an English language newspaper, published an opinion piece that takes Nigeria to task for not moving against Boko Haram. “The popular upsurge in Nigeria in the wake of the latest unspeakable atrocity provides some scope for hoping that the state will finally act decisively to obliterate the growing menace,” wrote columnist Mahir Ali.

— INDONESIA: In the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, the Jakarta Post published an editorial Wednesday condemning the Boko Haram leader for “wrongly” citing Islamic teaching as his excuse for selling the abducted girls into slavery. Recalling the Taliban’s shooting of 15-year-old Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai in 2012 because of her outspokenness in defense of girls’ right to an education, the editorial said: “Malala’s message needs to be conveyed to all people who use their power to block children’s access to education. It is saddening that religion is misused to terrorize people and to kill the future leaders of the world.”

The newspaper also criticized Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, noting that “only after international condemnation and street demonstrations poured in did President Jonathan tell his nation that he would take all necessary actions to return the young women to their parents and schools, while also acknowledging that the whereabouts of the abductees remained unknown.” ...


A Response to the Question: “Why Aren’t Muslims Condemning Boko Haram?”, Sohaib Sultan

276 Enslaved Nigerian Girls: The atrocity of Boko Haram, Omid Safi

Afghan schoolgirls condemn Boko Haram

An open letter to Bill Maher: The problem isn’t Islam. It’s your movement to demonize Islam in the liberal left, Rabia Chaudry

Boko Haram Are Not Muslims but the Enemy of All Muslims, Azeem Ibrahim

Boko Haram Fringe Group Distorts Role of Religion and Education, Mohammad Abdeljalil

The Boko Haram Terrorists Are Not ‘Islamic’, Dean Obeidallah

CAIR Condemns Burning of Nigerian Churches

Boko Haram’s Terror Is Based on Thuggery, Not Islam, Hibaaq Osman

Don’t Blame Islam for Boko Haram, Dr. Faheem Younus

Hey Boko Haram, pick up a Quran and bring back our girls, Arsalan Iftikhar

In Nigeria, Boko Haram Is Not the Problem, Jean Herskovits

Is Boko Haram the Problem in Nigeria?

Iran Condemns Abduction of Nigerian Girls by Boko Haram

Is Boko Haram the Problem in Nigeria?

It’s Time for Muslim Outrage Against the Boko Haram, Imam Khalid Latif

London Muslims condemn Nigeria kidnappings

Muslim Leaders Slam Boko Haram For Using Islam To Justify Schoolgirl Kidnappings

Muslim Organizations Condemn Terrorist Acts Against Christian Churches in Egypt & Nigeria



A Spiritual Jihad Against Terrorism (5 parts), Sheila Musaji

Muslim Scholars Appeal to Christian Scholars for Dialogue and Peace - “A Common Word”, Sheila Musaji

Muslim Violence, Christian Non-Violence:  People in Glass Houses Should Not Throw Words, Sheila Musaji  

Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism

list of article collections and resources

- Part I & II Fatwas & Statements by Muslim Scholars & Organizations against extremism and terrorism

- Part III Statements & Articles by Individuals

- Part IV A few Quotes A-K, and L-Z

- Part V Muslim Voices Promoting Islamic Non Violent Solutions 

- Part VI Qur’an & Hadith Against Extremism and Terrorism

- Part VII Selective Hearing of Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism 

- Part VIII Religious terrorism is an oxymoron, Sheila Musaji

- Part IX Throwing Stones at the Qur’an From a Biblical Glass House, Sheila Musaji

- Part X Claim that all terrorists are Muslims ignores history

- Part XI Hirabah - Jihad - Terrorism - Violence - Just War - Crusades article collection and resources from TAM and Loonwatch - updated 7/6/12

Nigeria: Five Things To Know About Religious Violence, Lauren Markoe

Nigerian Christians defend attacks on Muslims in Nigeria, Craig Timberg

Nigerian Muslims condemn Boko Haram

Protecting Religious Minorities & Houses of Worship a Duty for Muslims

Saudi Grand Mufti condemns Boko Haram over girl kidnapping

Sectarian violence in Nigeria is Spinning Out of Control

US Muslims Slam ‘Un-Islamic’ Boko Haram

We Must Find a Way to Counter Religious Violence Before it Sweeps Us All Away

What Prophet Muhammad would say to Boko Haram, Qasim Rashid