Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism - Part IV A few Quotes A-K

compiled by Sheila Musaji

Posted Dec 13, 2006      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
Bookmark and Share

Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism - A few Quotes

compiled by Sheila Musaji

This list became too long for one entry and was divided on 7/29/07 L-Z may be found at

Abdullah, Aslam U.S.  You say that the word of God is the highest. Yes, it is. But you are not worthy of it. You have abandoned God and you have started worshipping your own satanic egos that rejoice at the killing of innocent people. You don’t represent Muslims or, for that matter, any decent human being who believes in the sanctity of life. Many among us American Muslims have differences with our administration on domestic and foreign issues, just like many other Americans do. But the plurality of opinions does not mean that we deprive ourselves of the civility that God demands from us. America is our home and will always be our home. Its interests are ours, and its people are ours. When you talk of killing of Americans, you first have to kill 6 million or so Muslims who will stand for every American’s right to live and enjoy the life as commanded by God.

Abdullah, Aslam U.S.  Respecting and protecting human life are acts of submission and worshipping to God. Submission has many great lessons for all of us that hear and watch on TV the scenes of a place after suicide bombing. The bomb does not know the difference between a soldier, a child, a mother, a grandfather or a grandmother. It is an awful and horrendous scene that we all wish to never see or witness.  Islam totally disagrees with this kind of behavior and condemns the action that causes this. Sometimes some people try to argue that their enemy is killing children and mothers as well and that is why they justify actions that result in their destruction. But according to the divine faith, evil must be not repaid with evil and animosity must not be returned with animosity.  Those who claim to the follow the final divine scripture must live up to highest moral standards, not to evil choices, and respect human life regardless of the label that it carries. The Divine demands from the follower of His message to work for peace and justice through peaceful means, not through violence or anger. The Divine demands that His followers should never lower their moral standards to the standard of the people who fight them. Following God’s law guarantees peace and victory while breaking it only guarantees more misery to all those involved.

Adi, Imam Tammam, Ph.D. Director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Eugene, Oregon, U.S.“America’s fight against terrorism is justified by the Quran”

Afflito, Frank M., Ph.D. U.S.  Who are Al Qaeda’s victims? Black Africans. Latino dishwashers and waitresses. Muslims in three countries. All those who consider themselves Muslims throughout the world should also join in the fight against Al Qaeda and against all forms of extremism… not just Zionism, or Christian death squads like the Timothy McVeigh’s out there… but also the Al Qaeda’s who profess to be Muslim while not having the wherewithall to follow Islam.

Afsaruddin, Asma U.S. To deny these lived realities of the Islamic past, which point to what we would term in today’s jargon a respect for pluralism and religious diversity, is to practice a kind of intellectual violence against Islam. Muslim extremists who insist that the Qur’an calls for relentless warfare against non-Muslims without just cause or provocation merely to propagate Islam and certain Western opinion makers who unthinkingly accept and report their rhetoric as authentically Islamic are both doing history a great disservice. Muslim extremist fringe groups with their desperate cult of martyrdom are overreacting to current political contingencies and disregarding any scriptural imperative. It is worthy of note that the Qur’an does not even have a word for martyr; the word “shahid,” now commonly understood to mean “a martyr,” refers only to an eyewitness or a legal witness in Qur’anic usage. Only in later extra Qur’anic tradition, as a result of extraneous influence, did the term “shahid” come to mean bearing witness for the faith, particularly by laying down one’s life, much like the Greek derived English word “martyr.”

Ahmad, Dr. Imad ad Deen U.S., President, Minaret of Freedom Institute.  In this paper it is my intention to assert that it is the moral duty of Muslims to not merely condemn the attacks on noncombatant Americans (including hundreds of Muslims) that took place on September 11, 2001, but to engage in a positive effort to identify the planners and material supporters of the attacks, to confront them with the fact that their actions have violated the sharia`ah in a most egregious manner, to urge them to repent, and to punish them if the families of the victims are unwilling to be merciful and accept compensation.

Parvez Ahmed, U.S. To contain terrorism, if not eliminate it, the way forward is to engage in common-sense methods of intelligence gathering without criminalizing entire groups of people, military strategies without resorting to indiscriminate bombings and enabling the emergence of democratic and civic societies by eliminating foreign occupations. Addressing grievances cannot automatically be dismissed as appeasement. Britain succeeded in disarming the IRA by engaging them, not ignoring its demands. In fact, the conversion of terrorist groups into peaceful political movements has often occurred when their rationale for violence ceased to exist.

Al-Luheidan, Shaikh Saleh, Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, SAUDI ARABIA “As a human community we must be vigilant and careful to oppose these pernicious and shameless evils, which are not justified by any sane logic, nor by the religion of Islam.” Statement of September 14, 2001, in “Public Statements by Senior Saudi Officials Condemning Extremism and Promoting Moderation., page 6

Al-Luheidan, Shaikh Saleh, Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, Saudi Arabia “And I repeat once again: that this act that the United states was afflicted with, with this vulgarity and barbarism, and which is even more barbaric than terrorist acts, I say that these acts are from the depths of depravity and the worst of evils.” Televised statement of September 2001, in Muhammad ibn Hussin Al-Qahtani, editor, The Position of Saudi Muslim Scholars Regarding Terrorism in the Name of Islam (Saudi Arabia, 2004), pages 27-28.

Al-Qaradawi, Shaykh Yusuf, QATAR; Tariq Bishri, EGYPT; Muhammad S. Awwa, EGYPT; Fahmi Huwaydi, EGYPT; Haytham Khayyat, SYRIA; Shaykh Taha Jabir al-Alwani, U.S.  “All Muslims ought to be united against all those who terrorize the innocents, and those who permit the killing of non-combatants without a justifiable reason. Islam has declared the spilling of blood and the destruction of property as absolute prohibitions until the Day of Judgment. ... [It is] necessary to apprehend the true perpetrators of these crimes, as well as those who aid and abet them through incitement, financing or other support. They must be brought to justice in an impartial court of law and [punished] appropriately. ... [It is] a duty of Muslims to participate in this effort with all possible means.”  “Our hearts bleed for the attacks that has targeted the World Trade Center [WTC], as well as other institutions in the United States despite our strong oppositions to the American biased policy towards Israel on the military, political and economic fronts.  Statement of September 27, 2001. The Washington Post, October 11, 2001,

Al-Qaradawi, Shaykh Yusuf, QATAR Islam, the religion of tolerance, holds the human soul in high esteem, and considers the attack against innocent human beings a grave sin, this is backed by the Qur’anic verse which reads: ‘Who so ever kills a human being [as punishment] for [crimes] other than manslaughter or [sowing] corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and who so ever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind’ (Al-Ma’idah:32).”  Statement of September 13, 2001.

Al-Sabil, Shaykh Muhammad bin ‘Abdallah, member of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars, Saudi Arabia  “Any attack on innocent people is unlawful and contrary to shari’a (Islamic law). ... Muslims must safeguard the lives, honor and property of Christians and Jews. Attacking them contradicts shari’a.” Agence France Presse, December 4, 2001

al-Shaykh, Shaykh Abd al Aziz bin Abdallah, The grand mufti of SAUDI ARABIA  Said that Islam forbids suicide terrorist attacks. Shaykh Abd al-Aziz is head of the Saudi commission of senior Islamic scholars and the supreme Islamic authority in the kingdom. In an interview with the London-based and Saudi-owned newspaperal-Sharq al-Awsat, Shaykh Abd al-Aziz was asked for his view on several issues related to contemporary Islamist terrorism, such as the hijacking of airplanes, terrorism against security personnel, and suicide operations. In regard to the latter, he answered categorically: “What you call suicide bombings in my view are illegitimate and have nothing to do with jihad in the cause of God. I am afraid it is another form of killing oneself.”   April 21, 2001 Reported by Washington Institute for Near East Policy

al-Shaykh, Shaykh Abd al Aziz bin Abdallah, chief mufti of SAUDI ARABIA “Firstly: the recent developments in the United States including hijacking planes, terrorizing innocent people and shedding blood, constitute a form of injustice that cannot be tolerated by Islam, which views them as gross crimes and sinful acts.  Secondly: any Muslim who is aware of the teachings of his religion and who adheres to the directives of the Holy Qur’an and the sunnah (the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad) will never involve himself in such acts, because they will invoke the anger of God Almighty and lead to harm and corruption on earth.”  Statement of September 15, 2001

al-Shaykh, Shaykh Abd al Aziz bin Abdallah, chief mufti of SAUDI ARABIA  “You must know Islam’s firm position against all these terrible crimes. The world must know that Islam is a religion of peace and mercy and goodness; it is a religion of justice and guidance…Islam has forbidden violence in all its forms. It forbids the hijacking airplanes, ships and other means of transport, and it forbids all acts that undermine the security of the innocent.” Hajj sermon of February 2, 2004, in “Public Statements by Senior Saudi Officials Condemning Extremism and Promoting Moderation,” May 4, 2004

al-Tantawi, Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed, The Grand Sheikh of the al-Azhar mosque, EGYPT  Condemned suicide bombings against Israeli civilians and condemned terrorism in all its forms.  December 4, 2001

al-Tantawi, Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed, imam of al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, EGYPT  “Attacking innocent people is not courageous, it is stupid and will be punished on the day of judgment. ... It’s not courageous to attack innocent children, women and civilians. It is courageous to protect freedom, it is courageous to defend oneself and not to attack.”   Agence France Presse, September 14, 2001

Ali, Syed Mumtaz, President of the Canadian Society of Muslims, CANADA “We condemn in the strongest terms possible what are apparently vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all Canadians in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No political cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts.”   Canadian Society of Muslims, Media Release, September 12, 2001

American Muslim organizations, Statement condemning 9/11 attack 15 U.S.   “We reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of the crime committed on September 11, 2001 and join our fellow Americans in mourning the loss of up to 6000 innocent civilians.” Signed by:  Muslim American Society (MAS), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA), Muslim Student Association (MSA), Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice (AMGPJ), American Muslim Alliance (AMA), United Muslim Americans Association (UMAA), Islamic Media Foundation (IMF), American Muslim Foundation (AMF), Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (CCMO), American Muslims for Jerusalem (AMJ), Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA).  October 22, 2001

American Muslim STATEMENT REJECTING TERRORISM,  On 1st anniversary of 9-11, U.S.  “As American Muslims and scholars of Islam, we wish to restate our conviction that peace and justice constitute the basic principles of the Muslim faith.  We wish again to state unequivocally that neither the al-Qaeda organization nor Usama bin Laden represents Islam or reflects Muslim beliefs and practice. Rather, groups like al-Qaeda have misused and abused Islam in order to fit their own radical and indeed anti-Islamic agenda.  Usama bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s actions are criminal, misguided and counter to the true teachings of Islam. We call on people of all faiths not to judge Islam by the actions of a few.  We believe in justice and peace for both Israelis and Palestinians. We are convinced that security for Israel can only be achieved by justice for Palestinians.  Today, a modicum of justice requires the establishment of an independent Palestinian state through the exercise of Palestinian self-determination.  We believe that the continued occupation of Palestinian territories, and Israel’s repeated disregard of international law, have made life in the occupied territories unbearable.  We say most clearly, however, that the killing of innocent civilians, whether Christian, Muslim, or Jewish, is always wrong and is forbidden in Islamic law and ethics.  Illegitimate means can never be justified by a desirable or noble goal. conscience to denounce violence and to work peacefully for the creation of a better world.  We also urge our government leaders to work for peace, justice, liberty, and democracy around the globe.”

American Muslim Political Coordination Council, U.S.   “American Muslims utterly condemn what are apparently vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all Americans in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No political cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts.”

Asmal, Dr. Abdul Cader U.S.  The time to ratchet down hostilities is now. The coming together of typecast foes may not be easy. On the other hand allowing fascists to chart the future of humanity is not a viable option. Rapprochement is the only answer to Isreal’s survival and Islam’s renaissance. There is nothing incompatible between Islam and Judaism that prevents Muslims and Jews from living together again. They have a moral imperative to do so, resting on the Muslim belief of a divinely-assigned stewardship of God’s creation, and the Jewish belief of ‘Tikkun’ or healing of God’s creation. With these credentials Muslims and Jews should not only be able to coexist but respond to the call, ‘peace on earth and goodwill to all men’, a timeless message with a universal appeal, we can all live with.

Azam, Hina, Ph.D. U.S. One hardly needs to ask al-Qaeda (and al-Qaedaesque) operatives what they think they are doing in their suicide attacks. The pronouncements and writings of Osama bin Laden and Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi make it abundantly clear that they believe they are engaging in a legitimate jihad. Never mind that they break cardinal rules of jihad as laid out in the Qur’an and the lawbooks of Islam. Never mind that they confuse basic distinctions, such as the one between combatants and civilians, and between suicide and martyrdom. No, according to the architects of the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11, the ongoing explosions in Baghdad, and the London train bombings, they are engaging in the ultimate expression of human submission to the divine intent. The truth of the matter, however, is that they are engaged in the very behavior that the Qur’an and Prophet came to combat: tribalism. Despite protestations to the contrary, Al-Qaeda and similarly-minded groups are engaged in no more than the old-fashioned tribal warfare, the hallmark of jahiliyya.

Aziz, Haris U.S. Anti-Semitism is against the basics of Islam. Islam promotes humility and warns against keeping enmity and anger in one’s heart. It is a positive sign that many Muslim intellectuals such as Akbar Ahmed and Tariq Ramadan are speaking out against anti-Semitism by Muslims. It is also crucial that the Jewish leaders also follow suit and encourage better understanding between Muslims and Jews. Tariq Ramadan says, ‘there is nothing in Islam that gives legitimization to Judeophobia, xenophobia and the rejection of any human being because of his religion or the group to which he belongs. Anti-Semitism has no justification in Islam, the message of which demands respect for the Jewish religion and spirit, which are considered a noble expression of the People of the Book’.

Badawi, Zaki, Principal, Muslim College in London BRITAIN  We desperately need for the recovery of the religious commitment that will inspire in all of us the respect for the rule of law over individualism and tribalism. Only then will we subscribe to the dignity and worth of all peoples, tribes, and individuals regardless of color, custom, tongue and traditions. And only then will we have a world at peace with itself.

Bakri, Shaykh Omar, Leader of al-Muhajirun, a radical Islamist movement based in London, ENGLAND  Condemned 9/11 attack.  If Islamists did it—and most likely it is Islamists, because of the nature of what happened—then they have fully misunderstood the teachings of Islam. ... Even the most radical of us have condemned this. I am always considered to be a radical in the Islamic world and even I condemn it.  The Gazette, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, p.b6 September 13, 2001 

Bayyoumi, Abdel-Mo’tei, al-Azhar Islamic Research Academy, Cairo, EGYPT  “There is no terrorism or a threat to civilians in jihad [religious struggle].” Al-Ahram Weekly Online, 20 - 26 September 2001

Belkeziz, Dr. Abdelouahed, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference  Following the bloody attacks against major buildings and installations in the United States yesterday, Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz, secretary-general of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), stated that he was shocked and deeply saddened when he heard of those attacks which led to the death and injury of a very large number of innocent American citizens. Dr. Belkeziz said he was denouncing and condemning those criminal and brutal acts that ran counter to all covenants, humanitarian values and divine religions foremost among which was Islam.  Press Release, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, September 12, 2001,

CAIR Not In the Name of Islam Petition  An online petition drive designed to disassociate the faith of Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims. The petition CAIR’s web site (, called “Not in the Name of Islam,” allows Muslims around the world to help correct misperceptions of Islam and the Islamic stance on religiously-motivated terror.  May 13, 04

CAIR statement on holocaust denial - “No legitimate cause or agenda can ever be advanced by denying or belittling the immense human suffering caused by the murder of millions of Jews and other minority groups by the Nazi regime and its allies during World War II. Cynical attempts to use Holocaust denial as a political tool in the Middle East conflict will only serve to deepen the level of mistrust and hostility already present in that troubled region.”

CAIR Not In the Name of Islam anti-terror ads air in Minnesotta  on cable networks in Minnesota, including during a Monday night Vikings football game.
CAIR’s 30-second spot features American Muslims stating: “We often hear claims Muslims don’t condemn terrorism and that Islam condones violence. As Muslims, we want to state clearly that those who commit acts of terror in the name of Islam are betraying the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad. We reject anyone ­ of any faith - who commits such brutal acts and will not allow our faith to be hijacked by criminals. Islam is not about hatred and violence. It’s about peace and justice.”  View CAIR’s ad at:  September 23, 2006

Canadian Society of Muslims Condemns 9/11 Attack, CANADA   We condemn in the strongest terms possible what are apparently vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all Canadians in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No political cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts. September 12, 2001,

Council of Ulama’, fatwa of February 2003, SAUDI ARABIA “What is happening in some countries from the shedding of the innocent blood and the bombing of buildings and ships and the destruction of public and private installations is a criminal act against Islam. ... Those who carry out such acts have the deviant beliefs and misleading ideologies and are responsible for the crime. Islam and Muslims should not be held responsible for such actions.” The Dawn newspaper, Karachi, Pakistan, February 8, 2003

Crane, Dr. Robert D. U.S. Many Muslims justify violence against civilians as self-defense. In response to 9/11 their only response was a defensive Don’t blame us!? The time has come for Muslims to do precisely this, to blame themselves. If religious extremism, regardless of its causes, can claim justification for incinerating and crushing thousands of innocent Americans in the name of Islam, then the silent majority of Muslims have an unmet responsibility to reclaim the wisdom of their Islamic heritage as a constructive force in global affairs. This must be the primary response to the challenge of 9/11.  The specific challenge of such a response is how to organize in a positive way to promote more enlightened understanding of Islam, particularly by Muslims among Muslims.

Day of Unity and Prayer - 9/11/2003

El Fadl, Khaled Abou, U.S.  Classical Muslim jurists, however, were uncompromisingly harsh toward rebels who used what the jurists described as stealth attacks and, as a result, spread terror. Muslim jurists considered terrorist attacks against unsuspecting and defenseless victims as heinous and immoral crimes, and treated the perpetrators as the worst type of criminals.  Under the category of crimes of terror, the classical jurists included abductions, poisoning of water wells, arson, attacks against wayfarers and travelers, assaults under the cover of night and rape. For these crimes, regardless of the religious or political convictions of the perpetrators, Muslim jurists demanded the harshest penalties, including death. Most important, Muslim jurists held that the penalties are the same whether the perpetrator or victim is Muslim or non-Muslim.

El Amin, Imam Plemon U.S. Cowardly acts of terrorism upon innocent men, women, and children is not a doorway to Heaven, but a gateway to Hell. Blind aggression and retaliation are sins, and as Muslims we reject these practices by our selves, our kin, our foes, the rich, or the poor. Past and recent acts of terrorism that victimize innocent human beings, such as the World Trade Center bombing, the mosque assault by Baruch Goldstein, and the recent suicide bombing in Tel Aviv are deplored by our community and must be condemned by all God-conscious and civilized communities, both Muslim and others. We must all stand up for peace and toleration. Among both the Palestinians and the Israelis are those guilty and responsible for the many women and children left maimed and dead. Each side has produced both perpetrators of violence and victims of injustice.

Engineer, Dr. Asghar Ali, INDIA The Qur’an clearly lays down that killing any person without a just cause amounts to killing whole humanity and saving one person’s life amounts to saving entire humanity. This is truly humanistic and spiritual dimension of Islam and of any religion for that matter. Killing hundreds of innocent people can not qualify for being a religious act by any stretch of imagination.  In fact whether fundamentalism and terrorism (in the sense in which they have been defined above) are linked together or not both are curses for humanity. No truly religious person should approve of such gross misuse of religion. A religious attitude has to be of humility, distance from political power and of non-violence. The Sufi Islam which was truly spiritual Islam always maintained its distance from power centres and believed in the doctrine of what is called sulh-i-kul i.e. peace with all.

Federation of Islamic Organizations, NEW ZEALAND On behalf of the Muslim community of New Zealand, the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand Inc. (F.I.A.N.Z.) we would like to express our total condemnation of the recent Terrorist attacks in the USA on the American people, the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. The New Zealand Muslim community categorically repudiates these cowardly and viscious assaults on civilians. We offer our deepest condolences to the families whose near and dear ones have been killed or injured in this barbaric incident.  This despicable incident is an unacceptable outrage, regardless of who is ultimately held to be responsible, and we condemn it as fundamentally un-Islamic and against all the principles of our holy faith. We pray God to have mercy on the souls of the murder victims and to punish all evildoers who perpetuate and support such an act of Terrorism.

Ghannouchi, Shaykh Rached , chairman of Tunisia’s an-Nahda Movement, in exile in London, ENGLAND Such destruction can only be condemned by any Muslim, however resentful one may be of America’s biased policies supporting occupation in Palestine, as an unacceptable attack on thousands of innocent people having no relation to American policies. Anyone familiar with Islam has no doubt about its rejection of collective punishment, based on the well-known Quranic principle that ‘no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another.’ The Washington Post, October 13, 2001, p. B9

Ghannoushi, Soumaya The causes al-Qaida extremists speak for are certainly just causes. The sanctioning of genocide and occupation in Palestine, slaughter of hundreds of thousands in Iraq through exposure to depleted Uranium and years of barbaric sanctions first, then through bombing and shelling without bothering to count the dead, brutal invasion of the country, destruction of its infrastructure and humiliation of its people, undoubtedly rank among modern history’s bloodiest crimes and darkest tragedies.  But the mindless killing of the innocent in Madrid, New York, or London is the wrong answer to these real grievances. These are illegitimate responses to legitimate causes. Just as occupation is morally and politically deplorable, so too is any blind aggression masquerading as Jihad.

Hajoo, Imam Jamil U.S. The terrorists, whoever they are, could not be worthy Muslims. The Islamic message is a message of justice, peace and mercy to all mankind. A cowardly act of terrorism against innocent people is not a doorway to heaven but a gateway to hell. Islam rejects aggression and self-serving retribution. Islam holds the human soul in high regard and considers the attack against one human being a grave sin.  The Holy Qur’an warns: “Whoever killed a person not in retaliation of murder or in spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he killed all mankind and if anyone saved one life it would be as if he saved all mankind” (Qur’an 5: 32). Prophet Muhammad said “Whoever hurts a dhimee (a Jew or a Christian protected by Islamic state) he would be like hurting me and who hurts me, he hurts God.”

Hasan, Usama Britain - Suicide-bombing of civilian targets is evil and prohibited under Islamic Law. I would tell suicide-bombers intending to attack civilians that they would be murderers, not martyrs, and that they would go to Hell, not Heaven.

Hassaballa, Dr. Hesham U.SFrom where has this all come? By what stretch of the imagination could the killing of Margaret Hassan, or the attack on the elementary school in Beslan, Russia be deemed as “Islamic”? Where in our ancient and rich scholarly tradition has the murder of non-combatants ever been sanctioned? As I search deep into my soul for answers to these invariably difficult questions, my soul is struck with a deep pang of pain. I fear that the Nation whose legacy to the world had once been Astronomy, Medicine, and Philosophy has devolved into one whose legacy to the world will be suicide bombings, kidnappings, and be headings. I fear that the phrase “parle l’arabe (he speaks Arabic),” once a symbol of elevated social status, will become a stain of shame, worthy of concealment.

Hassaballa, Dr. Hesham U.S. No matter what wrong has been done to the Muslims, there is no justification for the taking of innocent life. It is not “defending Islam” in the least; it is not “martyrdom,” but cold-blooded murder. The Qur’an is quite clear: “Do not let the hatred of some people move you to commit injustice.” (5:8). Never can the legitimate suffering of Muslims around the world be justification for the murder of innocent human beings, no matter where they are, no matter who they are, no matter what faith they claim to profess.

Hathout, Dr. Maher, American Muslim scholar. In spite of our deep understanding and sympathy towards the Palestinian suffering and the frustration of trying to move the conscience of the world through peaceful means and throwing rocks, and in spite of our condemnation of the brutal practices of the Sharon apartheid regime, we still took a clear stand against suicide bombing that compels a person use his or her body as a weapon to destroy noncombatants. We took that stand conscientiously based on our understanding of Islam, as well as the awareness that once we glorify death and cheapen human life, it takes us to a downhill spiral that does not limit itself to one field or one cause. Now we see what we were dreading happening daily, resulting in the killing of Iraqis in Iraq, the Shias, in Pakistan, the Kurds in Mosul. Suicide killing has become a “modus operandi,” not a desperate aberration.  ... If we truly believe in this religion, we ought to go through very serious questioning and soul-searching. How did we, as a group, fail to nip this ugly phenomenon in the bud?  How did we indulge in the luxury of theoretical debates, and craft all kinds of euphemisms to let this go on, spill out and grow?

Hathout, Dr. Maher U.S. “Two weeks ago, we saw how a group of young Muslims swallowed the bait of fiery rhetoric riddled with out-of-context verses spun in order to serve a nihilistic ideology of anger and despair offered to them disguised as Islam. Within a short period of time, these young men fell prey to the hate-filled dogma and were transformed into beings capable of blowing themselves up, taking with them innocent lives whom God has also blown in them from his spirit and “conferred dignity on the children of Adam” (Quran 7:70) which cuts through barriers of race, gender and creed…As they commit the crime against themselves and others, they drag with them the reputation and image of the religion they claim to venerate. They not only violate its basic teachings, but disfigure the message of “mercy to the worlds” into a justification for cruel, cowardly and repulsive behavior. In this way, hearts that were supposed to be opened to the word of God got closed and minds that were hoped to have been opened to the light of guidance are shut.”

Heminski, Sheikh Kabir U.S. There are many prophecies that suggest that we are at a point of global crisis. In addition to many other voices, the indigenous peoples of the world, and especially of my own continent of North America, are trying to call our attention to the unavoidable truth: The world is more out of balance than ever in human history. Not only the ummahs of the land, but the ummahs of the sky and sea are suffering and dying from these imbalances. We have truly forgotten the sacredness of all life as we have become entangled in our own egoistic, nationalistic, and even sectarian concerns.

Henzell-Thomas, Dr. Jeremy BRITAIN There are even finer distinctions to be drawn here. We might recognise the distinction between Islamic terrorist and Muslim terrorist, but we might also want to say that a Muslim terrorist is also an oxymoron, because a true Muslim can, by definition, never be a terrorist (i.e. one guilty of hirabah, or unholy war), in the same way as Islam, by definition, can never sanction such behavior. We then have to distinguish between the misleading phrase ԓMuslim terrorist and some such phrase as ԓcriminal terrorist who calls himself a Muslim.  ... The logical consequence of this reasoning is to deny to anyone a faith-based identity who does not live up to the precepts of the faith or does not embody a completely idealized version of the faith he or she claims to follow. Ultimately then, are there any Muslims, Christians and Jews apart from the Prophets and Saints?  One way round this is to understand that the Qur’an promises nothing to the Muslims, only to the mumin, the People of Faith, who may also be Jews, Sabeans and Christians, and, in fact, people of other faith communities too, given the fact that the Qur’an tells us that a Prophet has been sent to every human community and that We make no distinction between any of them.

Islamic Circle of North America, U.S. declares Friday, September 14, 2001, a day of mourning and prayers. The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is extremely horrified and saddened by the tragedy in New York and Washington D.C.  Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this horrible and despicable crime.  We condemn this heinous act and call upon our political leaders and the media to act responsibly, and not generalize when speculating about the perpetrators.  Islam does not permit such unjust actions. Muslims are not terrorists and we condemn any terrorist attack against all people. There were several hundred Muslims working in the World Trade Center. And, a large number of Muslims used to offer Friday prayer in the World Trade Center.  There are many Muslims, who are still among the missing. We appreciate and thank President Bush for acknowledging that American Muslims and Arab American are also saddened by this terrorist attack and by making it clear that any hate crime against Muslims will not be tolerated. Our hearts are with those who have lost loved ones in this terrible tragedy and our prayers are with the departed souls.

Ibrahim, Anwar , Islamic activist and former deputy prime minister, MALAYSIA, Never in Islam’s entire history has the action of so few of its followers caused the religion and its community of believers to be such an abomination in the eyes of others. Millions of Muslims who fled to North America and Europe to escape poverty and persecution at home have become the object of hatred and are now profiled as potential terrorists. And the nascent democratic movements in Muslim countries will regress for a few decades as ruling autocrats use their participation in the global war against terrorism to terrorize their critics and dissenters. This is what Mohammed Atta and his fellow terrorists and sponsors have done to Islam and its community worldwide by their murder of innocents at the World Trade Center in New York and the Defense Depart-ment in Washington. The attack must be condemned, and the condemnation must be without reservation.  Anwar Ibrahim, Growth of Democracy Is the Answer to Terrorism, International Herald Tribune, October 11, 2001,

Islahi, Shaikh Muhammad Yusuf, Pakistani-American Muslim leader, U.S. “The sudden barbaric attack on innocent citizens living in peace is extremely distressing and deplorable. Every gentle human heart goes out to the victims of this attack and as humans we are ashamed at the barbarism perpetrated by a few people. Islam, which is a religion of peace and tolerance, condemns this act and sees this is as a wounding scar on the face of humanity. I appeal to Muslims to strongly condemn this act, express unity with the victims’ relatives, donate blood, money and do whatever it takes to help the affected people.” “Messages From Shaikh Muhammad Yusuf Islahi.”

Islam, Yusuf (formerly Cat Stevens), prominent British Muslim, singer, songwriter, BRITAIN “I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday. While it is still not clear who carried out the attack, it must be stated that no right thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action: the Qur’an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity. We pray for the families of all those who lost their lives in this unthinkable act of violence as well as all those injured; I hope to reflect the feelings of all Muslims and people around the world whose sympathies go out to the victims at this sorrowful moment.” [On singing an a cappella version of “Peace Train” for the Concert for New York City:] “After the tragedy, my heart was heavy with sadness and shock, and I was determined to help in some way. Organizers asked me to take part in a message for tolerance and sing ‘Peace Train.’ Of course, I agreed. ... As a Muslim from the West, it is important to me to let people know that these acts of mass murder have nothing to do with Islam and the beliefs of Muslims.” Press release of September 13, 2001, and PR Newswire, October 22, 2001, both at

Imtiaz, S.M. Atif U.S. Madness. Civilisation. These words are used to frame our moral discourse because we don’t at present have an understanding of the word “wrong.” The hijackers were mad. What kind of madness was it? Schizophrenia? I think not. When we say mad, we actually mean that we don’t know what to say, we don’t understand, we cannot categorise them. [34] So they must be mad. To guess at their mind set, I don’t think that they were mad. I think that they had become in true twentieth-century fashion numb to suffering. They could see their own death and the death of thousands of others ahead of them, but they had become numb to suffering, perhaps numb to moral discourse. They had heard Western political leaders sidestep the murder of tens/hundreds/thousands of Muslims one too many times and they had moved from the stage of intense pain to numbness. This is the point at which Islamic law steps in, and holds us back, for I too am numb to suffering. If Muslims are to be critical of themselves, and indeed now they need to be so, they should ask about what has happened to Islamic law that it could abandon its traditional self so completely as to permit some acts which are so obviously forbidden. I leave this question to those who are more knowledgeable on this than I, but I urge the average Muslim like myself to think about their relationship with the law, because the law is a blessing, it protects us even from our own selves. We are living in times when laws and rules, rights and wrongs, don’t mean much. One million people use cannabis every week against the law in Britain and the argument for legalisation is “Well, so many people break the law, let’s change it.” Muslims have to be careful that they don’t join in. The law is sacred in Islam, as the expression of a divinely-guided consensus. As soon as this is challenged and doors are opened for furious men to re-read the scriptures themselves and ignore the scholars, then we will begin to arrive at destinations that we did not intend.

INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC ORGANIZATIONS STATEMENT on 9/11  The undersigned, leaders of Islamic movements, are horrified by the events of Tuesday 11 September 2001 in the United States which resulted in massive killing, destruction and attack on innocent lives. We express our deepest sympathies and sorrow. We condemn, in the strongest terms, the incidents, which are against all human and Islamic norms. This is grounded in the Noble Laws of Islam which forbid all forms of attacks on innocents. God Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: ‘No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another’ (Surah al-Isra 17:15).
MSANews, September 14, 2001,

ISNA Fatwa Against Terrorism and Religious Extremism: Muslim Position and Responsibilities, U.S.  IN PART:  [1] All acts of terrorism, including those targeting the life and property of civilians, whether perpetrated by suicidal or any other form of attacks, are haram (forbidden) n Islam.  [2] It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or prohibited violence.  [3] It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to undertake full measures to protect the lives of all civilians, and ensure the security and well-being of fellow citizens.  Recently, similar declarations against terrorism have been issued by religious scholars and leaders in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia 2005 

Sherman Jackson, American Muslim Scholar Terrorism in Islamic law (under the name of hirabah) is publicly directed violence (not just public violence but publicly directed violence), i.e., violence that indiscriminately targets innocent, non-combatant civilians. As for suicide bombings, even leaving aside the question of suicide itself, inasmuch as they target innocent, non-combatant, civilian populations, they are crimes under Islamic law, whether they are carried out against non-Muslim, civilian populations, such as in Israel, or Muslim civilian populations, such as in Iraq. It is true that at least one prominent modern jurist, Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has exempted Israel from this judgment, arguing in effect that such bombers are martyrs in a legitimate jihad. But this is not the view of the majority, who find it lacking in scriptural proof, as well as inconsistent with the judgment that even this jurist would apply to identical acts committed elsewhere. As for situations such as Iraq, they really reflect the extent to which the contemporary Muslim reality betrays Islamic ideals. For here the Qur’ân explicitly addresses the Muslims with the following warning: “And whoever intentionally kills a believer, their recompense shall be hell, where they shall abide. God’s anger and curse shall be upon them, and God shall prepare for them a severe punishment.”

Jackson, Sherman, American Muslim scholar.  In the interest of honest communication and meaningful global dialogue, I think that all of us should abandon our hypocritical claims to passivism and honestly lay out the circumstances under which we will sanction violence and those under which we will accept peace. At the very least, this could provide us with an opportunity to recognize our respective contributions to peace and violence in the world, instead of always seeing our violence as noble and justified and our enemy’s violence as gratuitous and barbaric.  Of course, many will see this as a veiled indictment of American action in the world. In point of fact, however, I see Muslims as being just as guilty of high-handed arrogance and blatant disregard for both the sanctity of human life and the teachings of the religion they profess. I am actually writing this missive from the gulf state of Qatar, where I have spoken with numerous Muslims who bemoan what they describe as a frightening and deep-seated sickness that seems to have gripped a segment of the Muslim population. They recognize the horrific political, social and economic conditions under which this segment lives. But they do not condone their wanton, publicly directed violence and terror; and they do not recognize it as part of their religion.

Keller, Nuh Ha Mim, American Muslim scholar, U.S.  “Muslims have nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing to hide, and should simply tell people what their scholars and religious leaders have always said: first, that the Wahhabi sect has nothing to do with orthodox Islam, for its lack of tolerance is a perversion of traditional values; and second, that killing civilians is wrong and immoral.”  “Making the World Safe for Terrorism,” September 30, 2001

Khamene’i, Ayatollah Ali, Supreme jurist-ruler of IRAN  “Killing of people, in any place and with any kind of weapons, including atomic bombs, long-range missiles, biological or chemical weapons, passenger or war planes, carried out by any organization, country or individuals is condemned. ... It makes no difference whether such massacres happen in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Qana, Sabra, Shatila, Deir Yassin, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq or in New York and Washington.” ** Islamic Republic News Agency, September 16, 2001,  and

Khan, Muqtedar, Ph.D. U.S. Let me tell you that I would rather live in America under Ashcroft and Bush at their worst, than in any “Islamic state” established by ignorant, intolerant and murderous punks like you and Mullah Omar at their best. The US, Patriot Act not withstanding, is still a more Islamic (just and tolerant) state than Afghanistan ever was under the Taliban.  Remember this: Muslims from all over the world who wished to live better lives migrated to America and Muslims who only wished to take lives migrated to Afghanistan to join you.  We will not follow the desires of people (like you) who went astray and led many astray from the Straight Path. (Quran 5:77).  I conclude by calling upon you Mr. Bin Laden and your Al Qaeda colleagues and Mr. Saddam Hussein to surrender to International Courts and take responsibility for your actions and protect thousands of other innocent Muslims from becoming the victims of the wars you bring upon them.

Khatami, President Muhammad of IRAN  “The September 11 terrorist blasts in America can only be the job of a group that have voluntarily severed their own ears and tongues, so that the only language with which they could communicate would be destroying and spreading death.”  Address to the United Nations General Assembly, November 9, 2001  In a speech at Harvard University, he condemned Osama bin Laden for committing crimes in the name of Islam.

Khatami, President Muhammad condemns bin Laden “First, because of the crimes he conducts,” he said, “and second because he conducts them in the name of Islam, the religion which is a harbinger of peace and justice.”  Khatami, whose speech in Farsi was relayed through a translator, said he was one of the first world leaders to condemn “the barbarous acts” of Sept. 11.  In response to a question about the notion of suicide bombers gaining entry to heaven as reward for their martyrdom, Khatami said, “Those who put others through hell will never go to heaven.”