By Reissa Su
A black flag belonging to the Islamic State is seen near the Syrian town of Kobani, as pictured from the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, October 6, 2014. A black flag belonging to Islamic State was visible from across the Turkish border atop a four-storey building close to the scene of some of the most intense clashes in recent days. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
Muslim leaders from around the world have issued a collective statement against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. According to the Catholic Herald, more than 100 Muslim leaders including laypeople have signed an open letter condemning the acts of ISIS militants. The 17-page letter contained quotes from the Qur’an to illustrate how ISIS’ behaviour goes against the teachings of Islam.
Since the open letter was released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in the United States, more than 125 Muslim clerics including those from Arab countries. The letter condemned the treatment of Arab Christians who were given the choice to convert to Islam or be put to the sword. Reports said ISIS militants had painted their homes red and destroyed their churches. Many Christians had died for refusing to convert while others had fled to escape persecution.
The Muslim leaders said Christians were not “combatants against Islam.” They should be treated as “friends, neighbours and co-citizens” of Muslims. From the legal point of view of Sharia or Islamic law, the rulings of jihad do not apply to Arab Christians, the clerics declared.
Although the video was uploaded only recently in YouTube, the footage was reportedly filmed on Oct. 22. The video is yet to be verified. Claims of injured ISIS militants being smuggled in Turkish hospitals for treatment have circulated as speculations continue about the video. Previous reports indicate that Turkey had allowed 3,000 militants to rejoin ISIS in exchange for 49 diplomat hostages.
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