Jihadist groups sowing strife among Muslims in Syria

It is forbidden for Muslims to kill other Muslims, but al-Qaeda-linked groups are allegedly doing so in Syria.

Special to Khabar by Waleed Abu al-Khair in Cairo

May 02, 2014
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In March, hundreds of extremists rallied in Jakarta in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). But those protesters may be unaware the extent to which such al-Qaeda-linked groups are sowing deadly strife among Muslims in Syria.

  • Rebel fighters view the bodies of handcuffed and blindfolded men allegedly executed by the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). [Mahmud al-Halabi/AFP]

    Rebel fighters view the bodies of handcuffed and blindfolded men allegedly executed by the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). [Mahmud al-Halabi/AFP]

Fierce battles have erupted between ISIS and al-Nusra Front (ANF), with hundreds reportedly killed. Such infighting among Muslims is strictly forbidden, clerics and scholars say.

Recruits who join these groups expect to fight against the Syrian regime but often find themselves "provoked to fight against their brothers in arms, ideology and Islam", said Abdullah al-Muqrin, professor of comparative jurisprudence at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca.

Since its inception, al-Qaeda has distorted Qur'anic verses and hadiths to serve its interests, he added.

"It proceeded to spill the blood of civilians and the blood of Muslims who oppose its takfiri course," he said. "This has no relation to Islam. Rather the opposite, for the fate of he who sheds the blood of his Muslim brother is hell."

A departure from religion

Idealistic young men who want to help suffering Muslim brethren in Syria, may not know that armed extremists in that country are violating Islam by fighting among themselves.

"A Muslim is prohibited from shedding the blood of his brother Muslim," said Ramez Yahya, an Al-Azhar University sharia professor. "What al-Qaeda is doing in Syria and Iraq is a departure from religion itself."

Unversed Muslim youths are being misled by false and prejudiced fatwas, Yahya said, noting that Prophet Mohammed "ordered Muslims to break and disable their weapons so they (Muslims) do not fall into fitna (strife) and kill their Muslim brothers".

Agree, or die

Before moving to Cairo, Sheikh Maaz Abdul Karim was a preacher at al-Omar mosque in Aleppo in Syria, where he witnessed the fitna and oppression of these groups first hand.

"ISIS and ANF were able to recruit many Muslims into their ranks, some of whom are Syrian and some are migrants or foreign fighters, and were able to embroil them in the fitna, fighting and shedding Muslim blood, which God and his messenger prohibited," Abdul Karim said. "The going rule among ISIS, ANF, Ahrar ash-Sham and other groups at this time is, 'He who is not with us is against us'."

He said he and many other Syrians suffered "clear oppression at the hands of al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organisations".

"In the end, I preferred to leave Syria as I found myself facing two choices: either they kill me for rejecting al-Qaeda's views, or I toe the line of their views, which goes against what I was raised on and the principles of the sharia I learned."

Islam prohibits partisanship because the existence of parties leads to intolerance towards each other, he said.

"How can they say they are establishing an Islamic state, having started with false premises which are at their root far-removed from religion?" Abdul Karim asked.

Reader Comments
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    • taufik ridwan
      June 19, 2014 @ 04:06:35AM
    • In the name of Allah, after reading the article, it is all public deception. If we talk about the principles, whether it's ISIL or another, they all have the same purpose, to uphold Allah's truth. So, even when we do not understand, we make up news. Muslims are not easily led astray, this is propaganda intentionally spread by people outside of Islam because they fear the return of Islam's glory which begins in Syria (country of Sham).
    • dhika
      June 27, 2014 @ 09:06:25AM
    • Correct, today, and Muslims cannot be fooled.
    • amoslede
      July 17, 2014 @ 12:07:53AM
    • Let Allah decide who is to be saved, the best thing people can do is to love each other in life.
    • irwan dj
      June 11, 2014 @ 12:06:46AM
    • Bismillah, don't be so quick to spout bad words. We pray so that the mujahideen are always protected by Allah SWT in their fight. We are only sitting around and insulting people without real proof.
    • kamaluddin
      June 10, 2014 @ 03:06:00AM
    • In the name of the almighty Allah, I command you to stop killing your fellow faithful because we are at our core brothers and sisters in heaven with Allah's blessing. You have crossed the line. Repent now, prioritize the afterlife. Stop, do not cross the line.
    • the god will
      June 3, 2014 @ 08:06:28AM
    • Allah knows all that has happened, is happening and will happen. Allah's power encompasses the sky and Earth including tumultuous Syria. Allah does not sleep, does not tire, and nothing escapes his sight. O Allah, if Syria is a trial for the brotherhood of Muslims then don't let it bring harm to the Muslim brotherhood. Make it a trial that will strengthen the brotherhood among Muslims.
    • novi hendri
      May 31, 2014 @ 12:05:20PM
    • We must step up our repentance so that we are delivered from slander.
    • whyzok
      May 30, 2014 @ 03:05:44AM
    • The truth is that infidels feel pain the way we feel it. Keep up the spirit to fight, Allah is with us.
    • didi rusnadi
      May 21, 2014 @ 09:05:38AM
    • ISIL are heretics who have no qualms about spilling the blood of Muslims. They are the dogs of hell.
    • trisutian
      May 20, 2014 @ 10:05:39PM
    • Al-Qaeda and the Al-Qassam Brigade will never fade away by cheap slander such as this. We will continue to pray for our Mujahideen. See the truth that the Shia and the Jews were the ones who started the war.
    • Teguh Klithik
      May 19, 2014 @ 05:05:07AM
    • Signs of Islams deterioration back to the unenlightened times, astagfirullohaladzim. Ask for forgiveness, deepen and strengthen our faith in Allah SWT as we approach the end times so we will be saved from the fires of hell, Amin.
    • alfin
      May 11, 2014 @ 07:05:24PM
    • O Allah, when will Islam be free from the slander of those who do not like it?
    • prica
      May 8, 2014 @ 12:05:15PM
    • Slander is everywhere now. This is a sign of the end of times.
    • daulah
      May 2, 2014 @ 10:05:32AM
    • What slander is this? Are you blind to the facts and evidence? Or are you one of them (enemies of Islam)?
    • faruq ali akbar (raihana)
      May 10, 2014 @ 12:05:49AM
    • Astaghfirullahhhh. Truly cruel is the man who would accuse those who come to the aid of Allah's religion and kill fellow Muslims. O Allah! Destroy them! Wipe them out! And exterminate them (the enemies of Islam)!
    • John Houtman
      May 2, 2014 @ 05:05:38AM
    • It is so quiet without comments. Where is everyone? Hey, jihadists, stop hiding!

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