The videotaped killing of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Middle East has shocked Muslims in India.
ISIL tarnished Islam's reputation as a benign religion, respected figures in the Muslim community said.
"Killing a captive soldier who fights against the Islamic Army is not permitted by Islam; then how come they ( ISIL ) brutally butchered an innocent man who was performing his professional duty? The Holy Qur'an termed such murderers as killers of whole mankind," renowned Muslim scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan told Khabar.
Foley, who also covered conflicts in Afghanistan and Libya, was known for telling stories that captured the humanity of all civilians victimised by war.
ISIL posted a video online August 19th that showed a masked militant executing Foley at an unknown date and place. The 40-year-old war correspondent disappeared in Syria on November 22nd, 2012, while covering that country's civil war.
"I firmly believe these killers have invited the wrath of Allah and their final abode is hell," Khan said.
The group declared a caliphate in the swathes of Syria and Iraq it controls. Its advancing forces have also carried out mass executions of Muslim prisoners.
Khan said Muslim youths should resist the temptation to join ISIL's ranks made up of jihadists from many countries, because the group poses a real threat to Islam.
"No one can cite a single incident during Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) period where a captive was killed. Kidnapping, looting and ransoms are acts of terror. They can't be under any circumstances, part of jihad," he said.
"Youths should refrain from being part of such mischievous organisations and those who are misguided, should repent and seek Allah's forgiveness."
Foley's death purportedly was in retaliation for U.S. air strikes on ISIL positions in northern Iraq.
"The killing in no way can be justified, even if he would have been (an) enemy of Muslims," Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) secretary Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani told Khabar.
"Those responsible for his killing can't be Muslims, they are an anathema for humanity and are working to destabilise Muslims everywhere in the world. … Let me say loud and clear, if mercy is vanished from any one's heart, he can't be a Muslim."
Veteran journalist Jawed Naqvi, a Delhi-based correspondent for Pakistan's DAWN newspaper, paid tribute to his fallen colleague.
"He was reporting on the incidents of human rights violations and had no political affiliation with any party," Naqvi said. "Nevertheless, even if he had written against any one, does it mean that he shall be murdered for his views?
"Who permits them to kill an innocent who was doing his job as a journalist?"