Misperceptions of Islam addressed by Arshad Yousufi, Spokesman for ISCS.
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Islamic State has perpetrated yet another atrocity, and our hearts go out to the families of the victims; may God give them patience to bear the loss. Those of us from Muslim countries relived the horrors perpetrated by TTP in Pakistan, the precursor of IS, which slaughtered women and children in a marketplace and shot schoolchildren in cold blood. The president of France has declared the attacks to be an act of war. The madness in IS’ methods is that IS deliberately uses terrorism for retaliation against military action on IS targets. These attacks in France, blowing up a Russian plane, bombs in Turkey, killing innocent American captives and burning alive a captured Jordanian pilot and several Kurdish fighters were retaliation for their countries’ participation in the war against IS. The only way to stop the IS-incited terrorism is to destroy IS totally. However, to develop a smarter strategy, the president, and presidential candidates, first need to understand IS and the root cause of the problems. IS and TTP are not like al-Qaida. They are a religious cartel, the religious equivalent of a drug cartel, just as ruthless and violent, whose purpose is to seize power, territory and money by using Islam as an excuse, while their actions are contrary to the rules of Islam. IS, TTP and al-Qaida misinterpret the rules to suit their agenda. All human life, including those of non-Muslims like the Yazidis and Copts, is sacred, according to the rules of Islam. Prophet Muhammad prohibited harming a noncombatant even on a battlefield, even in the heat of battle. Saladin’s (Salahuddin Ayyubi) chivalry in war toward the Crusaders led by Richard the Lionhearted, depicted in the movie “Kingdom of Heaven,” represents the rules of Islam even in war, not the barbarism of IS. As prophecied by Prophet Muhammad, some Muslims could be just as crazy, evil and violent as followers of other religions. The rules of Islam command that terrorist mischief-making evildoers like IS and TTP be executed (Quran Sura Maida 5:33). While IS uses “Islamist” ideology, the rise of IS in the chaos in Syria and Iraq is really due to a series of serious strategic errors of judgment by successive American administrations. These include not dividing Iraq along its deep sectarian and ethnic divisions into three autonomous states in a federation, disbanding the large trained Iraqi army into an economy with no jobs, and dismissing the functioning Iraqi government bureaucracy. The worst was that the American administration turned a blind eye to the massacres of Sunnis by Shia militia in Iraqi army uniforms, carried out with the connivance of the Maliki Shia government, which drove the Sunnis to support and strengthen, in a symbiotic relationship, the only group willing to protect them: IS. Without the support of Sunnis in Iraq, IS would collapse. The situation can be much improved by simply dividing Iraq into three autonomous states: Shia, Sunni and Kurd, in a federation of states like the United States of America. Giving the Sunnis of Iraq their own state and military would be their incentive to stop supporting IS and instead fight IS, as they fought against al-Qaida during the surge; the withdrawal of Sunni support would cause IS to implode. The American administration still does not comprehend that using the sectarian Shia Iraqi army, or the Shia Iranian forces opposed to America, to fight IS in Sunni territory repels the Sunnis. While IS and al-Qaida are the enemy, the great majority of Muslims around the world stand with America in the war against extremists and terrorists, and have been on America’s side for decades: in the Cold War, against the USSR in Afghanistan, in Somalia (“Black Hawk Down”), in the first Gulf War, and in the current conflicts. We, as patriotic Americans and practicing Muslims, would work with law enforcement to stop any crazy confused Muslim who might be inclined to terrorism, if we come to know about him. We also educate the Muslim community about the false propaganda of IS, and would appreciate the support and understanding of our fellow American citizens. May God protect and bless America.