New York, August 22, 2014 – I deplore the brutal atrocities being committed by the ISIS terrorist group hiding behind a false religious rhetoric and join the people of conscience from around the world in calling for these perpetrators to immediately cease their cruel and inhuman acts. Any form of attack, suppression or persecution of minorities or innocent civilians is an act that contradicts the principles of the Qur’an and the tradition of our Prophet upon whom be peace and blessings.
ISIS members are either completely ignorant of the spirit of Islam and its blessed messenger, or their actions are designed to serve their individual interests or those of their political masters. Regardless, their actions represent those of a terrorist group and they should be labeled as such and be brought to justice.
The goal of religion is to establish peace based on universal human rights, rule of law and high human values in the world. Any interpretations to the contrary, including the abuse of religion to help fuel conflicts, are either false or deceitful. In true Islamic thought based on its core principles, every mean to a legitimate end should also be legitimate itself. To think or act otherwise is nothing but Machiavellism.
I send my heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the deceased in Iraq and Syria, and to the family and friends of the slain journalist James Foley. May God give them patience and perseverance, and alleviate their suffering. I pray for the immediate release of other hostages and ask God, the Merciful to lead us all into a world of mutual respect and peace. I invite everybody to join together in this prayer.