Not in My Name

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They shout “God is Great” when they behead, dismember, or flagellate other Muslims. They destroy mosques and shrines. They blow themselves up to kill as many as they can and thus take a shortcut to heaven. They fight in the name of Islam, and in the name

Narration

October 18, 2009. In Iran’s southeastern city of Pishin, a handicrafts exhibition is bustling with people impatient to welcome Colonel Nour-Ali Shoushtari. As a high-ranking military commander, Shoushtari has been working for several years to promote cooperation among different tribes in the region. Now, he is to open the exhibition. Upon his arrival, chiefs of different Sunni and Shia tribes welcome the colonel with open arms.

Among the crowd of well-wishers there is a man called Abdulvahed Muhammad-Zadeh. He is on the lookout for an opportunity to complete what he regards as a holy mission.

A few minutes later, Colonel Shoushtari and the tribal chiefs step in the exhibition …

Abdulvahed takes the lives of 41 people leaving 150 injured. The victims run the gamut from children to tribal chiefs.

Indoctrinated with Takfiri ideology, Abdulvahed carried out the frenzied attack to take a short-cut to Heaven. He was just one of many, brainwashed by radical clerics who equate Jihad with killing others.

As an Islamic term, Jihad means to struggle for God’s sake. It’s through jihad that every Muslim is required to defend his or her country against any foreign invaders. In recent years, the term has been widely misused in the media to describe bombings, suicide attacks or any other sort of aggressive behavior by extremists. But what exactly is jihad and when does it become obligatory for Muslims?

Zahedan; the capital of Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeastern Iran; a city with Sunni Muslims in the majority. Molavi Abdulhamid is a senior scholar and a Friday Prayers leader of the city. He explains when jihad becomes a must for Muslims.

Molavi Abdulhamid :

Islam prescribes war only in certain circumstances and only religious scholars know what the circumstances are. Religious leaders must issue a fatwa that the circumstances demand jihad. Jihad doesn’t mean that anyone picks up a weapon at will and takes control of a place and kills people or makes a suicide bomb attack thinking this is jihad. No, jihad is prescribed under certain conditions and religious scholars determine the conditions. They have a great knowledge of Sharia law, the holy Quran and Islamic traditions. They must issue a fatwa for jihad. The fatwa must be endorsed by the majority of religious scholars, not by those with personal interests and biased attitude.

Narration

February 12, 2014. Fierce fighting continues in the Syrian city of Aleppo. Insurgents are fighting the government forces so as to get into the city’s central prison and liberate some of their comrades. Assad’s forces have the upper hand and the insurgents are looking for a game-changer. It was later in the suburb of Allopo, Abdul vahid majed , British national , is getting g ready to made a suicide attack .

Hours later, in a suburb of Aleppo, Abdulvaheed Majed, a British national is getting ready to make a suicide attack. An armor-clad truck is used to protect him from possible injuries while he’s driving from the rebels’ hideout to the main entrance of the prison. The truck is filled with explosives. Other rebels find it a good time to take photos with their comrade, Abdulvaheed. They believe that he’ll be in God’s bosom in no time ….

Takfiries:

Now, the "martyrdom seeker"(suicide bomber) has left. After a few minutes, the ummah (Islamic nation) shall hear his voice, Allah permitting with a roar while pounding the prisons of the Rafidites (Shiites).

With Allah's permission, we shall end this day by shouting "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is greater) in Aleppo's (central) prison and embracing (our brethren). Takbir! (glorify Allah) Allahu Akbar! (Allah is greater)

Narration

A few minutes later, the mission is accomplished; scores of people die, as does Abdulvaheed himself.

Narration

Crawly, West Sussex, England. The British police have started the investigation by ransacking Abdulvaheed’s house. People like him can be found easily in Syria as in other parts of the world. They are fighters with different nationalities but similar objectives. They are obsessed with what they think is jihad.

Narration

Muslim scholars never approve of such “reading” of Islam.

Molavi Nazir Ahmad Salami :

Islam never approves of such behavior and it never issues such a fatwa. There is no religious permission or convincing reason for suicide bomb attacks that take the lives of people – whether Muslims or infidels. These acts have roots in Takfiri ideology.

Narration

Takfiris; a group of extremists whose names and crimes have recently grabbed news headlines. They are infamous for their extremely violent behavior. But what is Takfir and what do Takfiris do?

Molavi Abdulhamid:

They brand Muslims unbelievers or kafirs on the slightest thing and issue a kufr fatwa. As is expected, then they issue a jihad fatwa against them. Takfiris are so. They issue a kufr fatwa on the slightest thing against those not in line with them.

Narration

February 14, 2014. The repercussions of bombing a mosque in a suburb of Daraa, Syria! When the end justifies the means, Takfiris are not ashamed to bomb Muslims’ most sacred place of worship for Muslims.

Molavi Abdulhamid :

Takfiri style is the worst one in the world of Islam. It’s extremism and we warn everyone against calling Muslims of different sects unbelievers for their doings or wrongdoings.

Narration

Saraavaan, in the southeastern Iran. Molavi Abdul-Aziz Ghandaabi is a senior cleric and a graduate of Islamic Teachings from the Islamic University of Medina. He points out that branding other Muslims as infidels is prohibited by the Prophet of Islam.

Molavi Ghandaabi :

According to the Prophet, everyone who calls his Muslim brethren kafir will become a kafir himself if the person he has called is not a kafir in reality.

Narration

Takfirism is an offshoot of Salafism, whose followers seek to get to the origins of Islam, but base on the own facile reading.

Molavi Ghandaabi :

There are two kinds of Salafists: the first ones are those who invite. They are called inviting Salafists. The second ones are called jihadist Salafists or Takfiris. The jihadist Salafists single out some sins and consider everyone who commits those sins as a kafir. As a result, when they consider a person as a kafir they decided to do away with him and take his property.

Narration

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. That’s what Takfiris are suffering from. With a shallow understanding of religious teachings and exegeses, Takfiri leaders are trying to promote their own discourse. Their superficial study of Islamic teachings has added up to an unprecedented way of interpreting the religion. Takfiris have found some followers so far to represent an unkind image of Islam in the world. That’s why Movlavi Ghandabi teaches his students a book called “Takfiris’ Insurrection”.

Molavi Ghandaabi:

The Takfiri Insurrection is a book which rejects the Takfir wal-Hijra group. The book is about Sheik Al-bani’s ideas because at the time the insurrection began the Sheik was in Syria. It was when Hafiz Assad was in power. The book was written during the time of insurrection. We teach this book here so as to make clear what Takfiri ideas are and show that their ideas are rejected according to prominent contemporary scholars accepted by all.

Narration:

Takfiris’ violent behavior has tarnished the reputation of Islam. This issue has caused widespread protests among religious scholars. As prominent religious leaders believe, Takfiris’ conduct has nothing to do with Islamic teachings.

Abdul-Razzagh Mones, Muslim Scholar :

Do they really represent Islam that we witness today? I swear to God that these terrorist and Takfiri groups have nothing in common with the Prophet, his household or companions in behavior. Otherwise, Islam wouldn’t have gone one meter outside Medina. As you know, more than two third of those converted to Islam throughout the world during the Islamic victories through good teaching and preaching. All of them converted to Islam for Muslims’ good behavior.

Molavi Abdulhamid :

With their violent behavior and extremism they incite hatred towards themselves from the Muslim community. They also incite hatred towards themselves and Islam from the world because they are associated with Islam anyway. And when they act like this, the world launches a campaign against Islam to show Muslims as violent groups who do heinous deeds. So, it is Islam that is tarnished. They set the scene for campaigns against Islam.

Narration

Takfiris would like to shout, “Allah-o Akbar” meaning “There’s no God but Allah!” when they kill innocent people, target mosques, behead their opponents or commit any other heinous crimes.

Dr. Abdul-Razzagh Mones, Muslim Scholar :

When Takfiris kill a person or plunder a place they shout “Allah is great.” This way, in fact, they mar the sacredness of the phrase “Allah is great” because the phrase has a very significant meaning. Every Muslim and every well-informed person knows that such behavior has its root in Wahhabism.

Narration

Wahhabis are followers of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. Influenced by the ideas of Ibn Taymiyyah, an Islamic scholar in the 13th century, Abd al-Wahhab introduced a new sect that regarded the majority of Muslims as infidels. He was also an outspoken opponent of Tawassul or intercession and considered whoever believed in it as a heretic.

Abbas Ja’afari :

His name was Muhammad and his father was Abd Al-Wahhab. He had a brother called Sulaiman ibn Abd Al-Wahhab. He was totally against his brother, Muhammad. His books are out now. In his books, Sulaiman provides arguments against Muhammad’s objections and questions to such an extent that that Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahhab gets very angry with him. Even Muhamd’s father was against him. In other words, he said things that his father, brother and teachers were against them.

Narration

Wahhabis soon challenged Muslims of other sects and branches. To begin with, they attacked holy places of Muslims.

Abbas Ja’afari :

A very appalling tradition Wahhabis have established in the world of Islam is attacking holy places. Several times after becoming powerful and with the help of Western powers Wahhabis brutally attacked holy places for their beliefs. They also attacked the graves of the Prophet’s companions in the Baqi Cemetery and the graves of four Shia Imams. The four Imams are buried in the Baqi Cemetery and they even used to have shrines. The painting and photos shows that their shrine had domes and minarets and there was a canopy over their graves. They invaded and destroyed the graves of the Prophet’s companions, even those revered by Sunni Muslims.

Dr. Abdul-Razzagh Mones, Muslim Scholar :

They also intended to demolish the Green Dome built above the grave of the Prophet and hadn’t been confronted they would have destroyed the place showing no respect to the Prophet.

Narration

Followers of Wahhabism have actively destroyed the holy shrines of the Shia Imams, enraging millions of Shia Muslims around the world.

Abbas Ja’afari :

By the year 1801, Wahhabis had become powerful and the Ottoman Empire weak and lost control over Iraq. Since the country had no powerful ruler, Wahhabis launched a brutal attack on Karbala in 1801. They attacked the holy shrine of Imam Husayn, stole and destroyed everything including jewelry, gold, offerings held in the shrine and old articles. All of them have been recorded in history. Some Shia scholars in Karbala stood against them and even took swords and mobilized people to confront Wahhabis forcing them to retreat. In 1807, they launched other attacks, this time to Najaf, Karbala, some Shia holy places and the Imams’ shrines.

Narration

As Abd al-Wahhab’s ideas spread, some tribes in Saudi Arabia began to support them. But the fact was that their support was condemned by outstanding religious scholars of the time.

Abbas Ja’afari :

As Abd Al-Wahhab’s ideas made public, the Saudi tribe in Najd lent him support. The House of Saud that was a powerful tribe and ruled the area got familiar with him. They found Abd Al-Wahhab’s thoughts very helpful to keep and increase their power. If a ruler wants to extend his power in an area, he must be supported by religious scholars and personalities. Otherwise, they may cause trouble for him. So it’s worth noticing that how Abd Al-Wahhab’s ideas were welcomed by the Saudi tribe.

Narration

Since Wahhabis’ emergence, Muslims of other sects haven’t been safe from their harm. As for their attacks, it seems the sky’s the limit.

In February 2006, Wahhabi extremists bombed the al-Askari shrine in the Iraqi city of Samarra. The shrine is one of the holiest places of the Shias. The explosion and the ensuing violence claimed the lives of over one hundred people. The bombing also triggered off a wave of sectarian clashes leaving over 1,000 people dead.

Narration

Today, the same way of thinking is rampant in Saudi Arabia, where holy places in cities like Mecca and Medina are being destroyed. The Saudi government claims that expanding the site for pilgrimage has been the reason to destroy these holy places. Recently, a plan to destroy the Prophet’s birthplace provoked Muslims’ condemnation from the four corners of the world.

Dr. Abdul-Razzagh Mones, Muslim Scholar :

Imagine that Khadijah’s house and the houses of the Prophet’s family and his companions will turn into bathrooms by the House of Saud’s order. Is it rational? Has the Quran said to do so? In the holy Quran, Surat Al-Haj, it is mentioned that, “Whoever honors the symbols of Allah it is from the piety of hearts.” Is it rational to destroy all graves? Those Muslims who used to go to the the Baqi Cemetery didn’t worship the graves but for example when they paid a visit to the grave of Hamza ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib they wanted to remember history, not to worship him because they knew he was the Prophet’s uncle and companion, and God’s servant. They also demolished many buildings around the Sacred Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque.

Narration

Today, followers of the same ideology are actively present in Syria. In their widely condemned act in a suburb of Damascus, Takfiri extremists stormed the Hujr ibn Adi mausoleum, exhumed his grave, and took his remains to an unknown location.

Hujr was a close companion of the Prophet, and under his leadership the army of Muslims achieved great victories in several crucial battles.

Molavi Abdulhamid :

Exhuming graves, taking bodies out or destroying graves are not allowed at all. Such things are not permitted in Islam. This is a perversion of Islamic teachings that they exhumed graves in many places and took bodies out. They are involved in such actions. They have hurt Muslim’s feelings and incite their hatred towards themselves. Exhuming graves is disrespect for the dead. That’s while all the dead have to be treated with respect and no one is allowed to show disrespect to the bodies of Muslims or their graves.

Narration

Battlefield Syria; images of the crimes committed by Takfiris have outraged the world. And International organizations have called for an end to the violence in the country. Abdulvaheed Majed’s comrades in arms are in Syria for what they call jihad; their modus operandi is not the issue; the end justifies the means!

Abbas Ja’afari :

Over 130 or 140 thousand of supporters of extremist Wahhabists have been gathered and sent to Syria from different countries. Statistics show that they are from over 80 countries. They are mostly young people and pretend to be Muslims’ supporters for money or other reasons. They write “There is no God but Allah” on their banners. They kill Shia and Sunni Muslims as well as Christians and Jews in Syria chanting “There is no God but Allah.” One wonders what kind of religion or belief this is.

Narration

Takfiris’ violence springs from the ignorance of their religious leaders. Since the dawn of Islam, such ignorance has been causing irreparable damages to the Muslim community. And history has shown over and over again that confronting the friends of ignorance is much difficult than the foes of faith.

The End

   

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