AUSTRALIAN imams have called for the term “Islamic” not to be used when referring to the Islamic State (Isis) group, saying it serves only to give credibility to the group’s claims of religious authority.
There was nothing Islamic about its murderous actions, the Australian National Imams Council said, and the phrase “Islamic State” referred to an era when Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together harmoniously.
But the militants had misappropriated the terminology for their own political and violent goals.
“Since the Isis group was established we have been very clear about denouncing their lies and betrayal of our faith,” the grand mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Mohammad, said in a statement on Monday.
“These criminals are committing crimes against humanity and sins against God. Forced eviction, threats of execution and burning of places of worship including churches have no place in any faith.”
But the imams council does not support the federal government’s decision to deploy a 600-strong military force to the United Arab Emirates to provide support for Kurdish and Iraq fighters battling Isis. It says there is a clear link between foreign wars and radicalisation in Australia.
Some 60 Australian nationals are said to be fighting in Syria and Iraq.
The council also warned Muslim Australians not to trust the internet and social media “as some material may have dangerous influences on vulnerable minds”.
“Instead Muslims must get proper religious advice from knowledgeable, respected and qualified imams,” it said.