“What IS are doing is not jihad,” read the statement. “Their jihad is nothing but destruction and mass killing.”
Salafis in Kurdistan Condemn Islamic State
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A group of Salafis in the Kurdistan Region has condemned the Islamic State (IS/ISIS), saying the group has “misunderstood Islam and confuses Muslims and infidels.”
It said in a statement that IS, known locally as Daiish, “are killing innocent Muslims in the name of Islam.”
“What they (IS) are doing is not jihad,” read the statement. “Their jihad is nothing but destruction and mass killing.”
The term Salafi refers to Muslims who try to practice the ideas and attitudes of Prophet Muhammad and his early companions.
“The actions of IS are far from the merciful deeds of Prophet Muhammad,” said the group, condemning the recent IS attacks on Kurdish lands and the displacement and killing of Yezidi and Christian populations in and around Mosul.
“We ask the Peshmerga to bravely guard our Muslim people and their land,” the group said, accusing the IS of drawing foreign forces into Muslim lands.
“The IS is killing a great number of innocent Muslims and leads many youth to their death,” said the group, which does not go by any name.
“Because of IS there will be no security and stability in Muslim countries and space for true worshiping will become restricted,” warned the signatories, who have also distanced themselves from, and condemned, al-Qaeda and other extremist groups in the past.
“The IS has displaced tens of thousands of families who have now taken refuge in the Kurdistan Region,” it added.
On Saturday, Abdul Latif, one of the best-known Salafi figures in Kurdistan, condemned IS attacks on Christian and Yezidi civilians. He called Abubakir al-Baghdadi, the IS leader, “an extremist man who has no fear of God.”
“The IS is the product of politicizing Islam,” Abdul Latif told Rudaw.
He said that IS militants killed in battle are not considered martyrs and “in fact the Peshmerga who die defending the land, honor and dignity of the Kurdish people are the true martyrs.”