The Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (Pergas) has condemned the violent acts of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other extremist groups.
In a statement yesterday, Pergas urged the Muslim community not to support nor sympathise with ISIS or any other groups with radical beliefs that "cause bloodshed among Muslims and murder innocent lives".
Such violence goes against the teachings of Islam and have no links to the religion, it said.
"The fight by ISIS is not only inconsistent with Islam, but is almost similar to the warning of Prophet Muhammad regarding the rise of extremists... This group will comprise of youth who are passionate, good orators and will call upon others to embrace the rule of Allah. They will speak and present their arguments with verses from the Quran but they themselves do not truly understand the meaning and context of the verses of Quran and the Hadith (Prophetic sayings)."
Pergas emphasised its rejection of any form of violence and oppression by any party or religion.
"Every party will have to reflect upon and understand the reasons behind the spread of terrorism," it said. "The issue of terrorism and violence in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Myanmar and any other country will not be solved if tyranny, discrimination, corruption and oppression still exist."
As such, eradicating threats of terrorism or ISIS will not be solved simply by military action: "As long as the fundamental issues of tyranny, oppression and injustice that lead to radicalisation and acts of terror, then groups like ISIS will continue to exist, and will alternate."
The statement came against the backdrop of revulsion against ISIS, which declared a "caliphate" straddling Iraq and Syria.
More than 120 Islamic scholars globally issued an open letter recently denouncing the militants and refuting their religious arguments. Pergas yesterday called on the Muslim community to deepen and strengthen religious knowledge by learning from qualified religious teachers.
This article was first published on Oct 4, 2014.
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