In tweets, in street gatherings and in open letters, moderate Muslims around the world are insisting that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) extremists don’t speak for their religion. Many are also frustrated that anyone might think they do, and a backlash has already begun.
This week’s videotaped beheading of a French mountaineer by militants linked to the ISIL terrorist group prompted heartsick fury among Muslims in France and elsewhere in Europe, torn between anger at the atrocities committed in the name of Islam and frustration that they have to defend themselves at all, AP reported.
The head of France’s largest mosque called for Muslims to rally Friday in Paris to condemn Gourdel’s slaying and show unity against terrorism, saying the ISIL’s “deadly ideology” had nothing to do with Islam.
Within hours of the call, the rector of the Bordeaux mosque, Tareq Oubrou, said French Muslims need not demonstrate in the name of Islam, but should be joined by everyone.
“They are doubly affected, because this crime touched one of our countrymen and because this crime was carried out in the name of our religion,” Oubrou told RTL radio.
“Nowhere does the Quran say other religions or nations must be attacked. Cutting people’s heads off is really the most despicable. If airstrikes can stop these fundamentalist, aggressive ideas from spreading, I am all for it,” said 65-year-old Enes Mustafic.