The terrorist group operating in Syria and Iraq should not be referred to by its self-given name the “Islamic State” but as “Al-Qaeda Separatists”, announced the office of the Grand Mufti of the Republic on Sunday.
Assistant to Mufti Shawky Allam, Ibrahim Negm, announced that Al-Azhar’s Dar Al-Ifta had launched a campaign directed at the international media in order to “clarify the tarnished image of Islam across the globe due to the terrorist group’s horrendous act of attaching the name of Islam to their appalling acts which could not be justified under any religion or creed”.
The campaign, according to Negm, also seeks to ensure “that all Muslims reject these practices that are contrary to the principles of tolerant Islam, which calls for coexistence,” added the statement.
The media office for Dar Al-Ifta also said that it had started a page on Facebook named “Call it [Al-Qaeda] Separatists not Islamic State” to provide a platform for Muslims across the world to express their rejection of the armed group “to show the West the real face of Islam and Muslims”.
The group, which calls itself the Islamic State (IS), currently controls vast territory in Syria and Iraq and has targeted civilians in both countries. The group is currently engaged in fighting with US, Iraqi and Kurdish forces.
On Sunday Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry was in Saudi Arabia to discuss developments in Syria with Arab counterparts and IS was on the agenda among topics to be discussed.
The foreign ministry condemned the group’s beheading of American journalist James Foley, stating that targeting places of worship and innocent civilians by terrorist groups contradicts the teachings of Islam.