Egypt’s Dar Al-Ifta warned against the spread of Islamophobia in the West following demonstrations that have swept several European countries raising anti-Islamic slogans, a Wednesday statement by Dar Al-Ifta read.
Dar Al-Ifta is considered among the pioneering foundations for fatwa (religious edicts) in the Islamic world.
The statement stressed that these movement seek to spread “hatred and persecution against Muslim communities in the West, “which will consequently create hostility between Muslims and non-Muslims and will spread “extremism”.
Meanwhile, three American Muslims were found dead in North Carolina after being shot Tuesday, which caused a wave of anger on social media networks. While it is widely believed that the three were killed because they were Muslim, the real motive behind the killings is not yet clear.
Militancy in the name of Islam has been a rising phenomenon, with the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) and their affiliates. These include Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, now known as ‘State of Sinai’, following their pledge of allegiance to ISIS.
Islamist groups have been spreading in the Middle East and expanding their reach through their affiliates in countries worldwide.
Conversely, several anti-Islam movements have emerged in Europe, including the German movement anti-Muslim PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) established in late 2014. PEGIDA holds weekly marches against Islam, holding its first march in Austria earlier in February, drawing hundreds of supporters.
According to Reuters, PEGIDA has huge potential across Germany and Europe.
Despite world leaders’ reiteration that Islam is innocent from the militant groups’ actions in the name of Islam, hostility against Islam has been on the rise, particularly following the attack on France’s satirist magazine Charlie Hebdo early January that left at least 12 dead. The attack was claimed by Islamist group Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP).
Dar Al-Ifta pointed the need to develop “a large intellectual project” that aims to clarify the image of Islam abroad, which would put an end to this rising phenomenon.