70,000 Muslim clerics condemn IS and Al Qaeda as "not Islamic"

Some 1.5m Muslims have signed a petition condemning terrorist attacks

70,000 Muslim clerics condemn IS and Al Qaeda as "not Islamic"

Still from Islamic State, Vice News, YouTube

Some 70,000 Muslim clerics have banded together to pass a fatwa labelling the so-called Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and other extremist groups as “not Islamic organisations” whose members are “not Muslims.”

The mass protest against radical Islamist violence came at the Urs-e-Razwi celebration at the Dargah Aala Hazrat tomb, in the Indian city of Bareilly. The tomb is a Sunni spiritual centre with visitors from across the globe attending the annual celebration.

Over 1.5m Muslims at the ceremony signed a document protesting terrorist attacks, the Times of India reports.

Mufti Mohammed Saleem Noori, one of the clerics leading the protests against the terrorist groups, told the Times of India: "From Sunday onwards, when the annual Urs (festival) began, members of Dargah Aala Hazrat have been distributing forms among followers seeking signatures to show that those signing stand against terrorism.

“Nearly 15 lakh (100,000) Muslims have recorded their protest. Around 70,000 clerics from across the world, who were part of the event, passed the fatwa (Islamic legal pronouncement)."

Noori added that he wants the media to stop referring to the groups as “Muslim organisations”.

The decision to hold a mass protest against the groups was taken in the wake of the Paris attacks, according to Hazrat Subhan Raza Khan, the chairperson of the Daragh Aala Harzat.

The head of the shrine, Mohammed Ehsan Raza Khan, said:

"It is written in the Quran that killing one innocent person is equivalent to killing all humanity,"

Clerics at the gathering also voiced opposition to the bombing of Syria by nations such as France and the UK.

Clerics at the shrine have previously said that if a Muslim man is killed in terrorist activities the “naamz-e-janaza” – an important prayer in the Muslim funeral service - would not be read at his funeral.

Noori has previously been involved in opening a Madrassa (religious school) that teaches a course specifically on Islam sand terrorism in its graduate programme. The course aims to educate students on how terrorists misuse the Koran and hadith (additional religious commentary on the Koran by clerics from Muhammad’s era).

The course takes original extracts from the text and then compares them to how they are used by radical preachers or groups, and examining the difference.