... for openness and credibility....

NOTE: The violence in Iraq following the declaration of the Islamic state has evoked strong reaction around the world including India.  On 19 August a number of Indian Muslim individuals representing different organizations and groups issued a public statement condemning the atrocities committed by ISISs in Iraq. The statement was issues simultaneously in Mumbai and New Delhi. Given its importance, the statement is reproduced here for wider audience. Editor, MEI@ND.


We, the Indian Muslims are shocked and pained by the brutality and atrocities being perpetrated by the ISIS (Islamic State of Syria and Iraq) against Christians, Shias, Kurds, Yazidis and other minorities in the regions now under their control.

We strongly condemn such barbarism which is against the teachings of Islam. We express our heart-felt sympathies and solidarity with the survivors of those whose near and dear ones have been mercilessly butchered, and the tens of thousands of Iraq’s minorities who have been dispossessed, forced to flee their homes and are now living in extremely difficult circumstances.

The barbaric conduct of the ISIS is all the more reprehensible because its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, proclaims to be the ‘Caliph’ of the entire Muslim world and his armed groups are supposedly acting in the name of Islam. We welcome the fact that most religious leaders and Islamic scholars from across the world, including India, have debunked al-Baghdadi’s claim of being a Caliph.

Alongside the ongoing tormenting of common citizens and persecution of religious and ethnic minorities in areas under their control, the ISIS has been enforcing its own intolerant, extremist, violent, distorted interpretation of Islam on Muslims who are also Sunnis. This too deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible words.

We call upon Muslim religious leaders in India and elsewhere to add their voice to that of Muslim organizations and individuals who have already denounced al-Baghdadi and his ISIS for distorting Islam’s message for peace and for their barbaric conduct.

The unspeakable atrocities and mass crimes against Iraq’s minorities are nothing short of ‘crimes against humanity’, ‘religious/ethnic cleansing’. We appeal to the United Nations to urgently intervene, create the circumstances where those forced to flee feel secure enough to return to their homes and cities with full honour and dignity, and hold the ISIS accountable for its heinous acts.

While the ISIS must be held fully responsible for its unconscionable acts, the United States, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait etc. cannot escape their share of the blame in fuelling the flames. The worsening plight of Iraq’s Christians is but a legacy of America’s illegal, unwarranted and criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003 and its subsequent engineering of sectarian strife to divide the Iraqi resistance to the occupation.

Dictator Saddam Hussein was no angel but under him the country’s 1.4 million Christians were free to practice their faith. Many occupied high government posts. It is ironic that the US is now bombing the very ISIS to which it had earlier provided training, arms and ammunition in an attempt to dislodge Syria’s authoritarian President, Bashar al-Assad.

For their own myopic ends, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait etc have been backing an array of radical Islamist outfits of which the ISIS — a monster now seemingly out of control — was an integral part.

We urge a global condemnation of the ISIS and all its allies, overt or covert.

Endorsed by:

  • A.J. Jawad, Advocate, Chennai;
  • Aamir Edresy, President, Association of Muslim Professionals, Mumbai;
  • Abbas Shamael Rizvi, Cinematographer & Photographer, Delhi;
  • Abdul Mannan Prof, Gauhati University, Assam;
  • Abdul Salam Prof, President , Justice and Equity Demand Samiti, Assam;
  • Abusaleh Shariff Dr., Executive Director, US-India Policy Institute, Washington DC;
  • Husain Akhtar Gen. Secretary, All India Momin Conference, Kanpur.
  • Amir Rizvi, Communication Designer, Mumbai;
  • Amjad Ali Dr., Assistant Professor, Jaunpur;
  • Arshad Ajmal, Social Activist, Patna;
  • Asad Ashraf, Social Activist, Delhi;
  • Asad Zaidi, Writer and Publisher, Delhi;
  • Asif Iqbal, Director, Dhanak, Delhi;
  • Asif Naqvi Professor, Aligarh;
  •  Bader Sayeed, Advocate & Former Member Legislative Assembly Tamil Nadu;
  • Faizur Rehman, Islamic Forum for Promotion of Moderate Thought, Chennai;
  • Farhat Amin, BIRD Trust, Cuttack;
  • Farrukh Warris Dr., Educationist, Mumbai.
  • Fazlur Rahman Dr, Principal, Govt Degree College, Moradabad;
  •  Feroze Mithiborwala, Muslim Intellectual Forum, Mumbai;
  • Hanif Lakdawala, Executive Director, Sanchetna, Ahmedabad;
  • Hasina Khan, Women Activist, Bombay;
  • Imanul Haque, Prof, Kolkata;
  • Iqbal Ahmad Niazi, Retired Professor Emeritus of Zoology, University of Rajasthan;
  • Irfan Engineer, Director, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai;
  • Ishaq Dr, Social Activist, Azamgarh;
  • Jameela Nishat, Shaheen Women’s Resource Centre, Hyderabad.
  • Javed Anand, Muslims for Secular Democracy, Mumbai;
  • Javed Malick Dr, Retired Academic, Delhi University, Delhi;
  • Juzar Bandukwala Dr., Retired Professor, Vadodara;
  • K.K. Mohammad, Senior Archaeologist, Hyderabad;
  •  Kamal Faruqi, Former Chairman, Delhi Minority Commission;
  • Kamal Siddiqui, Businessman, Khushinagar, UP;
  • Kasim Sait, Businessman & Social Activist, Chennai;
  • Mairajuddin Ahmed Dr. , Former Cabinet Minister, UP;
  • Mazher Hassain, Social Activist, COVA, Hyderabad;
  • Md. Aftab Alam Dr., Assistant Professor, Delhi;
  • Mike Ghouse, President, World Muslim Congress, Dallas, Texas;
  • Mohd Aamir, Human Rights Activist, ANHAD., Delhi;
  • Mohammad Arif Dr,, Chairman, Centre for Harmony and Peace, Varanasi;
  • Mujataba Farooque, President, Welfare Party of India.
  • Mujib Kidwai, Marketing Management, Jeddah;
  • Mushirul Hasan, Professor, Former Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi;
  • Nasiruddin Haider Khan, Journalist, Delhi;
  • Navaid Hamid, Movement for Empowerment of Muslim Indians (MOEMIN), Delhi;
  • Noorjehan Safia Niaz, Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Mumbai;
  • Ovais Sultan Khan, Social Work Professional, Delhi;
  • Qurban Ali, Journalist, Delhi;
  • R Jeibunnisa, Manitham Trust, Tamil Nadu;
  • Rahima Khatun, NSKK, Kolkata;
  • Rubina Parveen, Social Activist, Varanasi;
  • S. Akhtar Ehtisham Dr, Academic, Delhi.
  • SM Hilal, Social Activist, Kanpur;
  • S Irfan Habib, Prof, Maulana Azad Chair, National University of Educational Planning and Administration, Delhi;
  • Safdar Khan, Former Chairman, Delhi State Minorities Commission, Delhi;
  • Sahir Raza, Independent Cinematographer, Mumbai;
  • Salar M.Khan, Lawyer, New Delhi;
  • Sania Hashmi, Director, Anhad Films, Delhi;
  • Sarah Hashmi, Actor, Mumbai;
  • Semeen Ali, PhD student, University of Delhi, New Delhi.
  • Shabana Azmi, Actor, Mumbai;
  • Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, ANHAD, Delhi;
  • Shahin Ansari, Social Activist, Saharanpur;
  • SMS Firdausi, Advocate, High Court, Allahabad;
  • Sohail Hashmi, Filmmaker, Delhi;
  • Syed Shahid Mahdi, Former Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi;
  • Syeda Hameed, Former Member, Planning Commission, Delhi;
  • Tanweer Fazal, Academic, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi;
  • Tanveer Nasreen Prof, Academic, Bardman, WB.
  • Tariq Ashraf Dr, Academic, Delhi;
  • Wahad Ahmad, Social Activist, Bijnaur;
  • Waris Mazhari Dr., Department of Islamic Studies, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad;
  • Wizarat Rizvi, Academic, Delhi;
  • Zafarul-Islam Khan Dr., Delhi;
  • Zaheer Ahmad, Social Activist, Varanasi;
  • Zaheer Ahmed Sayeed Dr., Neurologist, Chennai.
  • Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, Editor, Siasat, Hyderabad;
  • Zahid S Kamal, Retired Govt Officer, Delhi;
  • Zakia Soman, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Gujarat;
  • Zamser Ali, Journalist, Gauhati, Assam, President, BTAD Citizen Rights Forum, General Secretary, Centre for Minority Studies, Research and Development, Assam;
  • Zeenat Shaukat Ali Director General, The Wisdom Foundation (World Institute of Islamic Studies for Dialogue, Mediation, Gender-Justice and Peace), Mumbai;
  • Zoya Hasan Professor, Former Member, National Minorities Commission, Delhi

Note:  This statement was carried out by web portal MattersIndia on 20 August 2014 and was on 27 August 2014

As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy