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In Issue 14 Of Dabiq Magazine, ISIS Calls Upon Its Supporters In The West To Kill Muslim Leaders

In an article the 14th issue of its English-language magazine Dabiq, the Islamic State (ISIS) called upon its supporters living in Western countries to kill Muslim leaders it deems to be apostates. The article mentions a list of Muslim clerics living in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Canada as appropriate targets, and labels them apostates in light of their opposition to ISIS or their alleged support of the Western governments' efforts to combat it. It also marks a list of American Muslim Congressmen and political figures as well as British parliamentarians as targets for killing.

The article, titled "Kill the Imams of the Kufr [Unbelief] in the West," starts by stating that some people call themselves Muslim but are not really Muslims, but rather apostates, since they openly profess beliefs that run counter to Islam, and posits that these people must be killed. The lists a series of clerics, including Sufis, clerics associated with the Salafi school of thought, and even clerics who identify themselves as adherents of the Salafi-jihadi movement but oppose ISIS. The article quotes at length from the Koran and hadith literature, as well as from the rulings of medieval scholars to whom ISIS adheres.

Following are excerpts from the article:

ISIS To Supporters In The West: "One Must Either [Join] The Ranks Of The Mujahidin... Or Wage Jihad By Himself"

The article explicitly calls on ISIS supporters living in the West to murder Muslim leaders in their countries, urging them to take action rather than stand idly by in these times. The article states that although the first priority for Muslims in the West is to travel and join ISIS in the territories it controls in the Middle East, if they cannot do so they must carry out attacks on its behalf, including against local Muslim leaders. Thus the conclusion to the article reads:
 
"How can Muslims living in the West who claim to have surrendered themselves to Allah, completely accepting His rule alone, stand idly as these imams of kufr [leaders of unbelief] continue to spread their poison from atop their pulpits? How can these imams of kufr remain under the protection of Allah's enemies, while His soldiers can walk easily amongst them? How, when Allah said, 'And if they break their oaths after their covenant and defame your religion, then fight the imams of kufr! Indeed, they shall have no oaths [of safety], that they might stop [Koran 9:12].'
 

Illustration accompanying the article in Dabiq captioned "The punishment for apostasy"
 
"How, knowing that the apostates have joined the party of Shaytan [Satan], fighting – even if by their words – for the cause of taghut [tyrant]? This does not harm the party of Allah in any way; in fact, the sunnah of Allah is that through this apostasy, He shall bring forth men whom He loves and who love Him to fight for His cause... The two camps have continuously become more distinct. Those who support the word of kufr on one side and the supporters of Allah's word on the other. In this clouded time, each Muslim must be careful and be sure to be in the right camp. It is truly a grace from Allah upon this ummah that He gave us clear guidance as to where we can find the camp of truth...
 
"So one must take his eyes off those who sit back from waging jihad for the cause of Allah, which means for the establishment of Allah's rule on earth, and look to those who fulfill the words of Allah, 'Those who, if we situate them firmly in the land, they establish the prayer, give the zakah [alms], command virtue, and forbid vice; and to Allah belongs the end of all affairs [Koran 22:41].' One must either take the journey to dar al-Islam [the lands of Islam, i.e. ISIS-controlled territories], joining the ranks of the mujahidin therein, or wage jihad by himself with the resources available to him (knives, guns, explosives, etc.) to kill the crusaders and other disbelievers and apostates, including the imams of kufr, to make an example of them, as all of them are valid – rather, obligatory – targets according to the Shari'a, except for those who openly repent from kufr before they are apprehended. "

The article opens by providing religious justification for the killing of Muslim leaders, whom it describes as apostates due to their opposition to ISIS:

"Contrary to popular misconception, riddah [apostasy] does not exclusively mean to go from calling oneself a Muslim to calling oneself a Jew, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist or otherwise. In reality, there are only two religions. There is the religion of Allah, which is Islam, and then the religion of anything else, which is kufr [unbelief]... So whatever is not Islam is not the religion according to Allah and it will never be accepted. Rather, it is the religion of losers in the end, which is kufr... Therefore, anyone who falls into kufr has left Islam, even if he claims to be a Muslim...

"The ruling of the person who commits riddah is that he is killed, unless he repents before he is apprehended... It should then be no surprise that Amirul-Muminln [the leader of the faithful] Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi declared that any of the apostates from the sahawat [Sunni militias that oppose ISIS] or otherwise who repent to Allah and surrender themselves to the Islamic State will be guaranteed amnesty, even if they had killed a million mujahideen. But those who are caught before they repent, then there is no amnesty for them and theirs shall be a painful – and fatal – punishment."

The article goes on to provide historical precedence for cases in which apostates were killed in the early days of Islam as justification for the killing of rival Muslim cleric in the present. It then states that "the penalty for apostasy was thus left unapplied in many cases, until the revival of the Caliphate by the grace of Allah, then through the efforts of the Islamic State."
 
The article then claims that Western "Crusader" governments have installed Muslim clerics and utilized them as tools in their war against Islam:
 
"This past century saw a surge in migrations from historically Muslim-majority lands to mushrik [polytheist]-majority countries, especially in the West. Instead of seeking Allah's pleasure by waging defensive jihad in their own lands against the nearer apostate enemies, the immigrants sought comfort in this worldly life by residing peacefully in the lands of Islam's oldest enemies. As a result of their negligence towards their obligations and their exposure to Western kufr, their identity was altered. Their children learned the values and beliefs of their new homelands. The kufr of liberalism and democracy was instilled and a new breed of 'scholars' was born, becoming a major part of the West's very own imams of kufr.[1]
 
"Feeding off the centuries-old divisions of the ummah, these venomous imams have maintained their disunity over Islam while uniting upon Western interests [i.e. these clerics disagree on matters relating to Islam while being united in their support for the West]... Though their kufr was apparent to those who recognized it years ago, they became even more ardent and blatant defenders of the crusaders after the Khilafah was reestablished [i.e., after ISIS declared itself to be a caliphate], uniting with their cross-bearing allies in the global war against the Islamic State, the only true bastion of Shari'a rule on earth..."
 

The article then listed the clerics it sees as apostates and legitimate targets for attacks, all residing in the U.S., Britain, Australia and Canada:
 
"Of the Sufi so-called 'mainstream', and perhaps the pinnacle of apostasy in Americanist Islam, is Hamza Yusuf. Using his credentials as a veteran 'student of knowledge' who traveled throughout West Africa and the Middle East, studying under various Sufi-taqlidi teachers, he has established himself a following, filling heads with opinions based on half-truths and false interpretations and using semantic oratory more akin to sorcery through wordy 'eloquence' than actual traditional education (as he claims to endorse)...
 
"On perhaps the other end of the 'Sufi mainstream' spectrum, there is the joke of Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb – also called 'Imam Will' – who has spent his career making a name for and a fool of himself as the all-American imam. Adopting a Southern inner-city accent sprinkled with thug life vocabulary and the latest pop culture references when addressing young crowds, he is quick to switch to an ordinary voice when speaking to CNN and other media outlets. A clown in most senses of the word, he has surprisingly gathered a following and is seen by many crusader supporters as an important tool for taming Muslim youth in the West. Responding to the taghut [tyrant] Barack Obama wishing Muslims a blessed Ramadan, Suhaib Webb tweeted, 'Obama makes me proud. Thank you, Mr. President'...
 

"The Syrian Sufi and ally to the United Kingdom, Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi, said in an interview... 'any attack against UK citizens or interests would be deemed as un-Islamic and illegal in the Shari'a ,' so any attack against the interests of the taghut government – and what interest of theirs is greater than spreading their kufr – is un-Islamic and illegal according to al-Yaqoubi...
 
"Other Sufi leaders in the West are no different, if not worse in some respects; like Hisham Kabbani, the founder of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order of America...  He wrote a 20-odd page 'fatwa' about the meaning of jihad, which was translated into Arabic and distributed by US troops to civilians in Iraq in order to sway them from fighting for the cause of Allah...
 
"On the 'Salafi' side, and no less dangerous, there are also a number of callers to the gates of Jahannam [hell]. Not very different from their Sufi counterparts, these evil scholars take and twist the statements of the early ulama [scholars] – let alone ayat [koranic verses] and ahadith [traditions] – to fit their apostatical version of the religion...
 
"Australia's Tawfique Chowdhury is a prime example of the new 'Salafi' crusader trend. In [2008], he delivered a speech entitled, 'Muslim Scholars: West's Natural Allies in Fighting Scourge of Terrorism...'
 
"Yasir Qadhi, the 'Salafi'-turned 'Revivalist' spokesman for Western society who has called upon his followers to cooperate with kafir [infidel] law enforcement officers, published an article he called, 'A Proud, Patriotic, Shariah Practicing American.' Like other writings and speeches, Yasir emphasizes his love for the United States and his disavowal of anything and anyone who is against American ideals...
 
"His Saudi-ally friend and colleague, Waleed Basyouni, has declared traveling to Syria to fight for the cause of Allah as impermissible, thus making [forbidden] what Allah deemed [obligatory].
 
"Jamaican ally to Canada, Bilal Philips, has – like the rest of the apostates mentioned herein – twisted and altered the meanings of the clear ayat and ahadith to call Muslims away from jihad...
 
"All of the above have focused their alliance with the tawaghit [tyrants] on the war against the Islamic State. Knowing that any success in toppling the Islamic State undoubtedly results in the Shari'a being supplanted and replaced by laws of kufr, fighting against the Islamic State is tantamount to kufr itself... What then of someone who allies with the kuffar to attack the only true Muslim government on earth? It is established that the one who supports a murderer to kill his victim is held equally responsible for the crime...
 
"Then there are the claimants to the 'Salafl-Jihadi' methodology, among whom is London-based Abu Basir Al-TartusI..." The article cited Al-Tartusi's opposition to ISIS's expansion into Syria, and his support for participation in the Egyptian elections as proof of his apostasy.
 
The article added to the list of targets a series of Muslim politicians and political operatives from the U.S. and Britain: "Lastly, one must not overlook the overt crusaders, those who don't even wear the cloak of da'wa [Muslim outreach], but instead directly involve themselves in politics and enforcing the laws of kufr, like (in the US) Mohamed Elibiary, Arif Alikhan, Rashad Hussain, Keith Ellison, Huma Abedin, etc. and (in the UK) Muhammad Abdul Bari, Sayeeda Warsi, Waqar Azmi, Sajid Javid, Ajmal Masroor, and other politically active apostates."
 

[1] ISIS is critical of migration to the West, including in the context of the ongoing civil war in Syria. For more on this issue see MEMRI JTTM report, The Islamic State's Frantic Response To The Wave Of Refugees Fleeing Syria, September 28, 2015.