On February 9, 2015, Moroccan cleric Dr. Ahmed Al-Raissouni, deputy head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), posted an article on his website, Raissouni.ma, in which he called the Islamic State (ISIS) a creation of "elements hostile to Arabs and [Sunni] Muslims," referring to the West, particularly the U.S., as well as to Syria, Iraq, and Iran. He added that the fight that is ostensibly against ISIS is actually serving the interests of the West, which is profiting hugely from the opportunities it offers for weapons testing and sales, for military operations, and for establishing its control in the warzones. Iran and Iraq, he noted, are exploiting the fight against ISIS to "pound Sunni regions and their residents in order to further ambitions of Shi'ite expansionism" while the Syrian regime was rescued from "certain death" by ISIS's emergence. He emphasized that Sunni Arabs and Muslims have no connection whatsoever to ISIS, and called on the countries of the region to break free of their dependence on the West and to cooperate amongst themselves to combat the organization.
The following are excerpts from the article:
Al-Raissouni (Image: Raissouni.ma)
"It is now clear that ISIS emerged, expanded, and branched out under the influence of many elements... and that the hands of the U.S., Syria, Iraq, and Iran are certainly involved. Many Western, Arab, and Iranian politicians and officials have acknowledged this, as have many analysts and experts.
"Thus, for instance, Masoud Al-Barzani, the leader of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, stated that he had on one occasion called Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, said that 500 armed ISIS members had crossed the border from Syria to Iraq, and told him: 'Our Peshmerga forces are ready and able to smash them if you give the word.' Al-Maliki responded: 'Stick to your own region and leave those people alone.' Likewise, a reliable friend told me, citing a knowledgeable source, that during the negotiations leading up to the selection of the [current Iraqi] prime minister, when the U.S. ambassador in Iraq saw how Nouri Al-Maliki was clinging to his post with Iran's support and how he opposed Haider Al-Abadi's selection as prime minister, he told him [i.e. Al-Maliki]: 'If you refuse to step down and [continue opposing] Al-Abadi's appointment, ISIS will enter Baghdad within 24 hours.' Al-Maliki then relented, saying he accepted reality.
"From listening to dozens of senior Islamic clerics, academics, and officials, particularly in Iraq and Syria, it emerges that they agree that elements hostile to Arabs and Muslims support ISIS and have infiltrated it and are laying down its path. [They claim] that these are the same elements that now lead the so-called fight against ISIS, and that the regime of [Syrian President] Bashar Al-Assad is the main element that nurtured and directly sponsored this organization, from its birth to its [current] growth.
"It is totally clear that the Arab and European countries from which 'male and female mujahideen' arrive to join the ranks of ISIS are disregarding their departures and their [border] crossings - meaning that they are allowing them to join ISIS even though they could absolutely prevent it if they so desired. It is clear that this policy is intended to get rid of these youths, and send them to the war and the inferno.
"Strengthening ISIS, even temporarily, and later waging a years-long war against it allows the Americans and the West to test and sell arms, to train soldiers and develop their capabilities, and to rake in huge sums in exchange for military operations and so-called 'reconstruction.' It also enables them to further establish their control in the region, and to continue to shatter the region and drown it in hostility, struggle, and endless wars of vengeance. As for the sectarian [i.e. Shi'ite] Iranian and Iraqi politicians, ISIS's presence [in Iraq] and the war against it allows them to crush Sunni areas and their residents for the sake of Shi'ite expansionism. And, as for the Syrian regime, it benefits the most from ISIS, since this group's emergence saved it from dire straits, even certain death.
"Therefore, the war against ISIS is first and foremost an American-Western product, and then an Iranian-sectarian [Shi'ite] product - while the Arab and Muslim peoples have nothing to do with it. They have nothing to do with making decisions or planning it, or with commanding [it]. They have no interest in it [at all]. On the contrary: This war is a manifestation of Muslims being killed by Muslims using Muslim money, and it is wreaking havoc for Islam and for the status and property [of Muslims].
"As for ISIS members themselves, who are distinct [from Muslims in general] because they are murderous, rebellious, evil khawarij, any country in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey, could easily destroy them in a few months if they were able to make independent decisions and plan [for it]. Saudi Arabia, for instance, has 30 million residents and unlimited resources and armament capabilities. Its clerics and preachers are fully able to recruit millions of citizens from inside Saudi Arabia, and even from outside [the country]. What prevents these countries from doing this? Is it helplessness and bankruptcy, or simply dependence on the West and submission to its will?...
"It is known that the Gulf Cooperation Council states have a joint defense agreement and joint forces, and that they are members of a joint Arab defense agreement as part of the Arab League. If [these countries] fight this sect of corrupt evil rebels [i.e. ISIS] in this framework, or on one of these levels, this will help Islam and Muslims. [Such a war] would be seen as a necessary, legitimate war, in which all their peoples and all Muslims would participate and which all would support. But the imperialist countries insist on making the decisions, on holding the reins of the wars, and on controlling and commanding the weapons for their own benefit, and for Israel's. It is this situation that created [both] ISIS and the ostensible war against it. This is the essence of the matter, and the root of the problem.
"The countries of the Arab region now have two options:
"1. To continue their dependence, involvement and participation in the Zionist-Western plans, whose developments, consequences, and massive pain have been afflicting us since World War I and since the dismantling of the Ottoman state, the lie of the 'Grand Arab Rebellion' [the 1916-1918 anti-Ottoman rebellion in the Arabian Peninsula], and since the Sykes-Picot agreement and the Balfour Declaration.
"2. To choose the path of sovereignty, independent decision-making, and equal balance of power in foreign relations and foreign policy; to reconcile with their peoples and take their wishes and interests into consideration.
"The second option is the only way to deal with the situation - because the first, which [the Arab countries] are now doing, is only going to make the situation worse."