During a November 3 sermon at the Mission Viejo mosque in Orange County, California, Sheikh Tarik Ata made an impassioned plea against extremist ideologies and denouncing the Manhattan truck attack: "What that individual did in New York is no doubt something Islam forbids and which we condemn." Saying that even if one perceives America's foreign policy to be unjust, "that does not give us the right to kill the innocent" and asking Allah "to protect our youth from such ideology," Sheikh Ata said that ISIS and Al-Qaeda have brought us "absolutely nothing. The sermon was posted on the Orange Country Islamic Foundation's YouTube channel.
Tarik Ata: International law is binding. On that, we don't transgress rights of others. When you enter a country, you enter on a visa, right? You enter on a visa. The visa says that this country - or this government - allows so and so to enter and they are under the protection of the government. In Islam we have a similar contract - ahd al-isti'iman, we call it. It is a visa which allows non-Muslims to enter Muslim lands, under such a contract, in which they will honor the code of law in the land, and in return, the government will protect them. So entering America - you enter an agreement. Therefore, breaking that agreement is something forbidden. So what that individual did in New York [the truck attack] is no doubt something Islam forbids and which we condemn.
Don't let the injustices of Quraysh, who prevented you from entering the Kaaba, who oppressed you, who tortured you, who created so much propaganda against you, who attacked the Prophet - don't let their injustices cause you to be unjust. It is not allowed. This means that if they kill our innocent, we can't kill their innocent. Allah says: "And they don't kill a soul" - Allah forbids it from taking place - "except with reason." This means that the government does it, not some individual. So even though someone might perceive America's foreign policy to be unjust, and whatnot, or the West is attacking Islam and they are killing all the innocent... Even though they might perceive that, that does not give us the right to kill the innocent, because Allah made it forbidden.
These individuals - we know who I am talking about, ISIS and Al-Qaeda - how long have they been around? Since the 90s. What has come about from their works? What has come about? How many mosques have they built? How many people entered Islam because of them? What have they brought us? Absolutely nothing. So look at these - the Companions and the Prophet - and compare them with these. It is very obvious. There is no bigger evidence against what they do than the biography of the Prophet Muhammad. We ask Allah to protect us from their transgressions. We ask Allah to protect our youth from such ideology.