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ISIS is naming prominent western Muslim leaders in a so-called “kill list,” In Homeland Security reports. The list names 21 Muslim leaders whom ISIS accuses of apostasy – the abandonment of religious belief. It’s not clear whether the organisation has been previously in with the individuals, but several of them have expressed their unhappiness with ISIS’ extremism and violent conduct.
The kill list was featured in ISIS’ magazine, Dabiq, on 13 April, where they were accused of being “traitors” who blaspheme against Islam and are ill-informed in the religion.
ISIS “does not consider Muslim converts to Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity or other religions to be apostates, but applies the label of Kufr (non-believers of Islamic teachings) to anyone who is not of the religion of Allah.,” stated Jonah Bennett, national security and foreign policy reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
ISIS said that there are “two religions: the religion of Allah, which is Islam, and then the religion of anything else, which is kufr,” in the statement in Dabiq. For ISIS, the distinction is not just between Muslims and non-Muslims, but between the followers of the hardline principles of the organisation, and those following more liberal, western Islamic practices.
One of the men on the list, Dr Waleed Basyouni, is the Vice President of AlMaghrib Institute and the Head of Aquidah an Adab Department in Houston, Texas. He has publicly condemned ISIS and said that those fighting with them in Syria should be prosecuted.
For ISIS, Basyouni’s statements are sacrilege. Under their beliefs, he goes against the teachings Islam, and deserves to be executed. Other members of the list follow similar beliefs.
These threats, however, likely carry little weight behind them, said Alan Turner.
“These threats are not credible. They need to shore up their publicity. Our message is damaging to them. I wouldn’t go to those regions. But here in America, I just take reasonable precautions.”