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Ideology of Islamic State 'ignorance' — Russia’s Chief Mufti

Youths are recruited via Internet, through underground camps, lured abroad and told that Islam is for those who have faith and should kill infidels, which is foolishness, Chief Mufti of Russia says
Chief Mufti of Russia Talgat Tadzhuddin ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze
Chief Mufti of Russia Talgat Tadzhuddin
© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze

UFA, October 22. /TASS/. The ideology of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization that calls for killing infidels is "ignorance", Chief Mufti of Russia, head of the Central Muslim Spiritual Directorate Talgat Tadzhuddin said on Thursday.

"Youths are recruited via Internet, through underground camps, they are lured abroad and told that Islam is for those who have faith and should kill infidels. This is foolishness, absolute ignorance," Tadzhuddin said.

"A person can only explain but not force others to follow a religion. Only God can show the right path," he added.

"Why people go to them [terrorists], get recruited? They get $5,000. Some deceived people think they are taking part in the sacred war against infidelity. But this is not God’s work, this is provocation," he explained.

"Several months ago, parents came to me from Naberezhny Chelny. Their son had two university degrees, got married, had two little children. He went for a vacation to Turkey, and to Syria from there. After a month or two, he disappeared, no news from him. When they contacted him, he said, ‘Don’t worry. We are fighting here. If we die, we will go to heaven’," the Chief Mufti said. "Why do they think that? Only ten people were told by the prophet that they will go to heaven," he noted.

Russia’s Chief Mufti blasts US, West for helping terrorists to create ‘worldwide caliphate’

Russia’s Chief Mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin has condemned the United States and Western countries for the assistance they render to the terrorists of the Islamic State group for creating the so-called "worldwide caliphate."

"The bandits, who say that they are building a worldwide Islamic caliphate, receive assistance from overseas, North America, and even Europeans are not averse to this. Thousands of refugees now get drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in an attempt to move to Europe, but no one needs them there," Tadzhuddin said in an interview with TASS.

Tadzhuddin stressed that the military operation of Russia’s aerospace forces launched on September 30 against terrorists in Syria "is not intervention or aggression, as someone in Europe and the US says."

Russia is an observer state in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which unites 50 Muslim countries, he reminded. "Even if they had not been part of the organization, still they should have got involved and extinguished this fire."

Muslim scholars and religious leaders have condemned the Islamic State as a deception, he said, stressing that all the wise persons should help the people of the Middle East countries to get rid of this trouble. "Now we need actions, not words," he said.

Struggle with IS requires both prevention, ‘fire-fighting’ tactics

The struggle against the Islamic State and against other terrorist organizations requires not only prevention, but also "fire-fighting" methods, Russia’s Supreme Mufti told TASS.

He recalled that Russia’s federal security service FSB and Interior Ministry on October 19 held a joint operation to detain 22 participants in the international terrorist organization Islamic Party of Liberation (Hizb ut-Tahrir), including some of its leaders.

"These days there must be a combination of prevention and ‘fire-fighting’ tactics," Tadzhuddin said.

He believes that Russia’s military operation in Syria proves the effectiveness of such methods.

"The terrorists are literally brimming with panic. They get dressed up in women’s clothes and flee. But there will be no escaping from their own selves. Should they return to Russia, who will agree to shake hands with them? The police and the federal security service will promptly put them in the prison cells that are waiting for them," Tadzhuddin said.

"An Islamic priest should never use the whip or the stick. His mission is to teach. We have established seven Islamic universities across the country. The Bulgar Islamic Academy opened on October 8 with the Russian president’s approval. Over the past 17 years alone 7,500 mosques and tens of thousands of churches or other religions have been built across Russia. Spiritual and moral revival is in progress," Tadzhuddin said.

Islamic State extremist organization

The Islamic State is an extremist organization banned in Russia. In 2013-2014, it called itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In June 2014, IS announce the establishment of the "Islamic caliphate" on the territories seized in Iraq and Syria. According to US’ Central Intelligence Agency, the extremist group includes around 30,000 people, while Iraqi authorities claim there are around 200,000 in IS. Among members of the group are citizens of 80 countries, including France, Great Britain, Germany, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, US, Canada, as well as Russia and other CIS countries. According to reports, militants now control around 40% of the Iraqi territory and 50% of the Syrian territory.