Al-Azhar refuses to label ISIS as unbelievers

CAIRO: Al-Azhar refused to label members of the Islamic State group as unbelievers in a Thursday statement, as Islam forbids Muslims to label fellow Muslims as apostates, regardless of their actions.

On Dec. 3, more than 700 Islamic and Christian scholars from 120 states participated in Al-Azhar’s Cairo International Conference on Countering Extremism. During his speech Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb said that extremists’ “twisted understanding” of the religion is complex, because they also give themselves the right to declare other Muslims apostates and kill them.

Other scholars spoke during the conference, including Nigeria Grand Imam Ibrahim Saleh Al-Hussein.

The statement said that neither Tayeb nor Hussein meant in their speeches that IS members were “unbelievers;” “They did extreme and corrupting actions including even murder and labeling others as disbelievers whenever they want judging people according to their thoughts,” Hussein said during the conference.