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MARK SCHLIEBS –THE AUSTRALIAN

Sheik Abu Sulayman warns caliphate could ‘justify’ Sunni deaths

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Senator George Brandis ImamsGeorge Brandis, left, meets imams at Parliament House yesterday in an effort to build bridges with Muslim groups. Picture: Gary Ramage Source: News Corp Australia

AN Australian spiritual leader of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organisation in Syria has slammed fellow Sunni group the Islamic State, denouncing it for “breaching Islam” in its claim to have established a caliphate.

Sheik Abu Sulayman, a 30-year-old from southwest Sydney who now serves as a senior sharia official for the al-Qa’ida group, said the “proclamation” of a caliphate — an Islamic state — may be used by to justify killing other Sunnis.

The warning comes as another influential Australian cleric, self-described Islamic State “soldier” Musa Cerantonio, said he was about to enter the war zone.

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AN Australian spiritual leader of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organisation in Syria has slammed fellow Sunni group the Islamic State, denouncing it for “breaching Islam” in its claim to have established a caliphate.  – Could Sulayman just fight Cerantonio in a cage match? (Andrew Bolt)

Both Sheik Sulayman — whose real name is Mostafa ­Mahamed — and Mr Cerantonio, 29, were prominent speakers in Australia and were regulars at Sydney’s al-Risalah Islamic centre. Sheik Sulayman accused Islamic State — formerly known as ISIS — of “stealing the right” of senior Islamic figures to be consulted on the establishment of a caliphate in Syria.

He said under “the method of the prophets” consultation must be held with Islamic “scholars and leaders” before a caliphate could be established.

“The situation has not changed at all here,” the Egyptian-born cleric said, as part of a series of Twitter posts criticising the Islamic State.

“Only difference I see is there is a stronger ‘Islamic’ justification for them to kill Muslims. Stealing the right of the ­scholars … (and) the leaders to be consulted is a clear breach of Islam!”

The sheik asked if the Islamic State proclamation meant “all mujahid groups, who have been fighting for decades, must cease to exist?! Will this announcement be used to justify the killing of everyone who does not give bay’ah (allegiance)?” he said.

In a statement yesterday, ­Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said the caliphate had “gathered the Caucasian, Indian, Chinese, Shami (Syrian), Iraqi, Yemeni, Egyptian, Maghribi (North African), American, French, German and Australian”.

Early yesterday, Mr Ceran­tonio — a former Catholic from Melbourne — said on Twitter he was about to enter “Ash-Sham”, the name given to the greater ­Syrian region where the Islamic State has declared a caliphate.

He previously has claimed to have renounced his Australian citizenship and this year was identified by researchers from King’s College London as one of three clerics with the largest following of Western jihadists ­online.

“Insha’Allah (God willing) I will be arriving in Ash-Sham very shortly, keep us in your du’a (prayers), getting ready to travel,” he tweeted.

In another post he prayed: “We be loyal soldiers of the ­Islamic State until we return to our Lord.”

Mr Cerantonio did not res­pond to a request for comment.

A spokesman for the ­Attorney-General’ s Department said authorities were aware of Mr Cerantonio’s claims, but would not comment further.

Until recently, Mr Cerantonio was believed to be in The Philippines supporting jihadist causes.

Sheik Sulayman’s statements and those of other Jabhat al-Nusra officials come after a long-running rivalry with the Islamic State which has seen the groups clash in several Syrian cities.

Proclamation of an Islamic caliphate is widely seen as challenge to al-Qa’idi leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who has disowned the group.

Originally published as Caliphate could ‘justify’ Sunni deaths

Six. Just six.

Column – See no jihadists, speak of no jihadists

Andrew Bolt

GOOD news. Six imams on Wednesday told the federal Attorney-General they would help stop Muslims joining terror groups.

But just six?

Finding apologists of Islamist extremism is easier, and they aren’t all Muslim. Sydney’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas, for instance, invited a Muslim radical to give a lecture titled “Honour killings are morally justified”.

And 3AW broadcaster Neil Mitchell was last week asked by a caller why he didn’t mention Islam in discussing Iraq.

(Read full article here.)