He’s a Shiite cleric and former Iraqi MP. He insists on telling as much of the truth about Islam as he can without beijng accused of apostasy (for all I know, by now he may well have given up Islam, but for many reasons, he chooses to present himself still as a Muslim, trying to save not Islam, but the Muslim peoples from Islam itself). He focusses on “fiqh” – his synecoche for Islam. And he makes clear the world-wide support for ISIS, from Muslims who from every country where there are large numbers of them clamor to join, and he mentions the “thousands” or “perhaps many more” mosques that actively encourage Believers to support ISIS. He repeatedly says that both the Sunni and the Shiite fiqh support the killing of the Yazidis; both the Sunni and the Shiite fiqh support violence. Only at one point, when the fearful moderator of the program, needing to make sure the program does not get out of hand by too much truth-telling, asks him if he believes Islam itself is a religion of “tolerance and peace” does Ayad Jamal Al-Din say, with deep insincerity, yes, he does, but for 1400 years, it is not the true Islam but the distorting and dangerous fiqh that has manipulated and directed Muslim minds.
This is one of the most instructive of the videos that MEMRI, that indispensable organization and website, has recorded, translated, disseminated. Would that many see it.
Former Iraqi MP Ayad Jamal Al-Din: A Civil State Is the Only Solution to Combat ISIS
In a recent TV interview, former Iraqi MP Ayad Jamal Al-Din called for the establishment of a civil state in Iraq based on man-made law and equality, rather than on Islamic jurisprudence, as the only way to combat ISIS. He further said that there were thousands of mosques in the U.S. and worldwide that incited and prepared people to join ISIS. “Islam has been politicized and is used as a sword,” he said in the Al-Iraqiya TV interview, which aired on October 17, 2014. MEMRI TV
Following are excerpts:
Ayad Jamal Al-Din: ISIS is just the tip of the iceberg. ISIS has support. It is one of many groups. ISIS is based upon a certain ideology, upon a certain interpretation of religion, and upon a certain fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence]. Unfortunately, what happened to the Yazidis and others in northern Iraq, is to be found in the fiqh of Shiites and Sunnis alike. Unless we are careful in the use of fiqh…
In my opinion, the fiqh is more dangerous than nuclear technology. Therefore, we in Iraq are facing two choices: Either we establish a civil state, which relies on man-made law, based on equality between citizens, or else we establish a state based on fiqh and on religious law. If we establish a state based on fiqh, partitioning into a Shiite state, a Sunni state, and a Kurdish state is inevitable. Alternatively, we could establish a civil state, in which all citizens are equal in the eyes of the law.
As I have said, ISIS is a phenomenon with extensions all over the world, not only in Muslim countries. Even here in the U.S., there are many ISIS mosques. There are thousands of mosques that are preparing people to join ISIS. Imagine – young people from Florida join the ranks of ISIS to fight, and so do young people from Britain, Australian, Russia, China, and elsewhere. How could a young university student leave Florida to fight for ISIS, if not for a mosque that incited him to do so?
I am not talking about a handful of mosques or about just a few people. No. we are talking about thousands of such mosques, or even more, in all countries of the world – from South America to North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. These mosques are calling, day in and day out, for the revival of the Caliphate. There are school curricula that glorify the Caliphate, saying that the past of the Muslims is better than their present. I believe that the opposite is true.
Who says that our past is better than our present? We live in the era of electricity, of the Internet, of satellite TV, of modern medicine, telecommunications, awareness… Even our understanding of religion is much better.
You cannot defeat ISIS through sectarianism. Only through patriotism. If the Shiites, Sunnis, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Yazidis, Christians, and Sabeans cannot agree among themselves to unite under the banner of a single Iraq, ISIS will not be defeated. It is necessary to establish a national army and national unity, not merely in speeches, but in daily life. If we raise the [Shiite] banners of Hussein on the tanks, we will be inadvertently strengthening ISIS. They will say that this is a Safavid army, not an Iraqi one, and this will drive the Sunnis to rally around ISIS.
Both the Shiite and Sunni fiqh say that the Yazidis should be killed.
Interviewer: You are talking about the fiqh of ISIS, of course.
Ayad Jamal Al-Din: The Christians and the Jews are considered the People of the Book, and some include the Zoroastrians and the Sabeans, but as for the Buddhists, they should all be killed. This is according to both Shiite and Sunni fiqh. The problem lies with our fiqh, and therefore, I say that either we follow the fiqh, in which case ISIS is more or less right, or else we follow man-made, civil enlightened law, according to which the Yazidis are citizens just like Shiite and Sunni Muslims. That’s why ISIS are saying that they have not invented anything new, but are merely following the fiqh. The Yazidis can either become Muslims, or be sold on the market as slaves. Both Shiite and Sunni fiqh are in agreement on this.
We must make a decision whether to follow man-made civil law, legislated by the Iraqi parliament, or whether to follow the fatwas issued by Islamic jurisprudents. We must not embellish things, and say that Islam is a religion of compassion, peace, and rose water, and that everything is fine. Brother, your Islamic history is full of wars, raids… From Tunisia alone, one million boys were taken as slaves to Damascus…
Interviewer: Don’t you believe that Islam is a religion of compassion and peace?
Ayad Jamal Al-Din: It is, but there is an interpretation of Islam that goes back 1,400 years. Islam has been politicized and is used as a sword. “The Quran call and the sword protects” is the slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood, and of all the Islamic political parties.