Unions representing over 150 Muslim scholars from across the world have signed a statement denouncing the War on Terror and calling for an immediate end to foreign wars and occupations.
The statement comes two decades after President Bush announced his authorisation of the use of military force, which paved the way for the occupation of Afghanistan and the USA’s borderless War on Terror.
Addressing Western leaders, the statement calls upon them to respect the right of Muslim minorities to believe and practice without state intervention.
The scholars also call for an end to all arbitrary and emergency powers which permit the violation of basic rights and legitimise torture and degrading treatment.
Commenting on the statement, CAGE Managing Director Muhammad Rabbani said: “It can be argued that it was September 18th, and not September 11th, that changed the world. Apart from Barbara Lee, every single member of the U.S. Congress supported this resolution which subsequently led to illegal invasions, war crimes, torture sites, targeted assassination programmes and mass curtailment of civil liberties across the world.
“It is therefore a poignant moment for Muslim scholars across the world to come together to strongly demand an end to the War on Terror and call for accountability for all those who were responsible for its crimes. The international scope of the signatories demonstrates the global scholarly agreement on this issue.”
Statement by scholars of Islam on 20 years of war
Twenty years have passed since leaders of the United States declared a worldwide war without any borders nor any time limit. The so called “War on Terror” was announced after the events of 9/11 but the aggression against Muslim people began before this time: the Iraq war of 1991 and subsequent sanctions, the invasion of Somalia, the support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine; the support for brutal dictatorships in Muslim countries.
In 20 years at least 800,000 Muslims have been killed, thousands have been imprisoned unlawfully and often tortured, and 37 million people have been displaced. Muslim people everywhere are treated with suspicion and cast as threats to the societies they live in. The entire world has been made less safe and less secure.
Twenty years on it is time to pause and take lessons. It is time for astute leaders in the West to correct the course.
We, the signatories below, call for:
- Leaders in the West to replace their policy of war and animosity against Muslim people with one of respect and mutual cooperation
- The end to all military and political interventions in Muslim countries
- The end to all government policies and practices that lead to arbitrary imprisonment, torture, degrading treatment and exceptional powers granted to government agencies
- A fair and responsible approach to be adopted by politicians, institutions and media in engaging Islam and Muslims
- Muslim minorities to be able to live a dignified life according to their faith, independent from government interference, and attempts to distort their beliefs and identity
- The accountability of all governments, their agencies and their officials that were involved in crimes or abuses since 2001; as well as reparations for survivors and victims’ families
We stand in solidarity with all oppressed people who fight for liberation from tyranny and welcome the victory of the Afghan people against their occupiers. May it be the first of many victories against the War on Terror. We offer our condolences to all those that have died as a result of these wars.
We extend our sympathy to the citizens of Western countries who have had to suffer the social, economic and legal consequences of the disastrous decisions made by their leaders.
We affirm our conviction in the justice that will be established in the hereafter. The sacrifices of the oppressed will not be wasted nor will the criminals escape from the consequences of their crimes.
Allah the most high said: “Do not think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only delays them until a Day when ˹their˺ eyes will stare in horror.”
He, the most high also said: “Indeed, the wrongdoers never succeed.” It is also said “justice is the foundation of governance.”
- Arab Maghreb Scholars League representing over 80 members
– Shaykh Hassan al-Kettani (Morocco)
– Shaykh Mukhtar Ibn al-Arabi Mumin (Algeria)
– Shaykh Anis bin Ahmad Qawayism (Tunisia)
– Shaykh Riyad Sha’eeli Saki (Libya)
– Shaykh Ahmed al-Hasani (Libya)
– Shaykh Anis al-Rahmouni
- Association Scholars Sunnah representing over 130 members
- Dr Muhammad Al Sagheer