Al-Azhar, the foremost institution in Sunni Islam, refuses to declare the Islamic State apostate, by Robert Spencer of, with comments for additional reading pleasure

In June 2009 at al-Azhar, Barack Obama said: “For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning.”

In October 2001, right after 9/11, the New York Times called Al-Azhar “the revered mosque, the distinguished university, the leading voice of the Sunni Muslim establishment.” It quoted a Muslim cleric: “Al Azhar is the only institution in the world that has learned the moderate Islam and taught it in a moderate way without fanaticism, and without abiding by the teachings of a school that promotes rigidity or violence.”

So why doesn’t al-Azhar declare the Islamic State apostate? Non-Muslim authorities all over the West assume that the vast majority of Muslims reject and abhor the understanding of Islam taught by the Islamic State. Why doesn’t the foremost institution in Sunni Islam validate that assumption? Because they know that what the Islamic State is doing has ample justification in Islamic texts and teachings. The beheadings (Qur’an 47:4); the subjugation of Christians as dhimmis (Qur’an 9:29) or the massacre of Christians who refused to submit (Qur’an 9:5); the sexual enslavement of infidel women (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30) — it’s all there.

“Why does Egypt’s largest Muslim beacon, Al-Azhar, refuse to declare IS ‘apostate’?,” by Taha Saker, Egypt Independent, April 14, 2017:

After the Islamic State (IS) militant group declared its responsibility for Palm Sunday’s deadly attacks that targeted two Coptic churches in Egypt’s Delta and Alexandria city, several media figures and organizations launched severe attack against Egypt’s largest religious institution, Al-Azhar University, considering its teachings as fostering religious extremism.

Through these outlets, Al-Azhar is now facing the backlash of taking part in supporting the IS-affiliated members through its insistance [sic] to refuse considering the IS group as ‘apostates’ and through maintaining some extremist teachings in the syllabuses that are taught to its students.

The backlash criticized the educational syllabuses that are being currently taught in Al-Azhar institution that include teachings from some prominent clerics. These teachings directly incite the brutal killing of anyone who does not follow Islam or who had been deemed to be an ‘infidel’.

The criticism, released from those figures and other media outlets, accused the aforementioned teachings of Al-Azhar by increasingly contributing to generate numerous members affiliated to IS.

Moreover, Al-Azhar’s teaching are perceived by some as the main platform that legitimizes the killing and slaughtering which are currently being practiced by IS group in different parts of the world, in the name of Islamic (Sharia) law….

NYC censored anti-terror handbook to appease Muslims, but it accurately predicted radicalization patterns
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  1. mortimer says

    April 16, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    A former imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Adel al-Kalbani, has said that the Islamic State (IS) group follows the same brand of Islam as officially espoused by Saudi Arabia.
    “We follow the same thought [as IS] but apply it in a refined way,” he said. “They draw their ideas from what is written in our own books, from our own principles.”
    The cleric said that “we do not criticise the thought on which it (IS) is based”.

    It is clear from the above statement that ALL SALAFI CLERICS who endorse the DOCTRINES OF ISIS are in effect ISLAMOPHOBIC.

  2. EmHotep says

    April 16, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Help us in Turkey erdogan has started to hunt opposition people, NO vote has won but they are changing the votes by force @RealDonaldTrump

  3. gHari says

    April 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Let’s face it, ISIS has destroyed Islam.

    Now everybody knows there’s something wrong with them there folks.

    • gravenimage says

      April 16, 2017 at 11:12 pm

      There are all too many in denial who think ISIS has nothing to do with Islam–and all too many Taqiyya artists to assure them that this is so.

  4. mortimer says

    April 16, 2017 at 1:35 pm


    Basically, ‘if we condemned ISIS, we would have to kill them”…

    During an open discussion at Cairo University held on December 2, 2015, Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Sheikh and Grand Imam of Al Azhar — and thus Egypt’s foremost authority on all things Islamic — was again asked why Al Azhar refuses to issue a formal statement denouncing the Islamic State of lapsing into a state of kufr, that is, of becoming un-Islamic, “infidel.”

    “Al Azhar cannot accuse any [Muslim] of being a kafir [infidel], as long as he believes in Allah and the Last Day—even if he commits every atrocity,” adding: “I cannot denounce ISIS as un-Islamic, but I can say that they cause corruption on earth. ISIS believes that those [Muslims] who commit the great sins are kafirs and can be killed. Thus if I denounce them of being un-Islamic, I fall into the same [trap] I am now condemning.”

      • No Fear says

        April 17, 2017 at 3:59 am

        Imagine if Hitler wrote a book that said “Hitler is the perfect example”. No one would take the book seriously. One would have to be an idiot to believe it.

        Imagine if Mohammed wrote a book which said “Mohammed is a perfect example”. All muslims say that book is perfect! If one does not agree then one is deemed to be kuffar!

    • gHari says

      April 16, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      The convoluted abrogated logic they have to deal with leaves them hog-tied. Reminds me of every time I laugh inside when I think about all the ‘scholars’ who pour over the hodgepodge.

      Get serious boys, you went from a hundred thousand to four thousand in the Hadiths – why would there be such a mountain of bogus tales and exaggerations? Why?

      When all you have are words, then juggling is all you can do.

    • gravenimage says

      April 16, 2017 at 11:18 pm

      “Al Azhar cannot accuse any [Muslim] of being a kafir [infidel], as long as he believes in Allah and the Last Day—even if he commits every atrocity”

      That’s Islam in a nutshell–peaceful Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Atheists should be slaughtered for not believing in Allah, but those committing every atrocity are Muslims in good standing.

      God, I hate Islam.

  5. Rob says

    April 16, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Let’s not forget that a female Al Azhar academic also encouraged the rape of infidel women as ‘the best way of humiliating them’.
    That’s NOT passive acceptance of Isis but active encouragement of their horrors.

    • gravenimage says

      April 16, 2017 at 11:21 pm

      Exactly, Rob. It is not just that Al Azhar will not condemn ISIS’s actions–in almost all cases, they actively *condone* them. And how could it be otherwise? They both follow Islam, and the model of the vicious “Prophet”.

  6. salim says

    April 16, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Al Azhar does what its supposed to do: to teach and protect Islam and the Arabic language. It did exactly that for centuries. I know Al Azhar very well and its graduates do know Islam very well.

    It may surprise you here that there are Muslims who believe Al Azhar has actually become too liberal and ‘appeaser to the west’.

    Why blame Al Azhar? most Muslims I spoke to (in the Gulf, Egypt and Jordan) believe ISIS may have made mistakes (in implementing Islam) but certainly cannot be described as infidels to please the enemies of allah.

    • Jack Diamond says

      April 16, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      Considering Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman was a head of Qur’anic studies there, considering Abdullah Azzam had a PhD in Islamic Jurisprudence from Al-Azhar, or that other illustrious alumni include Hamas co-founder Ahmed Yassin, and al-Habnani, founder of Hizb ut-Tahrir….of course, the beacon of Islamic learning cannot call the Islamic State apostate.

  7. james.mich says

    April 16, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    If ISIS follows the same religion as Saudi Arabia, it cannot be true that ISIS is not representative of Islam. Unless SA is to be condemned as not really Muslim. And if ISIS is representative of Islam, why should anyone tolerate the Islamisation of the West ?

  8. Benedict says

    April 16, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    The ugly face of Mr. Hyde is an inseparable manifestation of Islam and he is easily conjured up – like a snake enticed from its basket – when the learned Dr. Jekyll from Al-Azhar commences his mesmerizing recitations of the Quran.

  9. Donovan Nuera says

    April 16, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    At its Tricentennial in September 1936, Harvard had a procession of deans of ancient universities lead a procession into the convocation; along with Oxford and Cambridge, al-Azhar was given the honor of leading it due to its age: I hope that at the upcoming Quadricentennial that we don’t make that mistake again. Heck, I hope Harvard doesn’t turn into a Madrassa by then the way things are going…(sorry to sound snobbish but Harvard, in the old days, used to churn out ministers and great American patriots that would astound and trigger the undergrad populace today)

  10. David Grisez says

    April 16, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Former President Barack Obama used to make the false statement that the Islamic State was not Islamic and had nothing to do with Islam. Here in Egypt is the leading educational institution on Sunni Islam in the whole world known as Al-Azahar. This university can not declare the Islamic State as apostates, because the Islamic State is following is following the teachings of Islam. Conclusion, the Islamic State is definitely Islamic. The only difference is that the Islamic State is more strict and more severe and more brutal in it’s application of Islamic law.

  11. Malik says

    April 16, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    What good would come if they did declare them

    You think ISIS cares.

    Just drop MOAB bombs on them daily.


    • gravenimage says

      April 17, 2017 at 12:13 am

      Malik, the question is not whether ISIS cares–it is the admission from Al-Azhar that ISIS is Islamic. This sends a clear message to ordinary Muslims that this savagery is perfectly Islamic, and it alerts any Infidels savvy enough to see what Islam really is.

  12. gravenimage says

    April 16, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Al-Azhar, the foremost institution in Sunni Islam, refuses to declare the Islamic State apostate

    Of course, this should surprise no one who understands the tenets of Islam.

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4 Responses to Al-Azhar, the foremost institution in Sunni Islam, refuses to declare the Islamic State apostate, by Robert Spencer of, with comments for additional reading pleasure

  1. θ says:

    Takfir is a teaching of Jesus. That’s why the Europe has the Thirty Year war. That’s why Martin Luther prefers Turks more than Catholics. That’s why the Pope is more sympathetic to Palestine than to Zionists.
    Mt 18:17
    And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

  2. السلفية says:

    In Islam, the brotherhood and sisterhood are esteemed highly. The word “Ghibah” (meaning gossiping, detracting from behind) is used to describe a bad habit of circulating, chatting, and finding one’s faults and deficiencies.
    Ghibah is forbidden, but allows a “parable”.
    When Allah corrects the bad manners of David (in the case of taking one’s wife), even Prophet Muhammad (on the case of a blind man), He uses a parable.

    Now, what’s a proper parable for Khawarijites? They are like a parasite that kills and eats its host mostly.
    Copidosoma floridanum, a parasitic wasp whose sole purpose for living is to devour as many of their brothers as they can, since only a few males are needed to fertilize their sisters.
    Additionally, in order to breed an female wasp paralyses a caterpillar with her sting, and then injects one male egg and one female egg into the host’s body. Then, those eggs “clone” themselves until the still-alive caterpillar is teeming with hundreds of larvae, and waiting to get bursted from inside.

  3. السلفية says:

    Now, the parable for certain Moslems who turn to a bad habit of the “individual cultism” by clinging blindly to someone – usually founder fathers, teachers, tribal figures, and charismatic leaders – is probably the famous parable of six blind men and an elephant.

  4. θ says:

    Neither the Salafi movement, nor Wahhabism, nor Brotherhood, nor Sufism, et cetera can assure that their method must be the only way to grant Allah’s Hidaya (guidance).

    We never know what or why the Atheists or liberal ones or agnostic persons somehow get the least guidance of Allah, or win their heart to Allah, which then lead them to know Islam further. Even a Moslem’s good manner and a humorous preaching, even “populism method” could lead those uprooted, forgotten, abandoned youths and infidels back to Allah’s guidance.

    At most, the Salafi movement, Wahhabism, Brotherhood, Sufism, et cetera are just the man’s efforts to “maintain” the existing Hidaya (guidance) as much as possible which Allah has bestowed on an already Moslem person.

    But, basically we never know what, or why, exactly the unbelievers can somehow get Allah’s guidance. We never know what exactly or actually wins their heart to Allah.

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