Observer Front Page 14/09/14
Front page news, The Observer 14th September, 2014.
A letter initiative led by the Islamic Society of Britain was sent to the Prime Minister and made front page news.
Muslims Reject ‘Islamic State’ Name
Dear Prime Minister
As human beings, we have been sickened by the murders committed by the
terror group “ISIS”.
As Britons, we have been troubled that some young men from our society have
been misled into believing that taking part in such hatred and poison could
be some kind of adventure.
And, as Muslims, we have been appalled that these actions are being
undertaken by those who claim to be inspired by our faith, which is a
vicious libel on the Islam we believe in.
We shall take every opportunity to continue to say clearly and loudly ³not
in our name and not for our faith”.
And it has been important to hear an ever-growing chorus of rejection of the
IS group and its actions whether that has been from Imams, theologians or
scholars, and so many ordinary citizens, speaking out in mosques, schools,
workplaces and on social media.
We know that we all need to do more – and we need your help too in getting
this message across.
We do not believe the terror group responsible should be given the credence
and standing they seek by styling themselves ‘Islamic State’. It is neither
Islamic, nor is it a State. The group has no standing with faithful Muslims,
nor among the international community of nations. It clearly will never
accept the obligations that any legitimate state has, including the
responsibility to protect citizens and uphold human rights.
So we believe the media, civic society and governments should refuse to
legitimise these ludicrous Caliphate fantasies by accepting or propagating
We propose that ŒUn-Islamic State¹ (UIS) could be an accurate and fair
alternative name to describe this group and its agenda – and we will begin
to call it that.
We certainly think it would be important that we come together to discuss
and debate how to best tackle this group – including how we can build a
consensus on an alternative label for civic society, politics and the media
to ensure that we do not lend legitimacy to an organisation that has none.
So we believe that it would send a powerful message in Britain and around
the world if you would join us, as our Prime Minister, in leading a national
debate to seek a suitable alternative way to refer to this group and further
challenge its legitimacy and influence. This could be especially powerful
because everybody at home and abroad can see that you are being asked to do
so by British Muslims themselves who want to be clear about why this group
is so vehemently rejected.
We are sure that most British Muslims would agree that ŒUn-Islamic State¹ is
a considerably more fitting label for this poisonous group – and hope that
our fellow citizens will join us in that.
We know that this would be one small, symbolic step and that we must all
work together to build the inclusion and integration in British society that
would repel these poisonous ideas. But we believe that it would help and
look forward to your response.
Sughra Ahmed, Islamic Society of Britain
See website version here