Clerics organization says Islamic State is violating Islamic teachings.
A leading group of Pakistani clerics on Friday condemned the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIL, amid concerns the hardline jihadists could gain a foothold in the country.
The Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) said the I.S. group, which has declared a “caliphate” in areas it controls in Iraq and Syria, was violating Islamic teachings. The jihadist movement has committed widespread atrocities in territory under its rule, including mass executions, beheadings and forcing women and girls into slavery.
“Islam and Muslims cannot support the killing of innocent people and destruction of their properties at the hands of ISIL,” the PUC said in a statement. “The PUC … appeals to people and youth in Islamic countries to not cooperate with any violent group whose teachings or actions are against the teachings of Islam and [Islam’s] Prophet.”
The PUC call comes as fears grow in Pakistan that the violent call of I.S. could find recruits among the country’s myriad Islamist militant groups.
Pakistan has suffered years of bloody attacks at the hands of homegrown Islamist militants, many linked to Al Qaeda. Leaflets supporting I.S. have been seen in some parts of the northwest, the heartland of groups like the Pakistani Taliban.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) vowed earlier this month to send fighters to support I.S. jihadists but stopped short of pledging allegiance to the organization’s leader. However, the militant group’s central spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, and five senior militant commanders from Pakistan’s tribal areas pledged allegiance to I.S. leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.