The Islamic Society of Milwaukee and its members are deeply saddened by and unequivocally condemn the savage attacks carried out by the terrorist group ISIS against innocent civilians in Paris. Earlier this week, this same vile group killed scores of innocent people in Beirut, Lebanon. Over the past few years, ISIS extremists have killed thousands of innocent people in Syria and Iraq, mainly Muslims, but also including American journalists, Yazidis, Christians and others.
ISIS has demonstrated once again that it is nothing more than a barbaric movement that lacks any sense of humanity. We reject any attempt by members of this group to associate themselves in any way with Islam or Muslims. ISIS represents everything that Islam condemns. As demonstrated by their actions in Paris and around the world, ISIS represents pure evil and hatred.
ISIS seeks to spread fear, chaos and disorder, whether in France, Lebanon, Syria or Iraq. All people of conscience must stand together, united in their humanity and in their resolve to work together to combat such an evil group. We must also resist those who will try to use the heinous actions of ISIS to spread divisive rhetoric and dissension within our societies. Such reactions, whether aimed at Muslims, immigrants or others, will only feed into the goals of ISIS.
As a Muslim organization, we will do everything in our power to vehemently oppose any group or individual that tries to misuse our faith to justify their criminal and barbaric behavior. We have always condemned terrorism, whether by individuals, groups or states. We are signatories to the 2005 statement issued by the highest Islamic juridical body in North America which reaffirmed Islam’s absolute condemnation of terrorism and religious extremism. In September, 2014, leaders of our organization also signed an internationally published letter condemning ISIS and refuting its un-Islamic ideology.
The actions of ISIS will only increase our resolve to stand united with all those in our country - people of many faiths and backgrounds - against those who seek to harm all of us. We pray for the comfort of all those around the world who are the victims of extremism and violence and we pray for the safety of all of us and our neighbors around the world.
The Wisconsin Council of Islamic Centers (which includes the Islamic Society of Milwaukee) issued a similar statement which was signed by the following centers:
- American Albanian Islamic Center of Wisconsin
- Islamic Center of Sheboygan
- Islamic Center of Wisconsin (Appleton)
- Islamic Society of Milwaukee
- Islamic Society of Wisconsin (Green Bay)
- Masjid Al-Huda (Milwaukee)
- Masjid Al-Quran (Milwaukee)
The statement was also signed by the Milwaukee Chapter of the Muslim American Society and the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition.