American Muslims and Scholars Denounce Terrorism

Washington, DC (September 9, 2002) — Several prominent American Muslims, organizations, and scholars issued the following statement denouncing violence and terrorism, especially in the name of Islam, a religion of peace and justice.

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The statement was issued on the eve of the first anniversary of the tragedy of Sept. 11, and has been signed by 199 prominent American Muslims, and scholars of Islam from all over the world.
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STATEMENT REJECTING TERRORISM
As American Muslims and scholars of Islam, we wish to restate our conviction that peace and justice constitute the basic principles of the Muslim faith. We wish again to state unequivocally that neither the al-Qaeda organization nor Usama bin Laden represents Islam or reflects Muslim beliefs and practice. Rather, groups like al-Qaeda have misused and abused Islam in order to fit their own radical and indeed anti-Islamic agenda. Usama bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s actions are criminal, misguided and counter to the true teachings of Islam. We call on people of all faiths not to judge Islam by the actions of a few.
We believe in justice and peace for both Israelis and Palestinians. We are convinced that security for Israel can only be achieved by justice for Palestinians. Today, a modicum of justice requires the establishment of an independent Palestinian state through the exercise of Palestinian self-determination. We believe that the continued occupation of Palestinian territories, and Israel’s repeated disregard of international law, have made life in the occupied territories unbearable. We say most clearly, however, that the killing of innocent civilians, whether Christian, Muslim, or Jewish, is always wrong and is forbidden in Islamic law and ethics. Illegitimate means can never be justified by a desirable or noble goal.
On this first anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, we call on all people of conscience to denounce violence and to work peacefully for the creation of a better world. We also urge our government leaders to work for peace, justice, liberty, and democracy around the globe.
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