Muslim Scholars' Statement on Danish Cartoons Controversy

In the Name of God, the Benevolent, the Merciful

Declaration on Behalf of Muslim Religious Leaders

All praise is due to God, and may He send His blessings and salutations upon our master, Muhammad, as well as upon his kin and companions.

The events in Denmark concerning the Messenger of God represent an entirely unacceptable crime of aggression that has violated the highest sanctities of the Muslim people. Moreover it is devastating to the ideal of convivial dialogue between peoples, as enjoined in the Quranic verse, which reads, “And We created you as nations and tribes that you might know one another.” In consequence, we affirm the following:

1. We hold up the hand of the nation that has come to the aid of the Messenger of God, as this response on their part demonstrates that it is a nation that is still very much alive. We also point out that this “aid” should mirror the moral code of the Prophet as reflected by the actions of his followers.

2. We call upon the Danish government and the Danish people to yield to the large number of objective and sincere voices emanating from within their society by apologizing, and condemning and bringing an end to this attack. This is to ensure that Denmark is not isolated from the global community, a community that upholds the kind of freedom that prevents it from attacking and desecrating religious symbols or provoking animosity and antagonism towards any religion or race. We also extend this call to the countries that defended this attack, as there is no society today that advocates an unaccountable freedom without putting in place measures of regulation so as to prevent harm to come to others. Of course, societies differ in their levels of regulation.

3. We affirm here that freedom of ideas is a right guaranteed by the teachings of our noble religion to those who seek clarification or desire to engage in dialogue provided that no abuse is intended, in consonance with the Quranic directive: “And argue with them in the most courteous way.” This point has been agreed upon by all rationally-minded people and is stated clearly and categorically in the agreements on human rights.

4. We appeal to all Muslims to exercise self-restraint in accordance with the teachings of Islam and we reject countering an act of aggression by acts not sanctioned in Islam, such as breaking treaties and breaching time honoured agreements by attacking foreign embassies or innocent people and other targets. Such violent reactions can lead to a distortion of the just and balanced nature of our request or even to our isolation from the global dialogue. The support that we give to our Prophet will not be given by flouting his teachings.

5. We highly esteem the unprejudiced stance taken by some religious authorities who have condemned this heinous assault. We also emphasize not holding non-Muslims accountable, whether in Muslim countries or elsewhere, for the crime committed by those who have insulted the Prophet. This principle finds its roots in the Quranic verses: “And no soul shall bear the burden of another” and “Is the reward for good anything but good?”

6. We call upon the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) as well as Muslim countries and governments and the international community to press the United Nations to issue a declaration criminalizing any insult to Muhammad, Jesus or Moses or to any other revered prophetic figure.

7. We also take this opportunity to remind the Muslims about the necessity and importance of reviving their connection with the beloved Prophet byloving him, following his example, and embodying his moral character and noble guidance. This rising-up by the Muslims in support of the Prophet should not constitute a mere reflex that ends when the occasion ends. Rather, this vocation should forever remain alive within the Muslim people.

8. We further emphasize that it is our duty and responsibility to teach others about our Prophet by disseminating and making known his charactertraits, noble qualities and high moral standards. This dissemination should be manifested in both oral and written form, but most importantly it should be manifested in our conduct and interaction with others. It is also imperative that the relevant institutions as well as people of means fulfill their responsibility by supporting these efforts.

We ask God to enable us to successfully carry out that which He loves and that which pleases Him.

Signatories of the Declaration:

Abdullah bin Bayyah Professor in King Abdalaziz University Jeddah (Mauritania)

Abdullah Fadaq Renowned Islamic Spokesperson (Saudi Arabia)

Abla Muhammad al-Kahlawi Dean of Islamic & Arabic Studies College at Azhar University, Port Said (Egypt)

Abu Bakr Ahmad al-Milibari Secretary General of Ahl al-Sunna Association (India)

Abu Bakr al-Adani bin Ali al-Mashur General Director of Islamic Tarbiya League (Yemen)

Ahmad al-Kubaysi Renowned Islamic spokesperson (Iraq)

Ahmad Badr al-Din Hassun General Mufti of the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria)

Ahmad bin Hamad al-Khalili General Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman (Oman)

Ahmad Nur Sayf Director of Islamic Sciences & Research Institute (UAE)

A’id al-Qarni Renowned Islamic Scholar (Saudi Arabia)

Ali Jumua Grand Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt (Egypt)

Ali Zain al-Abidin al-Jifri Renowned Islamic Scholar (Yemen)

Amr Khaled Renowned Islamic Spokesperson Anzar Shah Kashmiri Head of Ulama of Deoband (India)

Faruq Hamada Professor of Hadith Studies, Muhammad V University (Morocco)

Haji Muhammad Shafi Huzami Renowned Islamic Scholar of Jakarta (Indonesia)

Hamdan Muslim al-Mazrui Assistant Undersecretary for Islamic Affairs in Ministry of Endowments (UAE)

Hamza Yusuf Renowned Islamic Scholar, Director of Zaytuna Institute (USA)

Hasan al-Saffar Shiite Islamic Spokesperson (Saudi Arabia)

Hiba Raouf Izzat Lecturer in College of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University (Egypt)

Ikrimah Sabri Mufti of Jerusalem (Palestine)

Jasim al-Mutawwaa Head of Iqra Satellite Channel (Kuwait)

Kaya Hajji Abdullah Faqih Head of Langitano Academy, Islamic Scholar, East Java (Indonesia)

Khalid al-Jundi Renowned Islamic Scholar (Egypt)

Larbi Kachat Director of Dawah Mosque and Head of the Islamic Cultural Center, Paris (France)

Muhammad Akhtar Rida al-Azhari Head of Barelwi Ulama (India)

Muhammad al-Alwini Head of European Academy of Islamic Culture & Sciences, Brussels (Belgium)

Muhammad Ali Taskhiri Secretary General of the International Assembly for Understanding between the Islamic Sects (Iran)

Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Mansur Islamic Scholar of the Zaydi branch (Yemen)

Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah Renowned Shiite Scholar (Lebanon)

Muhammad Rashid Qabbani General Mufti of Lebanon (Lebanon)

Muhammad Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti Department Chair of Theology, University of Damascus (Syria)

Muhammad Tahir al-Qadiri Founder of Minhaj ul-Quran International Organization (Pakistan)

Mustafa bin Hamza Professor of Islamic Law, Muhammad I University, (Morocco)

Nuh Ali Salman al-Qudat Renowned scholar of Jordan, former Mufti of the Jordanian Army (Jordan)

Saeed AbdalHafiz Hijjawi General Mufti of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Jordan)

Salman al-Awda General Supervisor of “Islam Today” Institution (Saudi Arabia)

Tariq al-Suweidan Renowned Islamic Spokesperson (Kuwait)

Umar bin Muhammad bin Salem bin Hafeez Dean of Dar al-Mustafa Institute, Hadramawt (Yemen)

Wahba al-Zuhayli Department Chair of Islamic Jurisprudence, College of Islamic Law, Damascus University (Syria)

Yasmin Mahmud Khalil al-Husary Head of Husa
ry Islamic Foundation (Egypt)