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MPAC Op-ed Published in ‘On Faith’

August 30, 2014


MPAC President Salam and Al-Marayati, along with Community Outreach Coordinator Cherif Abou El Fadl and Special Projects Fellow Omar Noureldin published an op-ed in “On Faith” this week called “Takfirism: The Key to Understanding ISIL.” The op-ed explores the method through which ISIL uses Islam to justify it’s crimes. It also explores ISIL’s “ideological underpinnings” by looking at the history of takfirism and offers recommendations on how the United States can combat violent extremism.

The op-ed reads in part:

“Also adding to their perceived legitimacy is the use of the term “jihadist” to classify these violent extremist groups. This misnomer serves the interest of groups like ISIL as they rely on framing themselves within fundamental Islamic concepts to recruit members. Jihad is translated as “struggle,” which can be taken to mean anything from an internal struggle against one’s desires to outright resisting oppression. When groups like ISIL dress themselves in the pietistic robes of a righteous jihad, vulnerable and ostracized Muslims will see them as legitimate. Their violent ideology, while not grounded in Islamic jurisprudence or political thought, is effective propaganda nonetheless. When the U.S. government counters jihad, it plays right into the hands of ISIL and al-Qaeda, groups that bank on the narrative that America is at war with Islam.”

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