Nearly 70,000 Indian Muslim leaders have signed a fatwa against ISIS and other terror groups saying they were “not Islamic organizations” [and should not be called ‘Islamic or Islamist’].

Around 1.5 million Muslims visiting a shrine dedicated to a Sufi saint near the city of Ajmer in the north western state of Rajasthan, during the Urs religious festival there, have signed a petition against the terrorist attacks.

Mufti Mohammed Saleem Noori, one of the leaders who signed the fatwa, told the Times of India: “From when the annual Urs [festival] began, members of Dargah Aala Hazrat have been distributing forms among followers seeking signatures to show that those signing stand against terrorism.

“Nearly 15 lakh (1.5m) Muslims have recorded their protest. Around 70,000 Muslim scholars from across the world, who were part of the event, passed the fatwa.”

He called on media organizations to stop referring to the groups – including ISIS, the Taliban and al-Qaeda – as “Islamic”.

Another leader, Hazrat Subhan Raza Khan, said the decision had been made in the wake of the Paris attacks to spread out the message that the Muslim community condemns extremism.

The head of the shrine at Ajmer, Mohammed Ehsan Raza Khan said: “It is written in the [Holy] Qur’an that killing one innocent person is equivalent to killing all humanity”.

But the Muslim leaders also opposed the bombing campaignseveral NATO countries – including the UK whose parliament approved airstrikes recently – against ISIS in Syria saying innocent women and children had been killed in the strikes.

They said Western powers should focus on stopping the terrorists, but not at the cost of civilian lives.

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