Muslim Leaders Condemn Boko Haram In Letter Led By Representatives Ellison And Carson

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., one of only two Muslims in Congress, becomes emotional as he testifies before the House Homeland
Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., one of only two Muslims in Congress, becomes emotional as he testifies before the House Homeland Security Committee on the extent of the radicalization of American Muslims, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Today, Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Representative André Carson (D-In.) led American Muslim leaders in a call to Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau that slammed the recent kidnappings of Nigerian schoolgirls that have generated an international outcry.

Ellison and Carson are the only Muslim members of Congress, and they condemned the actions that Boko Haram have taken in the name of Islam in an open letter sent to The Huffington Post. They are joined by over thirty American Muslim leaders from all over the country.

International Muslim leaders have also spoke out against Boko Haram, such as Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb of Al-Azhar, one of Sunni Islam's oldest and most respected institutions. He said earlier this month, "The actions by Boko Haram are pure terrorism, with no relation to Islam, especially the kidnapping of the girls."

The open letter says:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful –

May 20, 2014

Abubakar Shekau:

We urge you to immediately release the young children you have unconscionably taken. Your actions have shocked Muslims across the world and have disrespected Islam and the teachings of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

Your justification for stealing these children – that education for girls goes against Islam – has no basis whatsoever in our faith. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) wisely emphasized that every Muslim man and woman has a duty to seek education. You have truly strayed from Islam when your actions betray its first command: “Iqra!”

You do not represent Islam or what Muslims know to be the teachings of Islam. Your attempt to transform a central tenet of Islam into a vile lie used to kill and maim innocent Nigerians of all faiths is transparent. You treat children like cattle. It is abhorrent and sinful to pretend to be a Prophet to whom Allah has spoken.

A faithful reading of the teachings of Islam compels you to immediately return these children to their families. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) instructs us to set an example of justice and mercy. In Surat Fussilat, Ayah 34, we are told that “the good deed and the evil deed are not alike,” and we are instructed to “repel the evil deed with one that is better.”

If you would like to follow the teachings of Islam, listen to the global chorus of voices that are enjoining you to do what is right: return these children to their families and replace the evil in your heart with peace and learning.


Keith Ellison
U.S. House of Representatives
Minneapolis, MN

André Carson
U.S. House of Representatives
Indianapolis, IN

Imam Mohamed Magid
ADAMS Center
Sterling, VA

Imam Abdullah T. Antepli
Duke University
Durham, NC

Oussama Jammal
U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations
Washington, DC

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf
Zaytuna College
Berkeley, CA

Imam Sheikh Jamal Said
The Mosque Foundation
Bridgeview, IL

Imam Sheikh Kifah Mustapha
The Mosque Foundation
Brigeview, IL

Dr. Hatem Bazian
American Muslims for Palestine
Palos Hills, IL

Mazen Mokhtar
Muslim American Society
Washington, DC

Nihad Awad
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Washington, DC

Naeem Baig
Islamic Circle of North America
Queens, NY

Khalil Meek
Muslim Legal Fund of America
Dallas, TX

W. Deen Mohammed II
The Mosque Cares
Chicago, IL

Mahtabuddin Ahmed
Muslim Ummah of North America
New York, NY

Hussein Ata
The Mosque Foundation
Bridgeview, IL

Shakeel Syed
Shura Council of Southern California
Orange Grove, CA

Imam Talib Shareef
The Mosque Cares
Washington, DC

Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat
Islamic Affairs Council of Maryland
Baltimore, MD

Shaykh Yasir Qadhi
Al-Maghrib Institute
Memphis, TN

Imam William Suhaib Webb
The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
Boston, MA

Imam Sohaib Sultan
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ

Imam Omer Bajwa
Yale University
New Haven, CT

Imam Yahya Hendi
Georgetown University
Washington, DC

Imam Dr. Salahuddin M. Muhammad
President, Association of Muslim Chaplains
Garner, NC

Imam Beau Latif Scurich
Northeastern University
Boston, MA

Imam Jihad Turk
Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School
Claremont, CA

Naila Scurich Baloch
Tufts University
Medford, MA

Imam Tarif Shraim
University of Maryland
College Park, MD

Shaykha Tahera Ahmed
Northwestern University
Chicago, IL

Chaplain Ailya Vajid
Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA

Imam Adeel Zeeb
Wesleyan University
Midldetown, CT



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