Dar al-Ifta has issued a fatwa against joining armed Islamist groups, whose violent actions “represent an obvious perversion of the teachings of Islam,” the institute announced in an official statement released on Thursday.
Anyone joining such an organization is responsible for the crimes the group commits and the blood it spills, and anyone who attempts to help these groups through funding, providing shelter or supporting them in the media is equally sinful, the statement said.
Dar al-Ifta — Egypt’s flagship Islamic education and research center — further explained that any sort of resistance movement against repression should only be led by the state, and organized by state officials who can best understand such decisions and their consequences.
Hardline Islamist militant groups attract the youth with provocative slogans, such as reinstituting an Islamic state and implementing Sharia, the fatwa said. Dar al-Ifta warned Egypt’s youth against joining any resistance efforts proposed by these groups, as they would be “surpassing the state’s role.”
The statement condemned the Islamic State’s sectarian violence perpetrated in Iraq, which primarily targets Christians and Yazidis. Islam is a tolerant religion that forbids the forced conversions of non-Muslims, the religious institute added.
The fatwa was issued as Egypt declared its support for a United States-engineered military campaign against Islamic State militias. Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Qatar have agreed to deploy their air forces as part of the campaign.
While Egypt’s military will not participate in the strikes, the government is committed to supporting the military campaign, Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry told the US-based satellite channel CNN on Thursday. He hailed the decision to target oil wells in eastern Syria as a first step, as this would halt significant cash flow to the insurgent group.
In previous statements, Shoukry said that it was not logical to mobilize international resources to fight the Islamic State when Egypt cannot enlist those resources to fight a similar enemy domestically.
Shoukry made these comments during an international conference held in Saudi Arabia to discuss international and regional cooperation for combating terrorism in the Middle East.