The impassioned plea by the father of a Jordanian F16 fighter pilot captured by Islamic State has shot down attempts by American President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to distance Islam from the Islamic State (ISIL).
Speaking to the media - the father of Islamic State's star captive - 1st Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh, - said:
I direct a message to our generous brothers of the Islamic State in Syria: to host my son, the pilot Mu'ath, with generous hospitality. I ask God that their hearts are gathered together with love, and that he is returned to his family, wife and mother.
We are all Muslims.
This desperate cry for mercy stands in stark contrast to what President Obama stressed at a media conference in August:
Let's be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion.
They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people. So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.
Cameron has been equally as strident:
We should be clear: this is not the "War on Terror", nor is it a war of religions. It is a struggle for decency, tolerance and moderation in our modern world. It is a battle against a poisonous ideology that is condemned by all faiths and by all faith leaders, whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim.
Abbott was eager to support Obama and Cameron's statements – telling a media conference during the Martin Place siege in Sydney last week:
But the point I keep making is that the ISIL death cult has nothing to do with any religion, any real religion.
These Presidential and Prime Ministerial statements had followed a most explicit condemnation of Islamic State by Iyad Ameen Madani - the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – the collective voice of the Muslim world, representing 57 countries over four continents comprising 1.4 billion Muslims, the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations.
As Vatican Radio reported on 25 July:
In a statement, he [Madani] officially denounced the "forced deportation under the threat of execution" of Christians, calling it a "crime that cannot be tolerated." The Secretary General also distanced Islam from the actions of the militant group known as ISIS, saying they "have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for justice, kindness, fairness, freedom of faith and coexistence."
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