The most respected Sunni Islam center of learning expressed anger towards the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL) after the group burned a Jordanian pilot alive, saying the jihadists should be killed and crucified in return.
ISIS itself is a Sunni group and Lt. Moaz al-Kassasbeh, the pilot, was reportedly from a Sunni tribe in Jordan.
Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayib, the head of the Cairo-based Al-Azhar Sunni center, expressed his “strong dismay at this cowardly act” in a statement following the grisly murder of the Jordanian pilot, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and other media outlets report.
This “requires the punishment mentioned in the Koran for these corrupt oppressors who fight against God and his prophet: killing, crucifixion or chopping of the limbs,” he added.
“Islam forbids killing of the innocent human soul… It forbids mutilating the human soul by burning or in any other way even during wars against an enemy that attacks you,” continued Tayib.
That is just one example of the outrage expressed by Muslims in the Middle East against ISIS’ latest high-profile act of brutality.
“Declarations of outrage swept the Middle East on Wednesday as a region already steeled to the brutality of the Islamic State expressed horror at the group’s killing of a Jordanian pilot by setting him on fire,” reports The Washington Post.
“The region’s leaders have denounced the militant group on many occasions in the past, but the spectacle of an Arab pilot being burned alive in a cage triggered some of the harshest reactions yet,” it continues.
The burning of the Jordanian pilot was also condemned by Iyad Madani, secretary general of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the largest Muslim political coalition, noted the Post.
ISIS “utterly disregards the rights of prisoners Islam has decreed, as well as the human moral standards for war and treatment of prisoners,” Madani said.
U.S. Arab allies, such as Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, have also issued statements denouncing the brutal murder, calling it a vicious act that contradicts the norms of Islam.
“Despite the condemnations, however, this latest atrocity is unlikely to sway many opinions in the already polarized region, noted Hisham al-Hashimi, an expert on the group who advises the Iraqi government,” according to the Post.
ISIS itself has doled out fatal punishments against fellow jihadists and other Muslims who violate the harsh version of Islamic law the group has imposed on the swaths of Iraq and Syria it controls.
Last month, the United Nations reported that ISIS is showing “monstrous disregard for human life” in the areas it has conquered.
The group uses the Sharia courts it has established to issue barbaric punishments.