American Shiite Muslim groups speak out against military intervention in Syria

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Articles
Tuesday, 10 September 2013


amrican shiiteThis week a broad coalition of the top US based Shiite Muslim organizations issued a “Joint Statement on Syria” voicing opposition to a military intervention in Syria. The statement reads in part “We believe in a non-violent solution to the crisis at hand, and support the efforts of international leaders to resolve this issue

The statement issued by the groups matches the words of other religious leaders. Last week, Pope Francis called for a peaceful resolution to the Syrian crisis, stating he was against war. At a recent vigil for Syria, the Pope was joined by various Muslim groups also in support of a peaceful resolution.

This week’s statement was signed by Shiite mosques from coast to coast, like New Jersey’s Muslim Foundation, Inc. (MFI), Chicago’s Baitul Ilm Academy, and California’s Islamic Education Center of Orange County (IECOC).

In an attempt to offer more than moral reasoning, the group of Shiites asserted that the proposed military strikes would be detrimental to American interests by harming prospects in the region.

“We hold that a military intervention in Syria does not serve the national security interests of the United States. Past military intervention in such conflicts has proven to generate increased extremist recruitment along with attacks against the United States and its allies.”

This statement is bolstered by an “Appendix” of quotes from Republican and Democrat lawmakers opposed to President Obama’s plans for military action.

We [Shia Muslims] unambiguously stand with the people of Syria, who have suffered enormously in the midst of this civil war. “We make no distinction between Sunnis, Shias, Christians, Druze, or Alawites, all of whom are undergoing horrendous calamities at the hands of extremist rebels.

“Let us be clear, we vehemently oppose the abhorrent and criminal actions of rebel forces exhibiting control over areas within Syria are clearly affiliated with Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups.

“These rebels commit heinous acts against civilians. The joint statement shows that the Shia Muslim community is opposed savage activities of rebels.”

Shiite Muslims have become increasingly focused on the crisis in Syria as the country is home to numerous ancient Islamic sites. Rebel groups, such as the Al Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front, have declared the sites heretical, and have announced plans to attack and destroy them.

The list of signatories is as follows:

Baitul Ilm, Chicago, IL
Council of Shia Muslim Scholars in North America (CSMNA)
House of Wisdom, Dearborn, MI
Imamia Medics International (IMI)
Islamic Education Center of Orange County, CA (IECOC)
Islamic Information Center (IIC)
Imam Khoei Center, NY
Muslims for Peace (MFP)
Muslim Foundation, Inc., NJ (MFI)
Organization of North American Shia Ithnasheri Muslim Communities (NASIMCO)
Shia Association of North America (SANA)
Shia International
Shia Rights Watch
Souls March
Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA)

Over the summer, Sunni and Shiite Muslims formed a working group on Syria, firmly committing to avoid sectarian overtones in the ongoing Syrian crisis.

Last week, following the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and CSMNA conventions, American based Sunni and Shiite scholars signed “The Washington Declaration” pledging to work closely together, quashing the rhetoric of “Sunni – Shia” rivalry.

"> through diplomacy and dialogue, rather than through violence or other military action.

“We call for an immediate ceasefire by all parties involved under the auspices of the United Nations”, "We condemn the kidnapping, torture, and execution of any individuals, and are opposed to any groups that engage in this type of behavior".

The statement issued by the groups matches the words of other religious leaders. Last week, Pope Francis called for a peaceful resolution to the Syrian crisis, stating he was against war. At a recent vigil for Syria, the Pope was joined by various Muslim groups also in support of a peaceful resolution.

This week’s statement was signed by Shiite mosques from coast to coast, like New Jersey’s Muslim Foundation, Inc. (MFI), Chicago’s Baitul Ilm Academy, and California’s Islamic Education Center of Orange County (IECOC).

In an attempt to offer more than moral reasoning, the group of Shiites asserted that the proposed military strikes would be detrimental to American interests by harming prospects in the region.

“We hold that a military intervention in Syria does not serve the national security interests of the United States. Past military intervention in such conflicts has proven to generate increased extremist recruitment along with attacks against the United States and its allies.”

This statement is bolstered by an “Appendix” of quotes from Republican and Democrat lawmakers opposed to President Obama’s plans for military action.

We [Shia Muslims] unambiguously stand with the people of Syria, who have suffered enormously in the midst of this civil war. “We make no distinction between Sunnis, Shias, Christians, Druze, or Alawites, all of whom are undergoing horrendous calamities at the hands of extremist rebels.

“Let us be clear, we vehemently oppose the abhorrent and criminal actions of rebel forces exhibiting control over areas within Syria are clearly affiliated with Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups.

“These rebels commit heinous acts against civilians. The joint statement shows that the Shia Muslim community is opposed savage activities of rebels.”

Shiite Muslims have become increasingly focused on the crisis in Syria as the country is home to numerous ancient Islamic sites. Rebel groups, such as the Al Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front, have declared the sites heretical, and have announced plans to attack and destroy them.

The list of signatories is as follows:

Baitul Ilm, Chicago, IL
Council of Shia Muslim Scholars in North America (CSMNA)
House of Wisdom, Dearborn, MI
Imamia Medics International (IMI)
Islamic Education Center of Orange County, CA (IECOC)
Islamic Information Center (IIC)
Imam Khoei Center, NY
Muslims for Peace (MFP)
Muslim Foundation, Inc., NJ (MFI)
Organization of North American Shia Ithnasheri Muslim Communities (NASIMCO)
Shia Association of North America (SANA)
Shia International
Shia Rights Watch
Souls March
Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA)

Over the summer, Sunni and Shiite Muslims formed a working group on Syria, firmly committing to avoid sectarian overtones in the ongoing Syrian crisis.

Last week, following the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and CSMNA conventions, American based Sunni and Shiite scholars signed “The Washington Declaration” pledging to work closely together, quashing the rhetoric of “Sunni – Shia” rivalry.

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