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Friday, November 21, 2014

Sheik Muhammad al-Yaqoubi could be the Islam leader to transcend the extremists

Public Broadcasting Network (PBN) journalist Margaret Warner introduced Sheik Muhammad al-Yaquobi. In an interview, the well spoken religious leader spoke with Warner as the completely positive alternative to the horrific images of Islamic extremists, who are dressed in black, while heinously terrorizing innocent people, with evil random.
Americans rarely, if ever, see Islamic clerics who are well spoken and speaking about humanitarian issues. Instead, Islamic extremists on the media are men in black, bent on destruction of civilization as we know it. 

On the other hand, in a PBS interview with Warner, al-Yaquobi said the evil ISIS leader Baghdadi is going to to to hell. In other words, Muhammad al-Yaquobi condemned the ISIS extremist leader Baghdadi to eternal damnation. Moreover, al-Yaquobi called on other Muslims to rise against terrorism and Islamic extremism's murderous tactics.

Al-Yaquobi is a Syrian Muslim scholar. He was born May 7, 1963 in Damascus, Syria.  In 1991, he joined the PhD program of linguistics in the Oriental Studies Department of the University of Gothenburg. In Sweden, he worked as a researcher and teacher of Arabic literature. In 1999, the Swedish Islamic Society appointed him mufti of Sweden.

In 1992, he moved to England and completed the FCE, CAE, CCS, and CPE Cambridge courses in English within a year, before returning to Sweden where he continued his studies in Swedish.
Al-Yaqoubi has studied seven languages.

 In April 2011, he was one of the first Islamic scholars to support the Syrians in an uprising against the Assad government. Al-Yaqoubi demanded the resignation of the evil Syrian leader, President Bashar al-Assad.
Since the start of the Syrian uprising, al-Yaqoubi has campaigned internationally to provide humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees. In December 2012, he led a convoy for the delivery of vast quantities of food, baby food and blankets to displaced Syrians in Turkey.

After being exiled from Syria, he took part in a sustained international effort to provide aid for Syrian people. He has publicly urged the international community to “implement help immediately” and to “lift the siege” on Syria.

Al-Yaquobi has a sad personal story.  His father, who was his role model and mentor, died in 1985.  Both of his wives died within one year of each other.  He is the father of three children by his first wife, who died in an automobile accident in 2006, when she was five months pregnant.

Muhummad al-Yaqoubi led prayers at the memorial of assassinated humanitarian Peter Kessig, who was murdered by ISIS executioners.

Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, a prominent Syrian Sunni cleric and vocal critic of the Islamic State (ISIS), led prayers at the funeral of American beheading victim Peter Kassig. 

Chief foreign correspondent Margaret Warner interviewed al-Yaqoubi, who as been exiled from Syria. 

Warner asked al_Yaqoubi about atrocities committed by the Islamic State, and asked him why the militant ISIS group is able to gain followers and the fight against the Assad regime.

Two months ago, al-Yaqoubi released an open letter to the ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, telling him: “You have misinterpreted Islam into a religion of harshness, brutality, torture and murder,” which he called a great wrong and an offense to Islam.  Sheik Muhammad al_Yaqoubi said ISIS carries hatred to the world, to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

About Assad, al-Yaqoubi said the Sryian president opted for violence and extreme use of power from the very early days of the Srian uprising. Moreover, Assad released from prison the most extremist Islamists, knowing that they would opt for carrying guns and fighting and revenge. So that's how the shape of the Syrian uprising changed from the beginning. It's how ISIS was able to recruit from among these extremists.  

MARGARET WARNER asked al-Yaqoubi about his declaration that al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed ruler of this Islamic State caliphate, was going to hell. "What do you mean," she asked?

SHEIK MUHAMMAD AL-YAQOUBI: al Baghdadi is against Islam. He’s non-Muslim, according to the Muslim standards, because he’s allowing people to kill Muslims, referring to the Book of Allah, wrongly using religious texts.

This is anti-Islamic. He’s going against God. He’s going against the message of Islam, Mohammed, peace be upon him. If he repents and come in a court and defend himself, he won’t have any one single verse of the Koran to defend his opinion in killing innocent people.

MARGARET WARNER: What will this hell look like?



SHEIK MUHAMMAD AL-YAQOUBI: Hell will — for him, God knows what type of punishment he’s going to receive for this savagery which has never been witnessed in modern history.You know, in Islam, we have never seen any group as extremist as this group. 

Warner's insightful interview with al-Yaqoubi was the most interesting I've ever watched with any Muslim cleric, especially when being questioned by a woman.  Al-Yaqoubi was engaging and seemed to be making eye contact with Warner. He didn't appear to be scripted or reticent about answering any of Warner's questions.

Al-Yaqoubi might be able to transcend the black robed Islamic terrorist images Americans have grown accustomed to seeing on television. Hopefully, we'll hear more inspiring interviews from this well spoken Islamic religious leader, especially if he motivates Muslims to fight against, rather than with, the evil ISIS.

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