Making sure Muslim youths don't fall victim to misunderstandings of Islam perpetuated by ISIS is paramount.
That's a message in a recent Islamic document issued by a top Muslim authority, and it's the subject of a new Skype interview with Sayyid Syeed.
Syeed, national director of the Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances at the Islamic Society of North America, talks about this recent "response to ISIS" with EthicsDaily.com.
Skype Interview: Sayyid Syeed from EthicsDaily on Vimeo.
"This Is Not the Path to Paradise: Response to ISIS" was issued in September by Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah, a foremost authority on Islamic law and the president of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies.
"This is addressed to the young men who bear arms against their own nations and destroy both country and countrymen," the document begins. "You have abandoned all values and made enemies of the world. We call on you to pause, reflect and heed this counsel for the sake of all who want good for our community."
Syeed, featured in the EthicsDaily.com documentary, "Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims," helps viewers better understand the document - and what the ISIS threat really involves.
Syeed says bin Bayyah attacks ISIS on two fronts: its lack of authority and its behavior.
First, ISIS is claiming authority when it has no legal justification for doing so.
Second, bin Bayyah takes issue with "the way they are using that authority, their behavior, their dealings, killing the minorities, molesting women and destroying properties and so on," Syeed says. "So that is totally outside any understanding of Islam."
"So it is the authority and use of the authority that he has legally shown is totally un-Islamic," Syeed says.
Syeed also characterizes the problem of ISIS as "a global phenomenon."
"They seem to be technologically savvy," Syeed says, "so they have a global outreach." As such, people can be easily misled by slogans, names and some terminology.
Watch the interview with Syeed at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/skype-sayyidsyeed
Learn more about Syeed and ISNA at ISNA.net
Read the document, "This Is Not the Path to Paradise: Response to ISIS," at binbayyah.net/english/2014/09/24/fatwa-response-to-isis/
Get info on the documentary, "Different Books, Common Word," at DifferentBooksCommonWord.com
Watch other EthicsDaily.com Skype interviews at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily