Muslim Leader in Astana Condemns Attacks in Aktobe

ASTANA – The Spiritual Administration of Kazakh Muslims has denounced the June 5 terrorist attacks in Aktobe.

“We strongly denounce the actions of the destructive religious movements who organised the attack in Aktobe. We express our deep condolences to the families and relatives of the victims. We are all Muslims and deplore terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We wish this tragedy does not happen again in our land,” said Yakiya-hajji Ismailov, chief imam of Sheikh Kunta Hajji Mosque in Astana.

Three Kazakh military personnel and four civilians were killed June 5 when multiple assailants attacked a National Guard station and two weapons shops. Government officials have said they believe the attackers were followers of radical, non-traditional religious movements.

“May Allah reward people who were killed and grant them paradise. They died with dignity defending their homeland. We will pray for them. And, of course, we pray for patience,” Yakiya-hajji Ismailov said.

The Muslim leader also cited a quote from the Quran, the holy book of the Muslims: “Whoever kills a person (unjustly)… it is as though he has killed all mankind.”

“Ramadan is the most sacred month for all Muslims. During Ramadan, war and strife came to an end for centuries. It is prohibited to commit sins before Ramadan. Killing innocent people is the most venial sin. There is no justification for such people. The Prophet Muhammad defined the true Muslim as one who avoids harming others with his tongue (words) and hand (actions). Islam teaches things such as patience and forgiveness. The Quran says that there can be no compulsion in religion. There is no need to force anyone to embrace a particular religion including Islam under no circumstances,” he said.

According to Ismailov, there is no link between terrorism and Islam. There is no terror and terrorism in Islam as it is a peace-loving religion, he said.

“This year, the Muslims hold Eid on the same day across the world. Muslims around the world begin fasting all together. This is a sign that Allah intends to unite us. People should be together and respect the laws of the country where they live,” he stressed.

As a member of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, the chief imam noted that the public should appreciate Kazakhstan’s stability and work to preserve its peace and tranquillity.

“We should explain to our young generation that the followers of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant use the religion in their deeds against Islam. The whole Islamic world is against this militant group.”

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