Moscow, April 1, Interfax - Russia's Muslim Spiritual Board issued a fatwa (Islamic legal opinion) on Tuesday declaring the ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant essentially anti-Islamic.
"The adherents of ISIL erroneously interpret Islam as a religion of coarseness, brutality, torture, violence, and killing anyone who disagrees with them. This is a serious crime against Islam and the Muslims of the entire world," the administration says in the fatwa, issued by the Ulema Board and published on the Board's website.
Those espousing such beliefs deserve "death or complete lifelong isolation from society," it says.
"Militarily, jihad means for Muslims to fight those who fight against them but not fighting those who are not in confrontation with them, nor does it mean oppressing those who do not oppress them," the fatwa says.
It says Islam prohibits killing civilians, convicts, emissaries (the fatwa argues that journalists may be considered emissaries), and aid workers.
"The Koran prescribes rigorous punishment for violent acts such as bombing, murder, hostage taking, and other terrorist acts. If innocent people die in a terrorist act, the latter becomes even more sinful," the fatwa says.
Furthermore, Islam bans declaring any territory a caliphate without shura or consultation with the local Muslim community, the document argues.
"The declaration of a caliphate without shura is a form of fitna (sedition) because it leaves a large number of Muslims who disagree with this caliphate outside the caliphate. Moreover, it will lead to the emergence of multitudes of isolated rivaling caliphates, and afterward to unrest and discord among Muslims," the fatwa says.