Jihadists condemn influential cleric in Philippines for endorsing politicians

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - First Page - (Mohd Saaduddin)

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Local supporters of the Islamic State militant group in Lanao del Sur province denounced an influential cleric and branded him as “murtad” or apostate after he endorsed popular Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who is running for president and Binladen Agakhan Sharief who is gunning for vice governor in the volatile Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

They condemned Sheikh Jamil Yahya also known as Mutawwa after he appeared in a political propaganda video uploaded April 14 on Binladen’s Facebook page. In the clip, it was said that it is obligatory to all Muslims to vote for Binladen and Duterte in the May 9 general elections.

“Because we have to choose leaders in this Election forcibly to Muslims, it is our obligatory as elder scholars to guide you the candidates that are obligatory to be helped and voted. If we don’t do this, you will blame us in the day of judgment,” the bearded Yahya said in the video.

He said Muslims should vote for Binladen after he and his fellow clerics have witnessed the politician’s “good deeds in line with the prosperity of the Muslims, its land and the religion of Islam.”

Yahya also said that it is necessary for Muslims to also vote for Duterte because he had helped a lot of Muslims in Mindanao.

In an Internet forum, the jihadists said they were shocked and saddened over Yahya’s political endorsements. And they quoted a script that says: “Until you did not fully cut ties with taghut (tyrants), you are not fully a Muslim, but kafir (disbeliever). You are obliged to be killed.”

One of the jihadist, who is called al-Ghareeb, said Yahya – just like other prominent clerics, who were branded by the IS as murtad deserved to be killed. He also quoted an Islamic scholar – Ibn Taymiyyah – who allegedly said that “a Muslim who made apostasy regarding few rules of the religion is worse than a kafir who has yet to even embrace those rules.”

“We denounced his (Yahya) wrongdoings. His revelation shows his true intention and what he did was totally not permis- sible in Islam. It is a shame to Allah,” alGhareed said.

Another of the group’s forum called “Man elGhareeb” also posted another statement, saying that pious Muslims should “totally disregard” the practices of democracy as it is not divinely created by God, but humans.

Yahya’s pronouncement came after members of the Khilafah Islamiyah Movement (KIM) in Lanao del Sur, now called “Dawlah Islamiyah” or Islamic State, declared Abdullah Maute alias Abu Hasan as their leader.

In September 19, 2014, Yahya along with some members of the KIM led more than 100 civilians, including women and children, in pledging their loyalty to IS and even hoisted the Daesh or black flag in Marawi City.

Since then, Yahya continues to preach the ideology of IS that other Muslim clerics had opposed due to his “misleading interpretation of Islam.” The ARMM is also made up Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Maguindanao.

Last February, a senior leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Abdullah Macapaar, alias Commander Bravo, had said that Yahya also tried to convince him and other MILF commanders to support IS.

Yahya also issued a Fatwa or legal opinion against Liberal party presidential candidate Mar Roxas, Senators Bongbong Marcos, Antonio Trillanes, and Francis Escudero who are all running for the vice presidency, including lawyer and senatorial candidate Larry Gadon for their alleged antiMuslim stand on various issues.

In May 2011, Yahya led a small rally outside the Golden Mosque in Manila and denounced the U.S. killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. In the rally, he branded the United States as the number one terrorist in the world and number one enemy of Islam.

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