Not in my name: How Muslims are responding to ISIS

The members of Islamic State claim to be Muslims. Many Muslims reject that claim, and want to distance themselves – and their faith – from the group that is currently terrorising northern Iraq and parts of Syria.

But they have different ways of going about it. Here are three ways Muslims have responded to ISIS claiming Islam.

1. #NotInMyName

The Active Change Foundation has used social media to respond to ISIS, encouraging people to tweet using the hashtag 'NotInMyName'.

In a video on the website a number of British Muslims denounce the ideology and actions of the militant Islamist group.

2. #MuslimApologies

Another Twitter campaign takes a very different approach. Like others, it rejects the idea that it has anything to do with true Islam. But rather than suggesting there is any need for Muslims to personally dismiss Islamic State, it ridicules such an apology. In doing so it inverts the notion that everyone who follows a religion should be held responsible for the extremists associated with it.

It has, however, become a little obtuse – with apologies ranging from Islam's contribution to the world, to everything bad that's ever happened, including the sad moments in Disney movies.

3. An intellectual take-down

More than 120 Muslim clerics from around the world wrote an open letter adressed to IS' leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his fighters, publishing it on the webiste,

In their 24-point letter (over 23 pages) they systematically tackle IS' ideology and interpretation of Sharia law. They cover their interpertation of scripture, their treatment of women and children, and specifically their treatment of the Yazidis and Arab Christians.

"These Christians are not combatants against Islam or transgressors against it, indeed they are friends, neighbours and co-citizens," they write. "From the legal perspective of Shari'ah they all fall under ancient agreements that are around 1,400 years old, and the ruling of jihad do not apply to them."

The scholars take issue with IS' use of scripture, which involves isolating the most violent verses in the Qur'an to justify their actions.

They write: "the methodology set forth by God in the Qur'an and the Prophet in the Hadith is as follows: to consider everything that has been revealed relating to a particular question in its entirety, without depending on only parts of it..."

Regarding torture, they add: "You have decapitated people with knives, which is one of the cruellest forms
of torture and is forbidden in Islamic Law (Shari'ah)."

They also contend that it is not permitted to establish a caliphate without the support of Muslims, and not just a small group of like-minded people. They say that such caliphates will only cause division, and cite IS' disagreement with the Sunni leaders in Mosul. When the Sunni Imams refused to pledge allegiance to IS, they were killed.

They end their letter by reminding them that God is described in the Qur'an as a God of mercy.