Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Who was the former president of al-Azhar University?

The current Grand Imam of al-Azhar and former president of al-Azhar University, Ahmed el-Tayeb, has strongly condemned the Islamic State, stating that it is acting "under the guise of this holy religion and have given themselves the name 'Islamic State' in an attempt to export their false Islam". Citing the Quran, he stated: "The punishment for those who wage war against God and his Prophet and who strive to sow corruption on earth is death, crucifixion, the severing of hands and feet on opposite sides or banishment from the land. This is the disgrace for them in this world and in the hereafter, they will receive grievous torment." Although el-Tayeb has been criticised for not expressly stating that the Islamic State is heretical, the Ash'ari school of Islamic theology, to which el-Tayeb belongs, does not allow calling a person who follows the shahada an apostate. El-Tayeb has strongly come out against the practice of takfirism (declaring a Muslim an apostate) which is used by the Islamic State to "judge and accuse anyone who doesn't tow their line with apostasy and outside the realm of the faith" declaring "Jihad on peaceful Muslims" using "flawed interpretations of some Qur'anic texts, the prophet's Sunna, and the Imams' views believing incorrectly, that they are leaders of Muslim armies fighting infidel peoples, in unbelieving lands".


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  • In November 2006, shortly after the group's rebranding as the "Islamic State of Iraq", it established the Al-Furqan Foundation for Media Production, which produces CDs, DVDs, posters, pamphlets, and web-related propaganda products and official statements. It began to expand its media presence in 2013, with the formation of a second media wing, Al-I'tisam Media Foundation, in March and the Ajnad Foundation for Media Production, established in January 2014. (The foundation specializes in acoustics production from anasheed, quranic recitation.) On May 4, 2016 Al-Bitar Foundation launched an application on Android called "Ajnad" that allows its users to listen to the songs of the Ajnad Foundation on their mobile phones. The foundation has many singers, the most famous of whom are Abu Yasir and Abul-Hasan al-Muhajir.)

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  • The group uses truck and car bombs, suicide bombers and IEDs, and has used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria. ISIL captured nuclear materials from Mosul University in July 2014, but is unlikely to be able to convert them into weapons.In September 2015 a US official stated that ISIL was manufacturing and using mustard agent in Syria and Iraq, and had an active chemical weapons research team. ISIL has also used water as a weapon of war. The group closed the gates of the smaller Nuaimiyah dam in Fallujah in April 2014, flooding the surrounding regions, while cutting the water supply to the Shia-dominated south. Around 12,000 families lost their homes and 200¬†km2 of villages and fields were either flooded or dried up. The economy of the region also suffered with destruction of cropland and electricity shortages.

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  • In 1983, Trump received the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award, after he helped fund two playgrounds, a park, and a reservoir in Israel. In 1986, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of "patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood and diversity", and in 1995 was awarded the President's Medal from the Freedoms Foundation for his support of youth programs. He has been awarded five honorary doctorates, but one was revoked by Robert Gordon University in 2015 after Trump called for a Muslim ban, citing Trump's speech being "wholly incompatible¬†... with the ethos and values of the university". The remaining awards are Lehigh University's honorary doctorate of laws in 1988, Wagner College's honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2004, and Liberty University's honorary doctorates of business and law in 2012 and 2017 respectively.

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