Another defence of Haitham al-Haddad

Posted on November 24, 2015


Here we go again – I’m defending Haitham al-Haddad. Last time it was against Richard Littlejohn, this time it’s Tim Witherow, again in the Daily Mail.

Witherow chose this title for last week’s piece on the Quiz A Muslim event in Bedford:

‘Radical panellists at ‘Quiz a Muslim’ event demanded establishment of an Islamic State in Britain as jihadists went on bloody rampage through Paris’

I haven’t watched the footage of the event yet but I’d bet a pound to a pinch of shit that none of the speakers ‘demanded establishment of an Islamic State in Britain’. I’ll find out tonight when I go through it.

This is a minor complaint. My gripe is with the attempt to associate scholars such as Haitham al-Haddad with acts of terrorism in Europe. You see it happen far too often. At best it’s lazy, at worst it makes you a devious shit-bag.

Straight from the off you’ve got a mention of the Paris attacks in the title. Is it relevant to the Quiz A Muslim event? Not in my books.

Three paragraphs down you get this:

“The panelists said that there is an ‘Islamic’ duty to ‘struggle’ for an ‘Islamic state’, as 132 were executed in shootings and suicide bombings.”

And about half way through:

“…Dr Sheikh Haitham Al Haddad, of the Muslim Research and Development Organisation – who has previously called jihad ‘one of the most virtuous acts to Allah’…”

At the end of the piece there is a picture of dead bodies laid out in a Paris street and a video of a memorial service for the deceased.

If you’ve read the article and come to the conclusion that a scholar like Haitham al-Haddad may condone or excuse the murders in Paris then it’s job done for those who like to spread misinformation, and you can officially be referred to as ‘dumb fuck’ from this moment on.

There’s no better way to counter any hints of supporting terrorism than to use the words of Haitham al-Haddad himself. If you can’t be arsed to sit through Haddad’s lecture Are The Paris Attacks Islamic? (1hour, 5minutes) then you’re in luck – I’ve done it for you.

As usual, Haddad is thorough and covers all angles.

He begins:

I have a responsibility towards my Ummah and towards my brothers and sisters, especially the young vulnerable people…

Not in the mood to piss around he quickly gets on to jihad in the context of living among non-Muslims:

…the point that is central, and no one can argue about it, is jihad was not permissible in its final form, jihad was not obliged, jihad was not even recommended, by jihad what I mean is the physical jihad, fighting. This is what I mean by jihad because jihad is a very broad term. Dawah is jihad, jihad is dawah.


…scholars said that if you are living in a society then doing any kind of physical attack from within, that is not allowed because jihad has certain conditions. One of them is a declared war between a state and another state, not a group of people carrying [out] physical attacks from within any society.


…throughout history it is not known that Muslims have started jihad from within a city or from within a country.

Haddad informs the audience that scholars throughout the ages have forbidden any such acts as they will lead to chaos and anarchy, and both Muslim and non-Muslim civilians will be killed. Islam, he says, is not in favour of killing innocent people.

He addresses claims that Muslims are in a state of war with France, the West, Britain or the United States:

…if you come to France or to any Western countries where Muslims live peacefully with non-Muslims, then if you carry [out] something like this it will be in the name of those Muslims who live peacefully in that country. It will be seen that we are the people who participated in that atrocity or in that killing.


To come to France or to come to Britain, to fight France in France or in Paris, or to fight Britain in London and in Britain, it will be seen as if we are the British Muslims fighting them there. No one should act on the behalf of others. It is not in my name as they say.

but more importantly :

…it will be seen as going against the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) which is not to create a jihad from within, whether you call it a civil jihad, or a jihad in a civil society or whatever you call it…

Individuals have no authority to carry out actions on behalf of the Ummah:

Once you do something that the entire Muslim Ummah will be seen as if they all carried out that action, then no one should act on behalf of the Ummah except who? The legitimate Khalifah. He is the one who is acting on behalf of the Ummah. But for individuals to act on behalf of the Ummah, or to drag the Ummah into a war without consultation with the entire Ummah, this is haram. This is illegal. This is not Islamic etc. etc.

Haddad says that Allah condemns the killing of innocent people, and berates those who pluck a few verses from the Quran to suggest otherwise. The audience is advised to be very careful when looking at ijtihad regarding the killing of innocents. Those planning to carry out acts of terrorism should be prevented from doing so:

If it happened that one of us knows about a young person, or not a young person, who wants to do something like this in any country, then what is his duty? You should stop them, definitely, without a shadow of a doubt because he is committing something haram, completely haram.

Haddad suggests that the lives of Muslims are seen as less sacred than the lives of others:

Unless we all agree that any human being’s life is the same and we condemn what France was doing in Algeria and what France is doing in Syria now, have you seen some of the video clips of what France is doing in Syria? Maybe France say they are attacking Daesh. If they are attacking Daesh, if they have war between them, this is something else. But I’m talking about civilians…we should condemn any killing, even what Russia is doing now in Syria…

He believes that some Muslims do not speak out against Daesh due to the hypocrisy of the West and its killing of innocent people:

Let us all agree that haram is haram. What about what you do? That you expect people from their countries, and you kill them in masses. What do you say about that?…let us have one standard, not double standards…when you do it, it is for you halal. For us is haram and for you is halal. It should be haram for all, halal for all. One standard. Not one standard for us and another standard for you.

No argument from me there.

If you’re going to write an article mentioning terrorism, jihad and Haitham al-Haddad, at least have the decency to provide a space for his position on the subjects.

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