ISLAMABAD: A leading group of Muslim clerics on Friday condemned the Islamic State militant group, amid concerns the hardliners could gain a foothold in Pakistan.
The Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) said the IS militants, who have declared a “caliphate” in areas it controls in Iraq and Syria, was violating Islamic teachings.
The militant movement, also known as ISIS, has committed widespread atrocities in territory under its rule, including mass executions, beheadings and forcing women and girls into slavery.
“Islam and Muslims cannot support the killing of innocent people and destruction of their properties at the hands of the ISIS,” the PUC said in a statement.
“The PUC appeals to people and youth in Islamic countries to not cooperate with any violent group whose teachings or actions are against the teachings of Islam and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).”
The PUC call comes as fears grow in Pakistan that the violent call of the IS group could find recruits among the country's myriad of militant groups.
Pakistan has suffered years of bloody attacks at the hands of homegrown Taliban militants, many linked to Al Qaeda.
Leaflets supporting the IS have been seen in some parts of the northwest, the heartland of groups like Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The TTP, also known as Pakistani Taliban, vowed earlier this month to send fighters to support IS militants and their top six commanders announced their allegiance to IS chief Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi.