The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) on Friday condemned a recent decision by a Saudi-led bloc of Arab states to add the union to its list of “terrorist” organizations.
"Since it was established, the IUMS has stood as a bulwark against terrorism and extremism and has consistently advocated for the principles of freedom, justice and equality," according to an IUMS statement.
"These accusations against the union are illegitimate and unfounded," the statement read.
"The union sees this move as an attempt to undermine the religious and scholarly standing of an institution that represents some 90,000 Muslim scholars and hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide," it added.
It went on to describe the move as “unacceptable, illogical and political in nature”.
The IUMS statement added: "These false allegations [of terrorism] have been fabricated by people pursuing a policy of desperation".
Ali al-Qaradaghi, secretary-general of the IUMS, said Friday that union members did not follow any specific country or ruler.
“The IUMS is an international union comprised of scholars and theologians from all over the world,” al-Qaradaghi said in a statement.
“We at the IUMS are not subject to the whims of any ruler and we do not align ourselves with the agendas of any specific country,” he said.
“We work for the betterment of humanity by promoting equality, justice and peace in an increasingly troubled world,” he added.
Al-Qaradaghi’s remarks came in response to last week’s decision by a four-nation bloc led by Saudi Arabia -- which also includes Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain -- to add the Doha-based scholar’s union to its list of “terrorist” groups.
The IUMS, al-Qaradaghi added, had grown out of the Muslim Ummah (Nation) and rejected what he described as “extremist ideologies that have tried to hijack and distort our peaceful religion”.
“We, the Ummah, have had enough of extremist groups; we have had enough of those individuals who claim to be more righteous than everyone else,” he said.
“We have also had enough of scholars controlled by the whims of political rulers,” al-Qaradaghi asserted.
He went on to say that that IUMS was guided solely by the Holy Quran as it worked towards resolving the problems plaguing the Muslim nation.
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