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Muslim leaders speak out

By Lisa Brody
News Editor
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The caliph has to abide by the religious mandates. When you compare (our leader's) mandates, who has spoken on Capital Hill, in front of the Dutch parliaments, spoken in front of the European Union, who has constantly denounced terrorism, who has lived a life of righteousness and promoted that peace, obviously he is an example of what the religion of Islam is – versus the calipha that ISIS has now instituted.

If Islam believes in peace, and promotes peace, but all you see is mayhem and destruction from that individual, then he is not a calipha. That is just from a rational standpoint.

Our religion teaches us there should be a separation between mosque and state, that individuals should not be forced to follow a religion if they do not abide by that religion, and the state has no power to institute something like that. It's just a spiritual successorship to be for the Muslims, not on a totalitarian scale.

Explain the Quran, which is considered the Word of God by those who follow the religion, and how it is different from the Christian Bible.

Muslims do believe in the holy scriptures. We believe the Quran was sent to address certain challenges within the community of the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, in coming generations. When you read the Quran, it was not just rules but incidents that took place that the Quran addressed. Of course, you will find differences. We have many stories of prophets in the Quran. Moses is mentioned more times than Mohammed in the Quran. Jesus, peace be upon him, is mentioned more times than Muhammad in the Quran. Abraham more times; Ishmael – all the prophets are frequently mentioned. But other verses in the Quran were revealed to the Prophet, peace be upon him, to address certain issues, so people would ask him, and the Prophet would respond with revelations. He would respond on intoxication, or gambling, and God would answer right away.

People might find verses in the Quran where military force can be used, and people say, "Oh, this is a violent religion." The Quran goes beyond spiritual guidance. It is also a foundation for a Muslim-governed country, where it says if you are being attacked, it says it is permissible for you to defend yourself. (It talks about consequences.) So people find these verses useful, where a simple person who lives in Bloomfield Hills, or another community, would just implement those verses. But those verses are no longer taken as clear rules because that's a constitution for an existing country. That's where people go wrong when they hear about fighting in the Quran, and they think it's personal. No, it's not. There's a long story behind it that explains how Islam does allow military force at certain times.

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