Here are six (6) reasons why the entire ISIS war outfit cannot not be considered a ‘Sunni movement” and should never be called “Sunni” militia, and therefore Western mainstream media should not and must not commit Islamophobic name-calling, and must therefore stop referring to ISIS as “Sunni” militia:
1.) ISIS destroyed many holy shrines of Sunni Muslims in Iraq and Syria, including the shrine and mosque of the Prophet Yunus (Jonah) of Ninawa (Nineveh), Iraq and the shrine of Prophet Ayyub (Job) in Oz, Mosul, Iraq; to mention a few. They destroyed holy graves of Sufi-Sunni Muslim saints in and around Mosul and Kirkuk in Iraq and in Damascus, Aleppo and Kobane in Syria.
2.) The Holy Quran declares that Muslims are forbidden to destroy places of worship of all religions; and particularly, the shrines of the Ahl-ul-Kitab (literally, “People with Sacred Scriptures”) i.e., Jews and Christians must be held inviolable and must even be secured by Muslims (Al-Qur-an 22:40-41), and yet ISIS barbarically destroyed Christian churches. Also, Islam in the Holy Quran solemnly declares that there should be no compulsion in religion (Al-Qur’an 2:256), and yet this ISIS militia are forcing Yezidis and Christians to convert or else face death. This is very strange: there is no news that records that Jews were forcibly converted by ISIS and synagogues around Mosul, Aleppo, Kirkuk and in cities of North Iraq were never destroyed by ISIS, even though there are resident Jews and there are a number of synagogues in these areas. This is a strange thing indeed! (See, The Majlis: Council of Ulama in South Africa; p. 8.)
3.) The Shariah Islamiyyah (Divine Law) of classical Sunni Islam are found in the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Qur’an clearly says that civilians and non-combatants’ lives are inviolable: (Al-Qur’an2:256, 5:69). As of this juncture, to quote from the Holy Qur’an is in order: “Allah forbids you to fight those who did not oppress you, nor threw you out of your homes, you ought to show compassion on them and manifest justice upon them. Verily Allah loves those who are just” (60:8). The killing of innocent non-combatants is forbidden in all Sunni rulings concerning defensive warfare. Sayyidina Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, the first Caliph of Sunni Islam penned this ruling to the armies of the Caliphate: “I instruct you in ten matters: Do not kill women, children, the old, or the infirm; do not cut down fruit-bearing trees; do not destroy any town and do not touch those who do not bear arms, do not kill those who surrender and take refuge in the designated places of refuge, all who surrender to you must be safe in your care.” (See Imam Malik’s Muwatta’, “Kitab al-Fatawah-ul-Jihad-e-Abu Bakr Siddiq” [The Book of Abu Bakr Siddiq on the Proper Conduct of Warfare], pp. 37-39.).
4.) As far as my research goes, there are no Sunni scholars (ulama) and legitimate Sunni muftis and fuqaha (Islamic jurists and doctors of Islamic law) among the so-called ISIS Caliphate to clearly establish legitimate fatwas (Shariah rulings) on the legitimacy of their jihad from the Sunni Islamic perspective. There is not even an ustadh (Islamic scholar) of eminence among their ranks! The truth is that eminent Sunni scholars of Iraq and Syria have denounced ISIS for killing over 300 Sunni imams: which effectively belied the ISIS claim that it represents itself as the protector of Sunnis in Iraq and Syria. Many Sunni clerics in Iraq and the Levant declare ISIS combatants as “outside the bounds of Islam and are therefore excommunicated from the Islamic faith” because of their brutality inflicted on non-Muslims and on Sunni Muslims
5.) Using the classical rulings of Sunni Islam on governance as basis of legitimacy, the so-called ISIS Caliphate is illegitimate. Genuine and bonafide Sunni Caliphate is established by the expressed consensus and consent (al-mushshuw’ara al jamaah) of the whole Islamic community by explicit public allegiance (bay-ah) of the whole body of Muslims. ISIS has unilaterally declared their so-called caliph, Al-Baghdadi as Khalifah-ul-Muslimin” (Caliph of all Muslims) clandestinely and covertly, in which the whole Muslim Ummah did not participate in his election, nor choose him to be its caliph, nor give him pledge of allegiance!
6.) ISIS was only able to successfully recruit combatants from Europe to wage war in Iraq and the Levant, but it failed to enlist the grassroot support of Iraqi and Levantine Sunnis. Furthermore, it failed to enlist allegiance of the Sunni Arab and Kurdish clergies who strongly denounced ISIS as outside the pale of the Islamic faith.