ISIS has launched a new social media campaign calling upon supporters to assassinate the region’s prominent Muslim clerics on the crimes of being “agents” who “cooperate with the Crusader coalition” against the group.
The campaign, entitled #Fight_the_scholars_of_infidelity, began on Friday with an official, 23 minute-long video from Mosul, Iraq. It lists as targets a number influential scholars in Gulf States, Egypt, and across the Middle East, including the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Abdel Aziz Al al-Sheikh, and the former Grand Mufti of Egypt Ali Gomaa—along with their pictures. The video called for “the believing soldiers” to kill the “scholars of evil,” who, it said, provided Islamic fatwas justifying the fight against ISIS that worked to support West in its war against the group.
“They are the enemy and a great abomination, purify the land from them,” says the video.
The message was echoed in a second, official 25 minute-long video released on Saturday from the ISIS-held Syrian province of Dir e-Zour. It instructed ISIS supporters “to make killing their first priority, even inside their houses or among their families. Don’t have mercy on them, they are loyal soldiers and servants of the Crusader coalition.”
More than 16,000 tweets were posted under the hashtag #Fight_the_scholars_of_infidelity, and included videos from unofficial ISIS media wings and posters that portrayed the targeting or killing of scholars.