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14 Sep, 2014 12:01

‘Neither Islamic, nor state’: UK Muslim leaders object to extremist group’s name

‘Neither Islamic, nor state’: UK Muslim leaders object to extremist group’s name

Imams and leaders of Muslim societies in Britain have urged journalists and politicians to find an “alternative way” to refer to the jihadist group Islamic State. They say “UnIslamic State” would be a more “accurate and fair” description.

"We do not believe the terror group responsible should be given the credence and standing they seek by styling themselves ‘Islamic State.’ It is neither Islamic, nor is it a state,” a coalition of imams and organizations representing British Muslims said in a letter to the British Prime Minister David Cameron, a copy of which was obtained by The Observer.

The signatories to the letter, including leaders of the Association of British Muslims and the Association of Muslim Lawyers, have called on Cameron not to describe the extremist group as “Islamic State.”

"We believe that it would send a powerful message in Britain and around the world if you would join us, as our prime minister, in leading a national debate to seek a suitable alternative way to refer to this group and further challenge its legitimacy and influence,” the letter reads.

I'm among 18 signatories of letter to UK PM calling upon him to use "Un-Islamic state" instead of "Islamic" re Isis: http://t.co/6Y0JzOKTSS

— Ozcan Keles (@Ozcan_Keles) September 14, 2014

The authors of the letter say they have already picked what they believe is a better name for the hardline al-Qaeda offshoot: “UnIslamic State.”

"We are sure that most British Muslims would agree that “UnIslamic State” is a considerably more fitting label for this poisonous group – and hope that our fellow citizens will join us in that.”

The letter comes as part of an intensified campaign by British Muslim to draw a clear distinction between the Islamic State group and the teachings of Islam, and to prevent young people from being lured by the group’s ideology.

Last month, several UK Muslim clerics condemned the militant group fighting in Syria and Iraq in a fatwa.

READ MORE:British Muslim leaders issue fatwa against ISIS

Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL), notorious for destroying sacred sites on territories under its control, has also been accused of new outrages.

The latest destruction performed by the extremist militants included two shrines and two tombs devoted to Sufi Muslim sheikhs, in Deir al-Zor province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday, Reuters reported.

Sufism is a school of Islam opposed by Salafists, of which the Islamic State largely consists.

In late July, the Islamic militants seized and ransacked a monastery in northern Iraq.

Earlier the same month, the extremist group destroyed several shrines and mosques around the Iraqi historic northern city of Mosul. The process of the demolition was photographed with pictures posted online.