Social media activists who support the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have said on Twitter that the organisation recently executed one of its Sharia judges on the grounds that the latter had “excessive takfiri tendencies”.
According to Twitter users known for supporting the Hazimi trend within ISIS – named after the Saudi figure Ahmed Al Hazimi who is known for his views that ignorance is no excuse to being denigrated as an infidel (a practice known as takfir) – claimed that ISIS’s leadership has started to execute judges who are accused of excessively using takfir against those who should be exempt due to ignorance.
According to a number of Salafi Jihadi online forums, ISIS detained Sheikh Abu Jaafar Al-Hattab and a number of other Sharia judges last September, the month in which Judge Abu Omar Al-Kuwaiti was mysteriously executed. Some linked Al-Kuwaiti’s execution to his proclamation of Baghdadi as a kafir (“infidel”).
Al-Hattab, a former member of the Sharia committee of the Ansar Sharia group in Tunisia, was known for his strictness in such matters. He had previously released an audio message in which he declared his stance on takfir and said that the excuse of ignorance should not exempt people from being accused.
Observers noticed that ISIS supporters failed to share the tweet regarding Al-Hattab’s execution, whereas for the first times supporters of the Hazimi trend have gained prominence.
“Repent, Baghdadi, and purify your tawhid before you die, the day when neither wealth nor sons will avail, except those who meet Allah with a pure heart,” read a tweet by one of Al-Hazimi’s supporters.
Another Hazimi tweet, Fahdawi Dayghami, wrote on Twitter: “Why did the [Islamic] State kill Sheikh Abu Jaafar Al-Hattab and his brothers? You ask students to come to you then you kill them? What Khilafah [sic] is this? We will not forget his blood and the blood of his brothers.”
A number of supporters of the Al-Nusra Front group and the Islamic State group previously accused Al-Hattab of issuing fatwas proclaiming all ISIS’s opponents as infidels.
According to some jihadists in Tunisia, ISIS is currently also detaining Sharia judge Abu Musaab Al-Tunisi, who previously proclaimed several Taliban heads, and former leader of Al-Qaeda Osama Bin Laden as kafirs.
Some Hazimis have criticised Boko Haram leader Abu Bakr Shekau for pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. They say that Shekau does not adopt the principle of the excuse of ignorance and, unlike ISIS, Shekau does not cast doubt that those who take part in elections are kafirs. The Hazimis warned that Shekau is deviating from what they believe to be the approach of pure tawhid.
In December, the security apparatus of IS detained a cell of Chechen fighters for plotting a coup against IS on the grounds that they are kafir for taking zakat from the Syrian people, who are mushriks.