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ISIL calls for killing ‘The 99’ creator

KUWAIT: The creator of an Islam inspired popular comic series said that he takes death threats made by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Qaeda seriously. Following their recent call to kill former MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, ISIL has called for killing psychiatrist Dr Nayef Al-Mutawa, the creator of ‘The 99’ series as they deemed it slanderous to Islam because it imitates the 99 names of Almighty Allah.

ISIL called in a series of Twitter posts for “[killing] Nayef Al-Mutawa ...whoever finds him, kill him, and he will be rewarded”. Mutawa announced in a phone call to Al-Watan daily from the US that he plans to take legal action against those behind the Twitter account which posted the call to assassinate him.

Mutawa defended his “humanitarian artwork”, saying that he received clearance from sharia scholars who told him that the idea and the comics do not contain insults to Almighty Allah or Islam, adding that he would have never went ahead with his project if they did.

ISIL’s tweets appeared earlier this week and called for assassinating Mutawa as soon as possible. “There is no good in us if he remains alive for over three days,” said the call on which both ISIL and Al- Qaeda agreed upon despite their disagreements. “Who can kill Nayef Al- Mutawa who makes fun of Allah’s names?” said another account belonging to ISIL.

Commenting on the calls on his Twitter account, Mutawa said: “My work has glorified Islam from the US to China for the past ten years. I really do not believe in ISIL and Qaeda...I don’t care about them”. Commenting on the issue, clergyman Hai Al-Hai said that capital punishment is the authority of the rulers represented by courts of law and even penalties should be authorized by the ruler. “Changing such a rule would lead to chaos,” he underlined, advising people who might get carried away with such calls to fight rumors and injustice.

The head of the Human Rights Basic Elements Society Dr Yousef Al-Sager stressed that such fatwas must be issued by courts because it is very dangerous to follow fatwas from such anonymous social media accounts. Some bloggers supported Mutawa and criticized such calls. “The man worked hard to promote Islam to the whole world and cannot be rewarded by such death threats,” said a blogger.

Tabtabaei meanwhile commented on the ISIL’s declaration of an “Islamic caliphate” and naming its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi as ‘caliph’. “What happened in Iraq is a public revolution,” Tabtabaei wrote on Twitter. “The ISIL exploited it afterwards to announce its state and abort the Iraqi revolution.”

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This article was published on 02/07/2014