Following the words of other Muslim leaders, Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh issued a statement Tuesday that was released by the Saudi Press Agency.
“Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on earth, destroying human civilization,” said al-Sheikh, “are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims.”
The Saudi Grand Mufti’s comments were the latest of several Muslim leaders both religious and secular, from Indonesia to Egypt, condemning the actions and views of ISIS.
Formed out of al-Qaida in Iraq last year and led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS has garnered international attention for its military victories and horrid atrocities.
Occupying large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, ISIS has been known for its violent treatment of religious minorities, Muslims, and others.
Their atrocities have prompted Kurdish forces in Northern Iraq, with the aid of U.S. airstrikes, to fight the organization.
In a video posted online earlier this week, an ISIS terrorist was shown beheading American journalist James Foley.
“[We] are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We will provide more information when it is available,” said National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden, according to CNN.
Speaking from his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts Wednesday, President Barack Obama said the “entire world is appalled” and the nation is “heartbroken” by the news of Foley’s murder,” USA Today reports.