Issam al-Barqawi (Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi), the Jordan-based jihadi-salafist cleric, put out a message on 12 October 2017 in reaction to the Turkish government moving forces into the Idlib Province in north-western Syria on 7 October. Initially it had seemed that Turkey was to confront Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the former al-Qaeda branch in Syria, but it soon became apparent that the operation was a redrawing of terms that was largely coordinated between Ankara and HTS. Given how critical al-Barqawi has been of HTS, this was interesting. Al-Barqawi’s statement was translated by Trunk News Translations and is republished below.
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A compassionate [piece of] advice [for those] keen on jihad and the mujahideen.
Short and frank, I tell you:
Following the recent developments that took place between the Hay’at and the Turks, I learned that some hasty youths began declaring takfir (excommunication) on the Hay’at!
This is a terrible mistake that will bring fitna (strife) between the mujahideen and that is what the enemies of the religion are hoping for.
It is not permissible to make takfir for erroneous ijtihad (independent reasoning). Nor is takfir allowed with the outcome [in this case] nor necessary from the words and deeds!