From the Chosun Ilbo, with thanks to Ali Dashti:
Korean Muslim Imam Lee Hang-rae said during an interview at a mosque in Itaewon, Seoul on Wednesday that, “We Muslims were also shocked and felt heartbroken like everyone else. I am worried that this incident may damage the perception of Islam on the whole. The group that kidnapped and murdered Kim Sun-il is a political group that has nothing to do with Islam. They do not obey Islamic doctrines and are even against Islam. Islam itself is peace. The Koran also forbids murder in a phrase, “Do not take any precious life without proper reasons.”
It would be refreshing if just one time, we weren’t asked to accept that this sort of thing “has nothing to do with Islam” just on the word of other Muslims. I wish that just one time, Muslims who say these beheadings have nothing to do with Islam would explain why Sura 47:4 (“when you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks”) doesn’t apply here, and why the example of Muhammad’s beheadings doesn’t apply — in short, why the reasons that the radicals themselves give for what they are doing don’t qualify as “proper reasons” under the Qur’anic caveat cited by Lee Hang-rae.
But they never do. Instead, all we get from one side are detailed arguments based on the Qur’an and Sunnah justifying what they do, and the other side shouting, “It’s against Islam!” Never mind which side I believe; which side do you think young Muslims who are trying to live their faith properly believe?