Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, head of the International Association of Muslim Scholars, called
for the release of the two Simonas. "While Italy joins in the war on Iraq, millions of Italians took to the streets to demonstrate against the war. Moreover, the two hostages work for a humanitarian organization which has nothing to do with the war. Muslims are forbidden from kidnapping innocent people who have nothing to do with wars." Qaradawi also said: "Fighting the American invaders in Iraq is an obligation... Islamic tenets stipulate the killing of civilians is forbidden, but those who fight the Iraqis must be killed as they are invaders."