BLOG 253 May 18, 2015
Every time Americans turn on the evening news, they are mystified by the report of some person or group that have tried to leave the country to join ISIS. The common perception is that these “nut cases” are off on a rampage. Moreover, the wanton destruction of property and lives appears as another example of run away crazies. How could some British citizens stand before a TV camerawith a knife and then behead another human being? Beyond bizarre.
Actually, there is a logic and rational behind all of this madness that I have personally never heard any commentator explain. The media appears as lost as the general public to explain this illogical behavior. Segments of the Muslim population in the United States and Britain say they oppose ISIS (though that message doesn’t seem to appear in mosques on days of worship). But the truth is that ISIS is very Islamic: Just a different brand from the usual.
ISIS is an extremist expression of medieval Muslim faith that is practicing exactly what that variety of religious expression once believed. Americans (including the Obama Administration) don’t grasp that from the ISIS Muslim point-of-view, they are in a religious war. Their extreme actions are meant to bring about the apocalypse that will end all history with a Muslim victory.
Until the West comes to grips with this expression of Muslim faith, they will only play into the hands of ISIS as they are doing now. The extremist that keep joining the war in the Middle East are drawn because they share this faith. Fundamentally, it is a conviction that this current war is the start of a Day of Judgement that will bring in the final consummation of history. ISIS differs from al-Qaeda in that Ben Laden’s army hit underground, even as they do to this day. ISIS operates in the open with the beheadings and destruction meant to terrify (in their terms) all apostates and non-believers. They are following the prophecy and example of Muhammad in punctilious detail. The Koran specifies crucifixion as one of the punishments for enemies of Islam. The ninth chapter instructs that a fight against Christians and Jews should occur until they pay the jizya tax in submission to Islam. Muhammad (who had slaves) set the stage for what ISIS now practices with a far greater seriousness than other segments of Islam practice. ISIS is simply reliving the earliest period when Islam conquerored with the sword.
In the October issue of Dabiq magazine, ISIS published an article entitled “The Revival of Slavery Before the Hour.” The story analyzed what should be done with the Yazidis sect that was under attack at the time. The conclusion was the Yazidi women and children should be divided according to Shariah law among the warriors of ISIS.
Part of what has given ISIS such a thrust in the Middle East is that the jihadists, who pour in come not only to fight, but intend to die. Suicide bombers get an automatic free ticket to heaven along with other benefits for killing themselves in religious warfare.
Until the West wakes up to the realities about ISIS and fights a religious war in religious terms, they can not hope to bring an end to the indiscriminate menace that is now haunting the Middle East.
Next week we will take a further look at what makes ISIS tick.