Tag Archives: Holy War


BLOG 254 May 25, 2015

ISIS (The Islamic State) has not slowed down in its military efforts. In addition to taking the Iraqi city of Ramadi just days ago, they have now captured the ancient town of Palmyra inside Syria. Apparently, the Syrian soldiers fled just as the Iraqi army did earlier. While President Obama maintains American air power is stopping ISIS, the battlefield reports certainly do not support this contention at this time.

Because Palmyra is an ancient city, the world is terrified that ISIS will continue the cultural genocide that destroyed ancient and great treasures inside Iraqi. Why would they perform such terrible destruction?

As noted in last week’s blog, ISIS is fighting a holy war, a religious crusade to win the world to Islam or make civilization bow in submission. ISIS maintains that these great sites from antiquity are pagan remnants that must be destroyed in order to maintain religious purity. As noted earlier, ISIS is fully an expression of medieval Islam.

For example, they support the practice of takfir, or excommunication. The punishment for such apostasy is death.  Zarqawi (the current head of al-Qaeda) has greatly expanded the list of behaviors that define a Muslim as an infidel that results in death.

Mainstream Muslim organizations have declared ISIS to be un-Islamic without facing up to their own past. Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel said they have a “cotton-candy” view of their own faith that neglects what their own religion has historically and legally required. In other words, the Muslim community at large has failed to face the realities of the ISIS mentality. Obama’s mistaken support of air strikes as successful is  only compounded by the dim view in the Muslim world.

One of the major objectives of the ISIS military effort is the restoration of the caliphate. This religio-political system of government has not functioned except in name for around 1,000 years. A caliph must be an adult Muslim of Quraysh descent who displays authority and moral probity.  Not only is the caliphate viewed as a political entity, the restoration of office is seen as a vehicle for salvation. ISIS propaganda reports that pledges of money now pour in from jihadist groups throughout the Muslim world to support this effort.

During the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the ISIS mentality believed the signs of the end times were everywhere. They were expecting the arrival of the Mahdi, a messianic figure who would lead Muslims to victory just before the end of the world. This expected epic battle between good and evil fills a deep psychological need for the radical jihadists. A blood-bath mentality with its sociopathic and psychotic overtones fuels “the crazies” who behead their opponents and commit violent acts. Once again the religious motif supporting war looms on the horizon.

Would ISIS send an ambassador to the United Nations to end this strife? Abu Baraa said definitely not. “To send an ambassador to the UN is to recognize an authority other than God’s.”

Get the picture? It’s time to rethink how to successfully confront ISIS. They will not stop because of bombs, a few defeats, and military set backs. Their mentality suggests that to be a martyr is a ticket straight to heaven. The West had best think again!

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Filed under middle east, Muslims, Syria


             Some months back I warned about the racial objectives of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he betrayed Israel’s Mossad agents and appeared bent on creating an Axis of Muslim Power sweeping from Turkey through Iran. Many Turks fear Erdogan is using emotional foreign policy issues to divide secular and conservative Muslim voters. Erodogan hasn’t backed away from his earlier objectives one notch.

The Western world continues not to grasp the basic and fundamentally religious impulses behind the upheaval in the Middle East. Certainly Erodgan has personal objectives for power and wealth in his actions, but reaching out to incite conservative Muslims places him in the middle of the religious struggle.

In Iraq, the ISIS army invasion has already killed thousands in the name of religious cleansing of the country. People are buried alive, shot execution style, beheaded, etc., and that includes both sexes. In northern Iraq, hundreds of Yazidis are running for their lives. A small religious minority, these people have a religion that is neither Muslim or Christian. The Yazids practice a 4,000 year old faith rooted in Zoroastrianism. Tragically, this faith makes them apostates to ISIS and their lives become expandable. In this struggle, hundreds of women and girls are kidnapped to be used as bribes for jihadists. Their choice is simple: convert or die.

The isolation and desperation of these people fleeing into barren mountains has created the impetus for American President Obama to order food and water drops as well as attacks the advancing ISIS troops who are an extreme expression of Sunni Islam. The pressure is on to remove Prime Minister Nouri Malaki so a more balanced government can bring political stability to the country. The ultimate defeat of ISIS demands a political realignment.

In addition, Christians are equally in grave danger. Jihadists seized Iraq’s largest Christian town Mosul, sending thousands fleeing for their lives. The Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyah reported the towns of Qaragosh, Tal Kayf, Bartella and Karamlesh have been emptied of their original populations.  The town of Qaragosh alone had a population of 50,000 Christians.  In response to these overnight attacks, Pope Francis called on the international community to help protect Iraq’s Christian population. Without intervention, massacre is a certainty.

Last week ISIS laid down an ultimatum to Christians in Mosul to convert, pay protection money, or be executed. Of course, the town emptied. The reports of brutality, murder, and mayhem continue to mount in the name of Allah.

Patriarch Louis Sako heads Iraq’s largest Christian Orthodox denomination. Fr. Sako estimated that over 100,000 Christians had been displaced. He reported churches are taken over and their crosses destroyed as well as 1,500 vital and precious manuscripts destroyed.

Western democracies seem to find it impossible to recognize that radical Islam is waging a holy war. Tolerance in the West has kept governments from facing the conclusion that a religious group would commit genocide and murder in the name of their god. The time has come to take a second long hard look at what ISIS and its associates are about because more carnage is on the way.The West must recognize the extremes that these groups will go to in pushing their religion.  Holy Wars are the most dangerous and deadly of all conflicts.

Make no mistake! The West is facing a frightening enemy.

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Filed under America, Israel, middle east, Muslims

Iraq Blows Up!

Iraq is falling apart. At the risk of repetition for my faithful readers, I have already covered how the war between the Sunni and Shiite (Shia) factions is endless. What we are witnessing in Irag today is a return to a holy war.

Let me put this in contenxt.

The world has traditionally recognized three types of war: just, unjust, and the holy war. The unjust war is an assault in which for one side attempts to destroy the other. World War I was of this order.  The just war occurs when one side is clearly fighting to restore justice and stop the other from illegitimate aims. Beside of the violent objectives of Hitler as well as the Holocaust, World War II was considered just. The holy war develops when one side believes God has sent them on a divine mission. The Crusades were created by the Pope sending soldiers to reconquer the Holy Land in Medieval times.

Holy Wars are the most violent and dangerous form of combat.

In Iraq, the ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) have issued edicts stating the harsh terms under which they will govern under Sharia Law. They have already murdered government officals and police officers. ISIS kills relentlessly. They are unrelenting and purist in their religious objectives. Their ultimate objective is creating a caliphate, an Islamic religious nation spanning sections of Iraq and Syria. ISIS is fighting a religious war!

The Shia- Sunni conflict has remained at the epicenter of Islam due to the fact that it is not only persistent in ideological differences between Shia and Sunni sects, but also a disagreement about who possesses the rightful claim to political power. Although this conflict has been persistent within Islam for centuries, the rift between Shia and Sunni factions has only widened over time, creating a power struggle which became illuminated due to the 9/11 attacks and the emergence of Jihad as the defining aspect Islam.

The 2003 United States occupation of Iraq can be argued to have been the initiator of the rise of ‘jihadist’ movements within Iraq in the twenty-first century.  The U.S. invasion and occupation fueled the growth of Islamic militancy across the world and in Iraq. The American attack became a major instigator for the concept of Jihad affecting so much of the twenty-first century politics.

Today Republicans blame Obama for the deterioration in Iraq. They have forgotten Obama ran on a platform of stopping the war and getting soldiers out of that country. His position won the election. Americans had enough. Unfortunately, Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction and all America did was stir up a holy war. Maliki’s incompetence and political  problems continue because he won’t allow  Sunnis in his government. Why are the Iraqi soldiers dropping their weapons and not fighting? Same reasons. No one trusts Maliki to be democratic and inclusive.

Can we at this late date make a difference? Not unless we want to nuke ISIS and kill everybody in sight. Of course, American will not do so. And so the war goes on and all we can do is decide between getting back into “their war” or same out of the fray.

Let’s hope the politicians don’t do something stupid.

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Filed under Civil War, Iraq, middle east