Sawing off the head of James Foley, they awakened America. Flush with cash & recruits ISIS takes territory. Did the caliphate blindside Obama? (Pt. 1 of 3)
Center For Security Policy, By Nonie Darwish:
It has been 13 years since 9/11 and the West is still reluctant to link the non-ending parade of jihad groups with Islam. The West is also in denial about the similarities all radical Islamic groups share. It is important for the West to realize that there is a natural division of labor between the different terror groups. Some groups specialize in terror against non-Muslims and Western governments while others specialize in terrorizing Arab governments that refused to follow Sharia. But the truly sophisticated groups are those who reside in the West, calling themselves ‘moderate’ while at the same time defending and controlling the direction of Islamist goals through advocacy, diplomacy, negotiation and PR.
All of the above types of Islamist groups work together in perfect harmony like an orchestra that sings to the tune of “Allahu Akbar.” And when Islamic terrorism and beheadings anger the world and turn public opinion against Islam, that orchestra starts playing a different tune to confuse and prevent the world from uncovering their coordinated handy work. While one group proudly takes credit for the terror, another publicly denounces it. But most groups, while enjoying the power and attention the terrorists have bestowed on them, stand by with a look of victimhood saying: “I am a victim too because you condemn me and my peaceful religion when I did not do anything. That is not Islam and you are an Islamophobe.”
Not only is there division of labor amongst Islamist groups, but these groups also often change roles, tactics and appearances — after birthing other more radical terror groups to do the dirty work of terror. Because the West and some Arab governments refuse to deal with terror organizations, these organizations play a game of presenting a face of rehabilitation and moderation, while delegating the terror and assassinations to newer groups. Old guard terror groups like the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and Fatah were able to change color and they assumed a new, but only cosmetic, appearance of moderation, but not before birthing the more violent Al-Qaeda and Hamas.
The West was told the MB and Fatah were now the moderate and humanitarian face of Islam that could be counted on and that could run Islamic government. Islam will present itself as working with the rest of the world only for the sake of establishing the Kalifate. The West has been only too happy to welcome the new face of the old terror groups to the camp of moderation. But the new face of evil after the MB became Al-Qaeda.
When the MB won the Egyptian elections, Islamists believed the Kalifate could be achieved through elections, avoiding the usual violent jihad. But when Egyptians realized they had made a mistake by electing the MB and 35,000,000 Egyptians revolted against Islamist rule, the dreams of a Kalifate through peaceful elections were defeated. The only solution for Muslims to achieve their Kalifate is the old fashioned way of 7th century Islam: pure violence, savagery and terror; thus the rise of the newest Islamist terror group, ISIS, while the MB takes a back seat.
When Al-Qaeda’s reputation tanked after 9/11, even inside the Middle East, the terror jihadists were forced into working under a new name — same goals, but with a more ferocious appetite for terror and torture. After the defeat of the budding Islamist State through elections in Egypt in 2013, the restrained beast of public beheadings hidden in the Islamic genie bottle finally exploded for the world to see in the form of ISIS; an organization that declared itself as the true long-awaited Islamic State. Force became the only choice. Coincidentally, this follows the example of Mohammed who tried to peacefully Islamize Mecca for 13 years but failed and could only Islamize Arabia by force, terror and the sword when he became a warrior in Medina.
ISIS rushed to declare itself as the Islamic State even before finishing the job of conquering all of Iraq and Syria. It was flaunting its savagery to the world in the hope of giving the message to reluctant Arab countries that they will be next. The plan is very similar to what Mohammed and his followers did in the 7th century: conquer Arabia quickly by force so they could move to more important goals of taking over the outside world, now the West and Israel. By doing that they are confirming to Muslims around the world that terror works and that their prophet Mohammed was correct when he said: “I have been victorious through terror.”
Bottom line: What legitimate Islamic organizations must adhere to is obeying Islamic commandments to conquer the world for Islam, defeat and humiliate non-Muslim nations and establish the Kalifate — to be ruled by sharia. That is the plan. It is not the opinion of the writer of this article, but it is the basic objective of Islamic law books, scriptures and preaching, which explicitly define jihad as a war with non-Muslims to establish the religion of Islam. To facilitate this mission, Islamic law freed Muslims from any restrictions on their behavior; they can wage offensive wars, kill, terrorize, behead, lie, deceive, humiliate, slander, use corporal punishment on women and children, and sacrifice the well being of the family, all for the purpose of the empowerment of Islam.
But instead of properly facing the 21 Century Islamic challenge, the West has chosen denial. Obama is being criticized for resorting to golf in a time of trouble, but that is perhaps his only outlet when he feels paralyzed, because what he believed and advocated Islam to be and what it is turned out to be polar opposites.
Also, instead of facing the incompetence and many obvious weaknesses of Islamic terror groups, the West has chosen to appease an enemy that only respects power. Thus, the Obama administration decided to be more concerned with appearances and saying instead of doing the right thing. For example, Obama likes to correct Americans on the proper pronunciation of Arabic names and expressions such as Pakistan and ISIL instead of ISIS, etc. But when the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria was declared the West was too embarrassed to call it what it called itself, the Islamic State, and found the English abbreviation ISIS more appropriate than the Arabic name that linked the new terrorist state to Islam.
I was recently asked by visitors from Egypt, “What is ISIS?” My answer was, it is the preferred name the US administration and media use to refer to the newly declared Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Their response was, “Why? In Arabic they call themselves ‘The Islamic State?’” I told them it is a long story, but the West does not want to offend Muslims who believe that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, tyranny and hatred.
Obama insists on presenting himself as more of an expert on Islam than the founders of ISIS when he stated, “ISIL speaks for no religion.” It is not appropriate for the US government or media to define what is or what is not Islam to Muslims who are reading from their books statements that command them to kill infidels. All we should do is take them for their word.
Both the US government and media have decided, long before Obama, that it would be the wise thing to do to keep US citizens uninformed about the true goals of Islam. The goal of this policy was partially to convince Islamic terror groups to leave the West alone and perhaps in the long run Islam will reform on its own one day. But unfortunately history was not on the side of this theory. Appeasement did not work for Coptic Christians in Egypt nor for Zoroastrians in Persia when in the 7th century the two ancient civilizations fell to the Arab Islamic invasion in the same year. Both Egypt and Persia tried to appease but failed to win hearts and minds of the Muslim invaders who used the most barbaric forms of terror and tyranny to Islamize and Arabize both civilizations. Both Egypt and Persia never saw their glory days again and today they are incapable of ruling themselves without the usual Sharia-enforced oppression and tyranny.
What everyone misses here is the right of the American people to know the full truth about their new enemy directly and honestly from their politicians and media. By caring about the feelings of Muslims more than American citizens’ right to the truth, and without naming Islam by name, the US government and media will usher America into a dark phase marking the beginning of tyranny and the end of liberty.
In a video released over the weekend, AbuBakr Shekaku, head of the Nigerian jihadist group known as Boko Haram, appears to have declared allegiance to the Islamic State, proclaiming lands currently under Boko Haram control in the province of Borno part of the “Caliphate.”
Despite this, much of the Western media seemed confused about the nature of a Caliphate and what it means. From the AFP report:
In a July video, Shekau voiced support for the leader of the Islamic State and the Levant (Isil) militants Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who in late June declared himself “the caliph” and “leader of Muslims everywhere”. But there was no indication from Shekau in the latest video that he was associating himself with Baghdadi, whose Sunni Muslim fighters have taken over parts of Iraq and Syria. As such, it was not clear if Shekau was declaring himself to be a part of Baghdadi’s call or if he was referring to a separate Nigerian caliphate.
The position of Caliph is one with purported dominion over the entire “ummah” the total collective of the Muslim faithful.There can only be one legitimate Caliph, and one Caliphate, as Shekaku is no doubt aware. Given that the laudatory language Boko Haram has in the past offered towards the IS Caliphate, the most likely conclusion would be that Boko Haram either has joined, or intends to join the Islamic State of Al-Baghdadi. It would be incongruous for Shekaku to praise IS, and then negate its primary achievement by denying it legitimacy by claiming he was the true Caliph.
It’s worth noting that while this confusion over whether or not Boko Haram was declaring for the IS Caliphate or declaring its own Caliphate was echoed in all the western reporting which followed from the AFP report, the same confusion is not at all present in an OnIslam.net report, which draws from the same AFP wire. The OnIslam.net report also ignores the extraneous historical detail of the Sokoto caliphate, a 19th century Nigerian Islamic state which laid claim to the Caliphate title. This is a classic example of how the disinclination to study Islamic law on matters leads to injecting unnecessary complexity into the analysis of events.
If it is the case that Boko Haram has acknowledged the territory it controls as part of the IS Caliphate, this is a major development for the Islamic State. The claim of authority by its “Caliph” Al-Baghdadi has largely been rejected by other Jihadist groups, with only minor exceptions. Yet being recognized as receiving the bay’at (oath) of notable scholars and jihadi emirs who hold actual territory is central to Al Baghdadi’s claim of legitimacy. Of course whether either group is capable of meeting the perceived obligation of such an oath, sharing and exchanging resources, personnel etc, is an entirely other matter.
- Boko Haram’s new caliphate (longwarjournal.org)
By Walid Shoebat, August 23, 2014:
There is a war of fatwas and some serious cyber rattling back and forth between the Muslim Brotherhood on the one hand and the organization of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) on the other hand. The fatwa wars erupted after Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, president of the World Federation of Muslim Scholars, the spiritual father of the Muslim Brotherhood, denounced the legitimacy for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as Caliph of the Muslim world. In turn, the ISIS denounced the Muslim Brotherhood and in addition Hamas as “apostates” and “followers of witchcraft theology”
The fatwa wars erupted when Qaradawi reiterated his call that announcing a Caliphate is under the authority of the Union of Muslim Scholars which it only represented the decision making in Muslim world. The Quran clearly says that Muslims need to obey “Allah, his messenger and the people of authority” (Q4:59). Qaradawi said: “The announcement for a Caliphate is not an entitlement to any faction because this function in every Muslim nation is entitled only to the scholars to indicate the legitimate government in such matters.”
He said in a statement that all those things that took place with ISIS “are without any criteria of legitimacy nor are realistic and does more harm than good,” adding “We are all dreaming of an Islamic caliphate on a platform of prophecy and hope from the bottom of our hearts that will be held today before tomorrow, but Islam taught us, and the school of life has taught us: that such a major project needs hard and long thinking and heavy preparation.”
The latest statements by the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Yusuf al-Qaradawi, was that the “Islamic Caliphate” for the whole world is Istanbul Turkey, claiming that “Istanbul is the capital for the Islamic Arab world and the West,” calling on the Turkish people to support Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “because God and Gabriel and Muhammad support Erdogan and the angels after that will be revealed.”
Those opinions raised an eyebrow from the ISIS when its chief ideologue, Shanqiti denounced the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas governments as apostates, and mocked Qaradawi’s fatwa which according to him goes along the principle of “the rule of the people,” saying that the Muslim Brotherhood:
“seeks to support the religion in terms of the Social Contract theory and is resorting to the ordinances and other exaggerations from the trash bin of ideas. Whoever does this is someone who claims to support the religion while they practice witchcraft.”
Shanqeeti said in his response to Qaradawi that the Muslim Brotherhood is harming the Muslim world:
“The Brotherhood by this deed damaged the Muslim world more than benefiting it and they delay the return of the Caliphate for decades by wasting tremendous financial and human resources running behind a mirage telling their followers that “God is their goal, and that the Prophet is their example and that Islam is their destiny?!””
Shanqeeti mocked Qaradawi’s fatwa saying:
“O Sheikh; The caliph is our Prince of the Mujahidin, Sheikh Ibrahim Awad al-Badri [Al-Baghdadi], who needs not your advice and has been given allegiance from battle hardened warriors who has gone through battles, trials and tribulations; your despicable fatwah will not hurt them”.
He pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood is only interested in power and making peace treaties with Israel as is with Turkey:
“as soon as they [The Muslim Brotherhood] came to power until things turned against them, their destination and their example went alongside the atheists and secularists with lubricity for America and appeasement for Israel, and we saw the same thing in Turkey and Gaza and Egypt during the reign of the ‘apostate Juggernaut Mohamed Morsi,’”
Shoebat.com has predicted that an escalation in Caliphate mania will arise. In this case we have the foxes on one hand and the bullies on the other. In the end, the foxes will win the minds of the Muslim masses and a Caliphate will be established in Turkey.
Translated from AlBawabh (The Gate News) http://www.albawabhnews.com/748771
by Shoshana Bryen and Michael Johnson
Jewish Policy Center
August 20, 2014
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL), currently controls about one-third of Iraq. It is a combination of:
- A non-al-Qaeda revival of the al-Qaeda-sponsored Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) organization that tried to take over western Iraq 2003—2006, and
- Sunni Syrian rebel groups including the Nusra Front (Jabhat al Nusra), which also has ties to al Qaeda.
Turkey, Qatar, and – indirectly – the United States supported the Nusra Front early in its existence in the Syrian civil war, although it is on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations. In 2011/12, the U.S. was supplying arms from Libya to Turkey for distribution to Syrian rebels, and both Turkey and Qatar provided them to their preferred radical jihadist groups, not the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels at least politically favored by the U.S. The Nusra Front was a recipient of both arms and money. The CIA was working in the area at the time, ostensibly helping the Turks “vet” the opposition groups and providing them “non-lethal” aid.
Current ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (as the self-styled Caliph of the Islamic State, he is now known as Amir al-Mu’minin Caliph Ibrahim) was an early follower of Abu Musab al Zarkawi, a Bin Laden loyalist. In 2003, al Zarkawi’s “Group for Monotheism and Holy War “(JTJ) bombed the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, killing 34 people. In 2006, after al Zarkawi was killed, the group became the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) under the control of Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri, an Egyptian. The American “surge” in Iraq pushed ISI across the border to Syria in 2006/7.
After both al-Masri and al-Baghdadi were killed in 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi assumed leadership of ISIS.
ISIS has enormous financial reserves. When Iraqi forced killed the ISIS commander of Mosul in June 2014, they retrieved 160 computer flash drives – which the CIA, among others, has been combing for information. According to The Guardian newspaper, the drives contained “noms de guerre of all foreign fighters, senior leaders and their code words, initials of sources inside ministries and full accounts of the group’s finances.” A British official told the newspaper, “Before Mosul, their total cash and assets were $875 million. Afterwards, with the money they robbed from banks and the value of the military supplies they looted, they could add another $1.5 billion to that.”In April 2013, ISIS announced that the Nusra Front in Syria was affiliated with al Qaeda and the two would work together in Syria and Iraq. There were reports that ISIS had waned in influence early in 2014 and in February, al Qaeda separated itself from ISIS. This may have accounted President Obama’s comment that the group was “the jayvee team” – a reference to the apparent rise of the still AQ-affiliated Nusra Front at the expense of ISIS. But in June 2014, the Nusra Front was reported to have merged into ISIS, providing it with an additional 15,000 soldiers for its latest push across western Iraq.
ISIS, then, was not unknown to American, British, Iraqi or other intelligence services before it began its streak across the Syrian-Iraqi border and the acquisition of territory in which it has declared its caliphate.
Background & Resource Material
The group has changed from an insurgency in Iraq to a jihadist group primarily in Syria, to an army largely in Iraq. Following the past of least resistance, the group moved from Iraq to Syria, then Iraq again and today is in control of parts of both countries.
- Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi established al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in April 2004 and swore allegiance to Osama Bin Laden. [i]
- The Islamic State in Iraq (ISI) fought multiple battles with U.S. and kidnapped American soldiers.[ii] It also carried out IED and suicide attacks against Iraqi and U.S. forces.
- Following the 2006-07 surge, many of the group’s members, including al-Zarqawi, were killed by Iraqi or U.S. forces; some remained in hiding. As of 2010, the U.S. considered the group to be dislodged from central AQ leadership. [iii]
- Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi – ISI leaders – were killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi mission in April 2010, leaving the leadership of ISI to Abu Bakr.[iv]
- In 2011, all U.S. combat troops had left Iraq, but ISI predominated on the Syria-Iraq border. Had Syria not collapsed, ISI would have had a harder time gaining territory and funds.
- By late 2012, much of the group’s reformed leadership was already targeted by the U.S. treasury. [v]
- The Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL), another name for the same group, started operations in Northern Syria following large demonstrations against Assad.[vi]
- ISIL officially declared its governance over the Levant in April 2013
- In August 2013, U.S. officials said ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was operating from Syria, but directing suicide attacks in central Iraq[vii]
- The group refocused efforts on Iraq-Syria border after fighting began with other rebel groups and Assad in late 2013 early 2014 [viii]
- AQ Central and ISIS split due to differences over methodology and fighting in early 2014 [ix]
- ISIS pushed deeper into Iraq, capturing Fallujah in Jan 2014[x] and Mosul in June.
Early funding of ISI (later ISIS) included many rich and religiously connected Gulf donors. One of the most notable is Nayef al-Ajmi, Kuwait’s former Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs and Endowments. The U.S. Government later sanctioned al-Ajmi for sending money to Syrian Jihadists. [xi] The whole al-Ajmi family appears to have been involved in financing jihadists. Sheikh Hajjaj al-Ajmi used his 250,000 Twitter followers and some of his own wealth to fund various radical Sunni groups in Syria, sending over $1 million. Syrian rebels even sent him “thank you” videos on Youtube.[xii]
The former Head of British MI6 says the Saudi government probably not sending money, but overlooking when citizens do [xiii] Qatar appears to be the only country openly funding jihadist groups in Syria, but the money tail appears to include a number of rich families in the Gulf.
Ad hoc funding included bank robberies and the looting of antiquities. [xiv]
- Raiding oil fields and processing facilities in Iraq. Oil cannot be shipped out of the country – ISIS doesn’t have the transportation capacity and no one on the outside will buy it, but there are ways to make it profitable internally.
– Traders sell both refined and crude oil to nearby groups including Kurdish smugglers.[xv]
– Iraq’s Anbar Province, the ISIS stronghold, doesn’t have much oil, but Northern Nineveh and areas around Kirkuk do.[xvi]
– ISIS has taken control of Baiji, the site of a large refinery that supplies oil to much of Iraq
- In June, ISIS looted the central bank in Mosul, taking away an estimated $429 million
– With that, it is estimated that “ISIS could pay 60,000 fighters $600 a month for a whole year.”
- Money is also made from business and personal “protection” taxes extorted from residents of areas captured by ISIS.
When the extremist group widely known as Isis (now renamed Islamic State) declared a Caliphate taking in parts of Syria and Iraq, they reignited a debate over the issue.
The Ottoman Empire was the last widely recognised Caliphate and most of those in the West have only the faintest, if any, idea of what the word means.
But for some Muslims it is what they are waiting for, whether they back Islamic State or not – a state to restore a sense of dignity that many feel has been lost.
BBC Asian Network reporter Catrin Nye gathered young British Muslims from different sects of Islam to hear about their views on the concept of a Caliphate and what it means to them.
Published on Aug 13, 2014 by VICE News
On August 8, nearly three years after the United States pulled out of Iraq, President Barack Obama ordered airstrikes to commence on Islamic State positions in northern Iraq, as the group’s fighters advanced towards the Kurdish capital of Erbil. For six weeks prior to the strikes the Islamic State made stunning gains within Iraq, effectively dismantling the border with Syria and defeating the Iraqi army with little in the way to stop them.
In the final installment of VICE News’ unprecedented look inside the Islamic State, reporter Medyan Dairieh journeys 200 miles from the the group’s power base in the Syrian city of Raqqa to the border with Iraq. There, after defeating the Iraqi army manning the checkpoint, Islamic State fighters work further to bulldoze the border.
As they clear apart a barrier that divided Iraq and Syria, Islamic State fighters declare an end of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a nearly 100-year-old pact between France and Britain that divided up the Middle East. For now, that area between Iraq and Syria is part of a new territory: the Islamic State.
Breitbart, by ROBERT WILDE:
Dr. Sebastian Gorka reacted to President Obama’s do-nothing approach to the ongoing genocide of Christians and Yazidis in Iraq at the hands of Islamic State (formerly ISIS) by quoting Leon Trotsky: “You may not be interested in war, but war is definitely interested in you.”
Gorka, who heads up Breitbart’s National Security team, made the remark while appearing on Breitbart News Sunday when Breitbart Executive Chairman and host Stephen K. Bannon asked him, “What do you say to those who think ISIS is a problem, but it’s not our fight?”
The counterinsurgency expert likened this kind of thinking to how Neville Chamberlain thought about the rise of Adolf Hitler in 1938.
Moreover, the asymmetrical warfare specialist was appalled by the Deputy National Security Advisor‘s comment this week that the “Islamic State” is not a threat to the United States. By making that claim, Gorka said it was cause for firing and labeled it “national security malpractice.” Not recognizing the threat is “like telling a cancer patient, ‘don’t worry that metastasizing cancer, that’s not going to be bad for you,’” he said.
Gorka explained that the first thing you do when you are preparing an IPB (intelligence preparation of the battlefield) for a potential conflict is to “read what the enemy writes.” He noted that when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of Islamic State, on the first Friday of Ramadan “got up on the pulpit in the mosque in Mosul in a black turban and a black robe” and gave a sermon not about Iraq, but about the caliphate.
They do not just want to conquer Iraq, or Syria and Iraq, claimed Dr. Gorka. He and the Breitbart National Security team, unveiled ISIS’s map for the New Caliphate while monitoring their twitter feeds. “It was most of the known world including the whole of Spain, half of Africa, and into the Indian subcontinent… they believe everyone who disagrees with them, Jews, Christians, atheists, Zoroastrians, Yazidis… must convert or be killed,” he insisted. “The idea that their goals don’t affect America’s national interests… I don’t care who you are, you have to be smoking something and it isn’t tobacco, if you believe that.”
Gorka pointed out that Islamic State has $800 million in assets in the bank of Iraq. Given that the bombing of the World Trade Center cost the jihadists about $500,000, that gives Islamic State the ability to level about 1,600 terrorist acts equivalent to the 9/11 attacks. What sets the new Islamic State into a class well beyond Al Qaeda is the thousands of Westerners they have recruited to take part in the jihad, including those from the UK and America.
by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
August 5, 2014
After an absence of 90 years, the ancient institution of the caliphate roared back into existence on the first day of Ramadan in the year 1435 of the Hegira, equivalent to June 29, 2014. This astonishing revival symbolically culminates the Islamist surge that began forty years ago. A Western analogy might be declaring the restoration of the Hapsburg Empire, which traced its legitimacy to ancient Rome.
Whence comes this audacious move? Can the caliphate last? What will its impact be?
For starters, a quick review of the caliphate (from the Arabic khilafa, meaning “succession”): according to canonical Muslim history, it originated in 632 CE, on the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, then spontaneously developed, filling the nascent Muslim community’s need for a temporal leader. The caliph became Muhammad’s non-prophetic heir. After the first four caliphs, the office became dynastic.
From the start, followers disagreed whether the caliph should be the most able and pious Muslim or the closest relative of Muhammad; the resulting division came to define the Sunni and Shi’i branches of Islam, respectively, causing the profound schism that still endures.
A single caliphate ruled all the Muslim lands until 750; but then two processes combined to diminish its power. First, remote provinces began to break away, with some – such as Spain – even creating rival caliphates. Second, the institution itself decayed and was taken over by slave soldiers and tribal conquerors, so that the original line of caliphs effectively ruled only until about 940. Other dynasties then adopted the title as a perquisite of political power.
The institution continued in an enfeebled form for a millennium until, in a dramatic act of repudiation, modern Turkey’s founder, Kemal Atatürk, terminated its last vestiges in 1924. Despite several subsequent attempts to restore it, the institution became defunct, a symbol of the disarray in Muslim-majority countries and a yearned-for goal among Islamists.
And so matters remained for 90 years, until the group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) issued a declaration in five languages (English version: This Is the Promise of Allah) proclaiming the founding of a new caliphate under “Caliph” Ibrahim. Caliph Ibrahim (aka Dr. Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim), about 40, hailing from Samarra, Iraq, fought in Afghanistan and then Iraq. He now claims to be leader of “Muslims everywhere” and demands their oath of allegiance. All other Muslim governments have lost legitimacy, he claims. Further, Muslims must throw out “democracy, secularism, nationalism, as well as all the other garbage and ideas from the West.”
|Caliph Ibrahim preaching in a Mosul mosque in early July 2014.|
Reviving the universal caliphate means, announces The Promise of Allah, that the “long slumber in the darkness of neglect” has ended. “The sun of jihad has risen. The glad tidings of good are shining. Triumph looms on the horizon.” Infidels are justifiably terrified for, as both “east and west” submit, Muslims will “own the earth.”
Grandiloquent words, to be sure, but also ones with zero chance of success. ISIS has enjoyed backing from states like Turkey and Qatar – but to fight in Syria, not to establish a global hegemony. Nearby powers – the Kurds, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel (and eventually maybe Turkey too) – regard the Islamic State as an unmitigated enemy, as do nearly all rival Islamic movements, including Al-Qaeda. (The only exceptions: Boko Haram; scattered Gazans; and a new Pakistani organization.) The caliphate already facesdifficulty governing the Great Britain-sized territories it conquered, troubles that will increase as its subject populations experience the full misery of Islamist rule. (Its apparent capture of the Mosul Dam on Aug. 3 portends unspeakable crimes, including the denial of electricity and water; or even creating catastrophic floods.)
It will leave a legacy, though. No matter how calamitous the fate of Caliph Ibrahim and his grim crew, they have successfully resurrected a central institution of Islam, making the caliphate again a vibrant reality. Islamists around the world will treasure its moment of brutal glory and be inspired by it.
|Top: Dawlat al-Khilafa (The Islamic State): Or the world as ISIS sees it, using medieval Arabic place names. Bottom: The same map in Roman lettering.|
For non-Muslims, this development has complex and double-edged implications. On the negative side, violent Islamists will be more encouraged to achieve their hideous goals, leaving a wake of carnage. On the positive side, the caliphate’s barbaric zealotry will have the salutary effect of awakening many of those yet asleep to the horrors of the Islamist agenda.
Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org), president of the Middle East Forum, holds a doctorate in medieval Islamic history. © 2014 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.
Long War Journal, by By
The Islamic State is reported to have taken control of the city of Sinjar as well as the Mosul Dam, at least one oil field, and a handful of towns in northern Ninewa province after Kurdish forces withdrew from the area this weekend.
Islamic State fighters first took control of Zumar, a town east of the Tigris River and about 50 miles south of Mosul, after attacking today “from three directions in pick-up trucks mounted with weapons,” Reuters reported. Kurdish forces withdrew after fighting for 24 hours. On Aug. 1, Kurdish military officials claimed to have killed 20 Islamic State fighters and captured 20 more in Zumar, and also said the Peshmerga are reinforcing the area after receiving “advanced weapons” from the US. On Aug. 2, a Kurdish official said that 14 Peshmerga troops and more than 100 Islamic State fighters were killed during the fighting.
After seizing Zumar, Islamic State fighters today reportedly took control of the city of Sinjar, which sits near the Syrian border and is west of Tal Afar and Mosul, two cities currently under Islamic State control. In Sinjar, Kurdish forces retreated after putting up “little resistance.” Islamic State fighters also took over the Mosul Dam, after “Kurdish troops had loaded their vehicles with belongings including air conditioners and fled,”Reuters reported.
In addition, the Ain Zalah and Butmah oil fields, as well as four oil wells, lie just north of the dam and are thought to be under the control of the Islamic State. The jihadist group controls dams and oil infrastructure in both Iraq and Syria, and uses the resources to fund its operations.
The Islamic State is also said to be fighting Kurdish forces in Rabaih, a town on the border with Syria.
The Islamic State claimed to have killed “dozens” of Kurdish Peshmerga and to have seized “a large quantity of weapons and equipment” during the takeover of Sinjar. The jihadist group made the claims, which could not be confirmed, in a statement released on the Ninewa Division’s Twitter page.
The United Nations’ envoy to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, warned that “[a] humanitarian tragedy is unfolding in Sinjar,” as more than 200,000 people are thought to have fled Sinjar to the nearby Jalab Sinjar mountains to escape the Islamic State’s advance. “The humanitarian situation of these civilians is reported as dire, and they are in urgent need of basic items including food, water and medicine,” a UN statement said, according to AFP.
It is unclear if the Peshmerga are abandoning the areas, which have been held by Kurdish forces for years, or withdrew temporarily to organize their forces. A Peshmerga spokesman said today that Kurdish forces are preparing to go on the offensive after receiving heavy weapons. One official said the Peshmerga are preparing to retake Sinjar by attacking “from four different directions.”
The Islamic State’s takeover of Sinjar, Zumar, and the Mosul Dam constitutes the group’s first major gains after a blitzkrieg offensive launched on June 10 in conjunction with allied groups that put it in control of Mosul, Tikrit, and a number of cities and towns in Salahaddin, Ninewa, and Diyala provinces. That offensive stalled on the outskirts of Samarra, just north of Bagdad. Meanwhile, the Islamic State controls most of Anbar province and much of northern Babil province. The fighting has largely stalemated as Iraqi forces backed by Shia militias, including many supported by Iran, have failed to regain lost ground but have held most areas under their control.
Across the border in Syria, the Islamic State has taken control of most of Deir al Zour province and has made gains in Homs province as well. Large areas of Raqqah, Hasakah, and Aleppo provinces are also under Islamic State control.
The Islamic State, which was previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, declared the establishment of its caliphate on June 29, and appointed Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as Caliph Ibrahim. Baghdadi appeared for the first time in public at a mosque in Mosul on July 4.
The declaration of the caliphate is controversial in jihadist circles and among Islamic State allies such as the Baathists and other insurgent groups in Iraq. Several al Qaeda affiliates as well as well-respected jihadist ideologues have denounced the Islamic State’s announcement as premature and said the group did not properly consult leading clerics and jihadist groups.
- Islamic State militants fight for Iraq’s two biggest dams (foxnews.com)
- Iraq’s Religious Minorities are Being Slaughtered and ISIS Just Captured the Last Town Giving Them Shelter (thedailybeast.com)
Islamic State Selling Message With Glossy English Magazine (clarionproject.org)
Islamic State Supporters Visible Across Europe (clarionproject.org)
Breitbart, by ROBERT WILDE:
When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, there were at least 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Over the last ten years, significantly in the last few months with the emergence of ISIS, that figure has dropped to about 400,000.
In a region where Christians predate Muslims by centuries, over one million Christians have been killed or have had to flee because of jihadi persecution, while America is basically standing by and watching. This is the sad news that Breitbart’s National Security Editor and one of the world’s leading experts on asymmetric warfare, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, brought to Breitbart News Saturday, hosted by Editor in Chief Alex Marlow on Sirius XM Patriot Radio.
Dr. Gorka explained that “in the last 48 hours, ISIS, which is now called the Islamic State in Mosul, has painted the letter “N” for Nazarene on the houses of all the surviving Christians in the city. ISIS has basically given an ultimatum to all the Christians left: You can either flee or convert to Islam, or we will kill you.”
Gorka points out that, over the last 20 years, America has stood up around the world to save Muslims. “Whether it was to save the Muslims in Bosnia or the Albanians, Kosovars, and Muslims in Serbia, it is now time for a humanitarian operation to save the remaining Christians in Iraq,” he said. “It is time for the American people and our representatives to do something for our co-religionists remaining in the Middle East.”
Marlow observed that the blatant religious cleansing is horrifying and asked Gorka: “Why is it that the mainstream press is not interested in the story?” Gorka first responded by saying “Let’s face it, this is a Christian version of the Holocaust and nothing less.”
The Middle East expert went on to explain that the mainstream media is in full support of the White House narrative “that the President single-handedly killed Osama Bin Laden, and that Al Qaeda is now on the ropes; therefore, jihad must be shriveling up around the world.” This myopic strategy of only targeting Al Qaeda has provided great opportunities for other jihadists and has given rise to ISIS.
“On top of that,” Gorka asserts that, “the mainstream media are warped in terms of their world view.” According to Breitbart’s national security expert, the media is “post-modernist, sophisticated, and secularist. So when it comes to the idea of religious persecution, they say, ‘Well who really cares because I don’t believe in God. If you are not sophisticated enough to be a post-modernist secularist… tough on you!’”
Gorka didn’t finish there with his scathing indictment of the mainstream media. He added that it is their racism that will let this genocide of Christians continue. “To the mainstream media,” Gorka charged, “the dark skin person always has to be the victim. Either the Hamas terrorist in Gaza, the Nicaraguan gang bangers coming across the border likened to juvenile political refugees… the idea that the white skin Christian or the Israelis as victims, that goes against every narrative this media wishes to pedal. They are necessarily so locked into their own ideological vision of the world.”
Marlow summed it up by saying, “Christians are politically targeted in America frequently; they are being physically targeted in Africa, Syria, and Iraq.” Gorka emphasized that, from his first hand experiences in Africa, Christians will always be blamed for starting any upheaval.
- ‘WE ARE ALL CHRISTIANS': ANTI-ISIS GRAFFITI APPEARS IN MOSUL AFTER TERRORISTS EXPEL CHRISTIANS (breitbart.com)
A DESPERATE CRY FROM IRAQ’S CHRISTIANS (breitbart.com)
Islamic State Torches Syriac Catholic Diocese in Mosul (raymondibrahim.com)
Liberty GB, By Enza Ferreri
While the British government is making its own citizens pay for the jihadis allowed to return to the UK from Syria and Iraq, both in terms of money – through the £1.1 billion cash injection for defence announced yesterday, £800 million of which will fund an extra investment in intelligence and surveillance to deal with the threat of terrorism – and in terms of intrusion and greater state power – through emergency laws to monitor phone and internet records “to stop terrorists” –, people hear of the establishment of a caliphate in the Middle East without the media – with few exceptions – providing any explanation of its real significance.
In Islam, only a caliphate has the authority to declare offensive war on infidel countries. That’s why Osama bin Laden was so keen on it and called for Muslims to “establish the righteous caliphate of our ummah”, after Abdulhamid II’s Ottoman caliphate was abolished by the Turkish Republic of Kemal Ataturk in his secularisation (short-lived) attempts in 1924.
And that’s why jihadis always explain their acts of terrorism in terms of defensive war, as a response to the infidel’s armies occupying Muslim lands, for example.
Egyptian-American scholar of Islam and Middle East history Raymond Ibrahim over 3 years ago explained the caliphate concept and predicted the re-establishment of a caliphate. If, as in science, accurate predictions confirm the validity of the theory from which they derive, we must take his words very seriously:
The very existence of a caliphate would usher a state of constant hostility: Both historically and doctrinally, the caliphate is obligated to wage jihad, at least annually, to bring the ‘disbelieving’ world under Islamic dominion and enforce sharia law. Most of what is today called the ‘Muslim world’ – from Morocco to Pakistan – was conquered, bit by bit, by a caliphate begun in Arabia in 632.
A caliphate represents a permanent, ideological enemy, not a temporal enemy that can be bought or pacified through diplomacy or concessions – economic or otherwise. Short of agreeing either to convert to Islam or live as second-class citizens, or ‘dhimmis’ – who, among other indignities, must practice their religions quietly; pay a higher tax ['jizyah']; give way to Muslims on the street; wear clothing that distinguishes them from Muslims, the start of the yellow star of David required for the Jews by the Nazis during World War II; have their testimony be worth half of a Muslim’s; and never retaliate against Muslim abuses – the jihad continues.
A caliphate is precisely what Islamists around the world are feverishly seeking to establish – before people realize what it represents and try to prevent it. Without active, preemptive measures, it is only a matter of time before they succeed.
Another US expert on Islam, Robert Spencer, has recently written:
And now it [the caliphate] is here, although it is by no means clear, of course, that The Islamic State will be viable or long-lasting. If it is, however, the world could soon be engulfed in a much larger conflict with Islamic jihadists even than it has been since 9/11. For in Islamic law, only the caliph is authorized – and indeed, has the responsibility – to declare offensive jihad against non-Muslim states. In his absence, all jihad must be defensive only, which is why Islamic jihadists retail laundry lists of grievances when explaining and justifying their actions: without these grievances and a caliph, they have to cast all their actions as responses to Infidel atrocities. With a caliph, however, that obligation will be gone. And the bloodshed in that event could make the world situation since 9/11, with its 20,000 jihad attacks worldwide, seem like a harmless bit of ‘interfaith dialogue.’
Offensive jihad to force all the world to submit to Islamic law is a duty for the ummah (the worldwide Muslim community), and no amount of media whitewashing can change that. The source to consult is not The New York Times but the Quran, e.g. this from 9:29:
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
Published on Jul 8, 2014 by The Christian Broadcasting Network
On this week’s edition of The Watchman, we sit down with Middle East experts Raymond Ibrahim and Tawfik Hamid to discuss the latest developments with the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Iran and what can be done to counter the jihadist.
The jihad terror organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) formally declared  a “re-creation” of Islam’s traditional solidary religio-political entity, the “Caliphate” in a pronouncement  issued June 29, 2014.
Here the flag of the Islamic State, the flag of tawhīd (monotheism), rises and flutters. Its shade covers land from Aleppo to Diyala.
“State of the Islamic Caliphate” inscribed at the top of the alleged new “Caliphate” passport . At the bottom, it states: “[If] holder of the passport [is] harmed, we will deploy armies for his service.”
ISIL’s rhetoric extolled its triumph over all infidels, with a particular emphasis on non-Muslims, and the attempted imposition of the totalitarian Sharia , in all its liberty-crushing, and dehumanizing barbarity. The jihad  terror organization also claimed  ISIL’s rule was restoring not only Sharia-mandated Islamic “justice” (for example, the destruction of Christian crosses, and extraction of the humiliating jizya , per Koran 9:29), but also local “stability,” and Islamic pride.
The Muslims are honored. The kuffār (infidels) are disgraced. Ahlus-Sunnah (the Sunnis) are masters and are esteemed. The people of bid’ah (heresy) are humiliated. Thehudūd (Sharia penalties) are implemented – the hudūd of Allah – all of them. The frontlines are defended. Crosses and graves are demolished.
The people in the lands of the State move about for their livelihood and journeys, feeling safe regarding their lives and wealth. Wulāt (plural of wālī or “governors”) and judges have been appointed. Jizyah (a tax imposed on kuffār) has been enforced. Fay’ (money taken from the kuffār without battle) and zakat (obligatory alms) have been collected. Courts have been established to resolve disputes and complaints. Evil has been removed. Lessons and classes have been held in the masājid (plural of masjid) and, by the grace of Allah, the religion has become completely for Allah. There only remained one matter, a wājib kifā’ī (collective obligation) that the ummah sins by abandoning. It is a forgotten obligation. The ummah has not tasted honor since they lost it. It is a dream that lives in the depths of every Muslim believer. It is a hope that flutters in the heart of every mujāhid muwahhid (monotheist). It is the khilāfah (caliphate). It is the khilāfah – the abandoned obligation of the era.
Despite subsequent dissatisfaction with ISIL, and its newly minted “Caliphate ”—already emerging  just 3-weeks after the regular Iraqi army and police forces of the al-Maliki central government were crushed, or fled—in the immediate aftermath of the Sunni takeover, 81.5% of Mosul’s predominantly Sunni residents felt more secure after the Sunni insurgents seized control of the city.
Hollow proclamations have followed suit from Muslim leaders claiming ISIL’s Caliphate “vision”  somehow distorted this idyllic historical Islamic institution. Sheikh Khaldoun Oraymet, secretary-general of Lebanon’s Supreme Islamic Council opined ,
What ISIL is doing is in complete contradiction of the principles of the Islamic caliphate: a righteous caliphate which preserves the rights of all people, and respects all people and the opinions of others who are of different faiths, race, time and place.
Even the Jordanian jihad ideologist Issam Barqawi, known as Abu Mohammed al-Maqdessi, claimed  on jihadist websites, that ISIL’s leaders evidenced, “no manners,” voicing his main concern, “What would the fate be of other Islamist fighters in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere?”, before adding the obligatory disclaimer, that ISIL was “distorting religion.” Previously, ahistorical drivel from the Western Muslim “advocacy” group the Muslim Association of Britain, lionized both the Caliphate, and the corollary implementation of Sharia, as promulgators of “a peaceful and just society .” Moreover, Egypt’s current President al-Sisi—recently elected in a landslide  victory—extolled  the Caliphate in his 2006 U.S. Army War College “mini-thesis” as “the ideal form of government,” broadly
…recognized as the goal for any new form of government very much in the manner that the U.S. pursued the ideals of “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.” From the Middle Eastern perspective, the defining words governing their form of democracy [emphasis added] would likely reflect “fairness, justice, equality, unity and charity.”
The prototypical Caliphate under Umar Ibn al-Khattab  (d. 644), the second “rightly guided” caliph of Islam, merits summary examination. During his reign, which lasted for a decade (634-644), Syria, Iraq and Egypt were conquered, and Umar was thus responsible for organizing the early Islamic Caliphate. Alfred von Kremer, the great 19th century German scholar of Islam, described  the “central idea” of Umar’s regime, as being the furtherance of “…the religious-military development of Islam at the expense of the conquered nations.” The predictable and historically verifiable consequence of this guiding principle was a legacy of harsh inequality, intolerance, and injustice towards non-Muslims observed  by von Kremer in 1868 (and still evident in Islamic societies to this day, nearly 150 years later):
It was the basis of its severe directives regarding Christians and those of other faiths, that they be reduced to the status of pariahs, forbidden from having anything in common with the ruling nation; it was even the basis for his decision to purify the Arabian Peninsula of the unbelievers, when he presented all the inhabitants of the peninsula who had not yet accepted Islam with the choice: to emigrate or deny the religion of their ancestors. The industrious and wealthy Christians of Najran, who maintained their Christian faith, emigrated as a result of this decision from the peninsula, to the land of the Euphrates, and ‘Umar also deported the Jews of Khaybar. In this way ‘Umar based that fanatical and intolerant approach that was an essential characteristic of Islam, now extant for over a thousand years, until this day [i.e., written in 1868]. It was this spirit, a severe and steely one, that incorporated scorn and contempt for the non-Muslims, that was characteristic of ‘Umar, and instilled by ‘Umar into Islam; this spirit continued for many centuries, to be Islam’s driving force and vital principle….With a strong hand, he held the reins of spiritual and worldly power, commanded with unlimited full authority over the political and religious activities of Muslims, already many millions in number. Under him, the conquest of Syria was completed, Iraq and Persia were conquered as far as the Oxus and the borders of Hindustan, while in the west, Egypt obeyed him…
The jihad campaigns waged  in the era of Umar’s Caliphate, consistent with nascent Islamic Law (Sharia), spared neither cities nor monasteries if they resisted. Accordingly,when  the Greek garrison of Gaza refused to submit and convert to Islam, all were put to death. In the year 640, sixty Greek soldiers who refused to apostatize became martyrs, while in the same year (i.e., 638) that Caesarea, Tripolis and Tyre fell to the Muslims, hundreds of thousands of Christians converted to Islam, predominantly out of fear.
Muslim and non-Muslim sources record that Umar’s soldiers were allowed  to break crosses on the heads of Christians during processions and religious litanies, and were permitted, if not encouraged, to tear down  newly erected churches and to punish  Christians for trivial reasons. Moreover, Umar forbade  the employment of Christians in public offices.
The false claims of Islamic toleration during this prototype “rightly guided” Caliphate cannot be substantiated even by relying on the (apocryphal?) “pact” of Umar ( Ibn al-Khattab) because this putative decree compelled the Christians (and other non-Muslims) to fulfill self-destructive obligations, including : the prohibition on erecting any new churches, monasteries, or hermitages; and not being allowed to repair any ecclesiastical institutions that fell into ruin, nor to rebuild those that were situated in the Muslim quarters of a town. Muslim traditionists and early historians (such as al-Baladhuri) further maintain  that Umar expelled the Jews of the Khaybar oasis, and similarly deported Christians (from Najran) who refused to apostatize and embrace Islam, fulfilling the death bed admonition of Muhammad who purportedly stated: “there shall not remain two religions in the land of Arabia.”
Umar imposed  limitations upon the non-Muslims aimed at their ultimate destruction by attrition, and he introduced  fanatical elements into Islamic culture that became characteristic of the Caliphates which succeeded his. For example, according to the chronicle of the Muslim historian Ibn al-Atham  (d. 926-27), under the brief Caliphate of Ali b. Abi Talib (656-61), when one group of apostates in Yemen (Sanaa) adopted Judaism after becoming Muslims, “He [Ali] killed them and burned them with fire after the killing.” Indeed, the complete absence  of freedom of conscience in these early Islamic Caliphates—while entirely consistent with mid-7th century mores—has remained a constant, ignominious legacy throughout Islamic history, to this day.
Additionally, it has waged a propaganda campaign to spread its message of holy war against the infidel with publications such as the periodical Inspire, the e-magazine that included a recipe for pressure-cooker IEDs, a recipe that would be used by the Boston bombers.
- While Al Qaeda attracted foreign fighters to wage jihad in Afghanistan and Iraq, its recruitment figures never came close to the thousands that have been so rapidly drawn to fight in Syria and Iraq. The problem is so severe that Attorney General Eric Holder just yesterday had to publicly request his European counterparts do something to stem the flow of fighters.
- Al Qaeda was predominantly successful in bringing Arab Muslims from the Middle East to fight in wars in their own region or in South Asia. But unclassified reports, and ISIS’ own videos, confirm that it is having an unprecedented success in attracting Muslim men from the West to go fight Jihad. Young men who – if they survive the current fight – will likely return back home to America, the UK, or elsewhere in the West, as hardened jihadis skilled in infantry tactics and in employing improvised explosive devices.
- Although Al Qaeda was sheltered by the fundamentalist Taleban government in Afghanistan – with bin Laden strategically ensuring that his commanders’ daughter married into Taleban families – as an organization Al Qaeda never controlled a whole country. With the Blitzkrieg assault of ISIS fighters capturing city after city in Iraq in recent weeks and then declaring a new Caliphate, ISIS is on the cusp of functioning as a de facto country, a Jihadi Nation. Al Qadea almost always acted like a terrorist group and less like an insurgency, the important distinction being that insurgencies hold territory in daylight. ISIS, however, is a fully fledged insurgency that has captured city after city and is functioning as a quasi state.
- With other regional jihadi commanders, such as the former head of the Al Nusrah front, swearing bayat (loyalty) to ISIS we see the open confirmation of the reality that Al Qaeda’s brand has been overtaken. This is the kind of international operational recognition Al Qaeda always wanted and tried desperately to obtain but never managed too. And ISIS has succeeded to become a multinational jihadi authority in a matter of weeks as opposed to years.
- Bin Laden, and the current leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahiri, always understood the importance of propaganda and information warfare, especially after the American jihadi Anwar al Awlaki took over editorship of Inspire magazine. But they never came close to the sophistication and media savvy of ISIS with is whirlwind establishment of a Social Media presence. Not only is ISIS filming and distributing the standard jihadi footage of its vicious attacks but also video of the mass murders of its prisoners. More importantly it is also disseminating more subtle and softer narratives via Twitter and other channels in ways that Al Qaeda never did.
- ISIS has capabilities that exceed even the wildest dreams of the original founders of Al Qaeda. After capturing the city of Mosul and the raiding the local government coffers, it now has over $400 million at its disposal. The 9/11 attacks only cost Al Qaeda $500,000. ISIS has funds now adequate to at least 800 9/11 attacks. Add to that all the latest US military hardware it has captured and the older Syrian Scud missile it also paraded openly for all the world to see last week , and it is clear ISIS and Al Qaeda are in totally different leagues.