The West’s War on Jihad Begins at Home

EDL-protestor-holds-a-banne-009American Thinker, by Raymond Ibrahim, April 1, 2016:

As someone specializing in Islamic jihadism, one would expect I’d have much to say immediately after jihadi attacks of the sort that recently occurred in Brussels (35 killed), or San Bernardino (14 killed), or Paris (130). Ironically, I don’t: such attacks are ultimately symptoms of what I do deem worthy of discussion, namely, root causes. (What can one add when a symptom of the root cause he has long warned against occurs other than “told you so”?)

So what is the root cause of jihadi attacks? Many think that the ultimate source of the ongoing terrorization of the West is Islam. Yet this notion has one problem: the Muslim world is immensely weak and intrinsically incapable of being a threat. That every Islamic assault on the West is a terrorist attack — and terrorism, as is known, is the weapon of the weak — speaks for itself.

This was not always the case. For approximately one thousand years, the Islamic world was the scourge of the West. Today’s history books may refer to those who terrorized Christian Europe as Arabs, Saracens, Moors, Ottomans, Turks, Mongols, or Tatars — but all were operating under the same banner of jihad that the Islamic State is operating under.

No — today, the ultimate enemy is within. The root cause behind nonstop Muslim terrorization of the West is found in those who stifle or whitewash all talk and examination of Muslim doctrine and history; who welcome hundreds of thousands of Muslim migrants while knowing that some are jihadi operatives and many are simply “radical”; who work to overthrow secular Arab dictators in the name of “democracy” and “freedom,” only to uncork the jihad suppressed by the autocrats (the Islamic State’s territory consists of lands that were “liberated” in Iraq, Libya, and Syria by the U.S. and its allies).

So are Western leaders and politicians the root cause behind Islamic terrorization of the West?

Close — but still not there yet.

Far from being limited to a number of elitist leaders and institutions, the Western empowerment of the jihad is the natural outcome of postmodern thinking — the real reason an innately weak Islam can be a source of repeated woes for a militarily and economically superior West.

Remember, the reason people like French President Francois Hollande, U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are in power — three prominent Western leaders who insist that Islam is innocent of violence and who push for Muslim immigration — is because they embody a worldview that is normative in the West.

In this context, the facilitation of jihadi terror is less a top down imposition and more a grass root product of decades of erroneous, but unquestioned, thinking. (Those who believe America’s problems begin and end with Obama would do well to remember that he did not come to power through a coup but that he was voted in — twice. This indicates that Obama and the majority of voting Americans have a shared, and erroneous, worldview. He may be cynically exploiting this worldview, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s because this warped worldview is mainstream that he can exploit it in the first place.)

Western empowerment of the jihad is rooted in a number of philosophies that have metastasized into every corner of social life, becoming cornerstones of postmodern epistemology. These include the doctrines of relativism and multiculturalism on the one hand, and anti-Western, anti-Christian sentiment on the other.

Taken together, these cornerstones of postmodern, post-Christian thinking hold that there are no absolute truths and thus all cultures are fundamentally equal and deserving of respect. If any Western person wants to criticize a civilization or religion, then let them look “inwardly” and acknowledge their European Christian heritage as the epitome of intolerance and imperialism.

Add to these a number of sappy and silly ideals — truth can never be uttered because it might “hurt the feelings” of some (excluding white Christians, who are fair game), and, far from suspecting them, the West should go out of its way to appease Muslims until they “like us” — and you have a sure recipe for disaster, that is, the current state of affairs.

Western people are bombarded with these aforementioned “truths” from the cradle to the grave — from kindergarten to university, from Hollywood to the news rooms, and now even in churches — so that they are unable to accept and act on a simple truism that their ancestors well knew: Islam is an inherently violent and intolerant creed that cannot coexist with non-Islam (except insincerely, in times of weakness).

The essence of all this came out clearly when Obama, in order to rationalize away the inhuman atrocities of the Islamic State, counseled Americans to get off their “high horse” and remember that their Christian ancestors have been guilty of similar if not worse atrocities. That he had to go back almost a thousand years for examples by referencing the crusades and the Inquisition — both of which have been completely distorted by the warped postmodern worldview, including the portrayal of imperialist Muslims as victims — did not matter to America’s leader.

Worse, it did not matter to most Americans. The greater lesson was not that Obama whitewashed modern Islamic atrocities by misrepresenting and demonizing Christian history, but that he was merely reaffirming the mainstream narrative that Americans have been indoctrinated into believing. And thus, apart from the usual ephemeral and meaningless grumblings, his words — as with many of his pro-Islamic, anti-Christian comments and policies — passed along without consequence.

Once upon a time, the Islamic world was a superpower and its jihad an irresistible force to be reckoned with. Over two centuries ago, however, a rising Europe — which had experienced over one millennium of jihadi conquests and atrocities — defeated and defanged Islam.

As Islam retreated into obscurity, the post-Christian West slowly came into being. Islam didn’t change, but the West did: Muslims still venerate their heritage and religion — which impels them to jihad against the Western “infidel” — whereas the West learned to despise its heritage and religion, causing it to become an unwitting ally of the jihad.

Hence the current situation: the jihad is back in full vigor, while the West — not just its leaders, but much of the populace — facilitates it in varying degrees. Nor is this situation easily remedied. For to accept that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant is to reject a number of cornerstones of postmodern Western thinking that far transcend the question of Islam. In this context, nothing short of an intellectual/cultural revolution — where rational thinking becomes mainstream — will allow the West to confront Islam head on.

But there is some good news. With every Islamic attack, the eyes of more and more Western people are opened to the true nature of Muhammad’s religion. That this is happening despite generations of pro-Islamic indoctrination in the West is a testimony to the growing brazenness of the jihad.

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Yet it still remains unclear whether objective thinking will eventually overthrow the current narrative of relativism, anti-Christianism, and asinine emotionalism.

Simply put, both celebrating multiculturalism and defeating the jihad is impossible.

However, if such a revolution takes place (sooner rather than later), the Islamic jihad will be easily swept back into the dustbin of history. For the fact remains: Islam is terrorizing the world, not because it can, but because the West allows it to.

“Islam Hates Us” More Than You Know

fvf-1-850x500-1-850x500By Raymond Ibrahim, March 13, 2016:

Donald Trump’s latest politically incorrect comment concerning Islam is much truer than most know.  After being asked last week on CNN if he believed the West was at war with Islam, the Republican presidential candidate simply said:

I think Islam hates us.  There’s something there that — there’s a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There’s an unbelievable hatred of us.

While millions of Americans undoubtedly agree with Trump’s assertions—at least those who have eyes and ears to see and hear with—few realize that this “tremendous hatred” is not a product of grievances, political factors, or even an “extremist” interpretation of Islam; rather, it is a direct byproduct of mainstream Islamic teaching.

According to the ancient Islamic doctrine of al-wal’a wa al-bara’, or “loyalty and enmity”—which is well grounded in Islamic scriptures, well sponsored by Islamic authorities, and well manifested all throughout Islamic history and contemporary affairs—Muslims must hate and oppose everyone who is not Muslim, including family members.

Koran 60:4 is the cornerstone verse of this doctrine and speaks for itself: “You [Muslims] have a good example in Abraham and those who followed him, for they said to their people, ‘We disown you and the idols which you worship besides Allah.  We renounce you: enmity and hate shall reign between us until you believe in Allah alone’” (Koran 60:4, emphasis added).

Koran 58:22 praises Muslims who fight and kill their own non-Muslim family members: “You shall find none who believe in Allah and the Last Day on friendly terms with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger—even if they be their fathers, their sons, their brothers, or their nearest kindred.”

According to Ibn Kathir’s mainstream commentary on the Koran, this verse refers to a number of Muslims who slaughtered their own non-Muslim kin (one slew his non-Muslim father, another his non-Muslim brother, a third—Abu Bakr, the first revered caliph of Islamic history—tried to slay his non-Muslim son, and Omar, the second righteous caliph, slaughtered his relatives).  As Ibn Kathir explains,[1] Allah was immensely pleased by their unwavering zeal for his cause and rewarded them with paradise.

In fact, verses that support the divisive doctrine of “loyalty and enmity” permeate the Koran (see also 4:89, 4:144, 5:51, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 60:1).  There is one caveat, captured by Koran 3:28: when Muslims are in a position of weakness, they may pretend to befriend non-Muslims, as long as the hate carries on in their hearts.  (Read here for several recent examples of Muslims living for years at peace and in friendship with non-Muslims, but then violently turning on them once they became stronger.[2])

Because enmity for non-Muslims is so ironclad in the Koran, mainstream Islamic teaching holds that Muslim men must even hate—and show that they hate—their non-Muslim wives, for no other reason than that they are “infidels.”

If Muslims must hate those closest to them—including fathers, sons, brothers, and wives—simply because they are non-Muslims, is there any surprise that so many Muslims hate foreign “infidels” who live oceans away—such as Americans, who are further portrayed throughout the Islamic world as trying to undermine Islam?

Thus, even America’s supposed best Muslim friends and allies—such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar—are on record calling on all Muslims to hate us.  According to a Saudi governmental run website,  Muslims must “oppose and hate whomever Allah commands us to oppose and hate, including the Jews, the Christians, and other mushrikin [non-Muslims], until they believe in Allah alone and abide by his laws, which he sent down to his Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him.”

In short, Trump’s assertion that “Islam hates us” is demonstrable by the plain words and teachings of the Koran, by the plain words and teachings of past and present Islamic clerics, and by the past and present actions of Muslims around the world.

But, as usual, instead of discussing these problematic facts, the powers-that-be are much more interested in portraying Trump as the one who hates.

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[1] Koran 58:22 in full reads:  “You shall find none who believe in Allah and the Last Day on friendly terms with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger—even if they be their fathers, their sons, their brothers, or their nearest kindred.  Allah has inscribed the faith in their very hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. He will admit them to gardens watered by running streams, where they shall dwell forever.  Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him.  They are the party of Allah, and surely it is the party of Allah that shall triumph!”   According to Ibn Kathir’s commentary: “It was said that the phrase from the Most High—‘even if they be their fathers’—that it was revealed about Abu Ubayda when he slew his father at [the battle of] Badr; ‘their sons’ was about Abu Bakr [Muhammad’s successor and first caliph] when he intended to slay his son, Abd al-Rahman; ‘their brothers’ was about Mus’ab bin Umayr, who slew his brother, Ubayd bin Umayr; ‘or their kin’ was about Omar, who slew one of his relatives. Also Hamza, Ali, and Ubayda bin al-Harith: They slew Utba, Sheeba, and al-Walid bin Uitba [their kin] at that battle. Allah knows [best]. Moreover, when the Messenger of Allah consulted with the Muslims regarding the captives of Badr, Abu Bakr advised that they should pay ransom, thereby enabling the Muslims to grow stronger. Also, since they [captives] were cousins and relatives, perhaps Allah Most High would have eventually guided them. But Omar said: ‘This goes against my thinking, O Messenger of Allah. Let me slay so-and so (a relative of Omar), and let Ali [slay] Aquil [Ali’s brother], and so-and-so [slay] so-and-so—so that Allah may know that there is no love in our hearts for the idolaters. ..’ This is the whole story.” Excerpted from Ayman al-Zawahiri’s “Loyalty and Enmity,” The Al Qaeda Reader, pgs., 63-115.

[2]For more on Islamic sanctioned forms of deception, read about tawriya, and taysir.

The Muslim Man’s Sexual “Rights” Over Non-Muslim Women

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Frontpage, by Raymond Ibrahim, Feb. 12, 2016:

In word and deed, in Islamic and non-Islamic nations, Muslim men appear to think that non-Muslim women—impure “infidels”—exist solely to gratify their sexual urges.

First, consider the beliefs and actions of those committed to waging jihad for the cause of Allah, such as the Islamic State:

In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old [non-Muslim] girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted. He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her. When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion. “I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to” Allah.

Yet such behavior is not limited to fanatical jihadis, who have “nothing whatsoever to do with Islam,” as most fools and liars will assure us; rather it permeates the totality of Islamic culture.

Consider recent events in Pakistan: three Christian girls walking home after a hard day’s work were accosted by four “rich and drunk” Muslims—hardly ISIS candidates—in a car. They “misbehaved,” yelled “suggestive and lewd comments,” and harassed the girls to get in their car for “a ride and some fun.” When the girls declined the “invitation,” adding that they were “devout Christians and did not practice sex outside of marriage,” the men became enraged and chased the girls, yelling, “How dare you run away from us, Christian girls are only meant for one thing: the pleasure of Muslim men.”  They drove their car into the three girls, killing one and severely injuring the other two.

Or consider the words of human rights activists speaking about another Muslim man’s rape of a 9-year-old Christian girl: “Such incidents occur frequently. Christian girls are considered goods to be damaged at leisure. Abusing them is a right. According to the community’s mentality it is not even a crime. Muslims regard them as spoils of war.”

Once relegated to third world countries like Pakistan and ISIS-controlled areas, the subhuman treatment and sexual abuse of “infidel” women is becoming a common fixture in the West.

Thus recently in Germany, a group of Muslim “refugees” stalked a 25-year-old woman at night, hurled “filthy” insults and taunted her for sex.  One told her that “German women are there for sex,” before reaching into her blouse and trousers and groping her.

These recent stories from Germany and Pakistan are identical—Muslim men harassing non-Muslim women on the assumption that it’s their Islamic right and privilege—except for one difference: the German “infidel” escaped with her life, whereas the Pakistani “infidel” was murdered for refusing to gratify the sexual desires of her Islamic accosters.  As Islam’s presence continues to grow in Europe, this difference will quickly fade.

Already there are other, more subtle similarities between “third world” Pakistan and “first world” Germany.  In the report about the manslaughter of the three Christian girls in Pakistan, we find that “Other girls in the local area are now too scared to travel at night and are being accompanied by the men in their families.”  In Germany, “The latest reports from Dortmund [where the “German-women-are-there-for-sex” anecdote transpired] paint a terrifying picture of a city where it is now unsafe for women to go out at night for fear of being attacked and raped by refugees.”

Indeed, less than a month earlier, on New Year’s Eve, 1,000 Muslim migrants, also apparently thinking that non-Muslim women exist for one thing, went on a raping spree in Cologne and elsewhere, leaving hundreds of “infidel” women violated, beaten, and traumatized—the same way “infidel” women living in Muslim-majority nations often feel.

Of course, well before the migrant crisis, Europe had and ignored ample lessons concerning what happens when Muslim populations grow.   In Britain alone, where a large Muslim minority has long existed, countless British girls in various regions have been sexually abused and gang raped by Muslims who apparently deemed it their Islamic right.  Said one rape victim: “The men who did this to me have no remorse. They would tell me that what they were doing was OK in their culture.”   Days ago a judge told 12 Muslim men that they “took such terrible and heartless sexual advantage” of a 13-year-old British girl before sentencing them.

A Muslim imam in Britain confessed that Muslim men are taught that women are “second-class citizens, little more than chattels or possessions over whom they have absolute authority” and that the imams preach a doctrine “that denigrates all women, but treats whites [meaning non-Muslims] with particular contempt.”

Another Muslim convicted of rape in a separate case told a British court that sharing non-Muslim girls for sex “was part of Somali culture” and “a religious requirement.”

And there it is: Whether seen by “pious” Muslims as a “religious requirement”—as cited by an ISIS rapist to his 12-year-old victim—or whether seen as part of Pakistani (Asian) and Somali (African) culture—in a word, Islamic culture—the subhuman treatment and sexual degradation of non-Muslim women and children by Muslims who deem it their “right” is apparently another “exoticism” the West must embrace if it wishes to keep worshipping at the altar of multiculturalism.

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Also see:

Good News: Female Muslim Prof. Says Muslims Can Rape, Rob Infidel Women Only in Some Circumstances

p.sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY RAYMOND IBRAHIM, FEBRUARY 8, 2016:

Straining at gnats while swallowing camels is increasingly how Islam’s apologists rationalize away the violence and hate Sharia engenders for the “infidel,” the non-Muslim. Consider the significance of yet another video of yet another learned Muslim justifying the enslavement and rape of non-Muslim women.

Suad Saleh, a female professor of doctrine at Al Azhar University, correctly defines the Arabic phrase melk al-yamin — “right hand possession” (see Koran 4:3):

[Non-Muslim] female prisoners of wars are “those whom you own.” In order to humiliate them, they become the property of the [Muslim] army commander, or of a Muslim, and he can have sex with them just like he has sex with his wives.

Ms. Saleh’s comments are not new or unique. Countless Muslims — beginning with Muhammad himself — have confirmed that Islam permits the sexual enslavement of non-Muslim women seized during the jihad.

Saleh cannot even take the “honor” of being the first Muslim woman to support this inherently misogynistic creed.

Of interest here to the West is how the Al Azhar professor claims the Islamic institution of sex slavery is fair and just — it’s just that too many Muslims exploit it, to the detriment of Islam:

Some [Muslim] opportunists and extremists, who only harm Islam, say: “I will bring a woman from East Asia, as [as a sex slave] under the status of ‘right hand possessions.’ And with the consent of my wife, I will allocate this woman a room in the house, and will have sex with her as a slave girl.”This is nonsense. This is not prescribed by Islam at all. Islam says that a woman is either a wife or a slave girl. Legitimately owned slaves come from among prisoners from a war.

Saleh is correct in saying that many Muslim men twist the “right hand possession” law in ways that allow them to have extramarital sex. For example, some years back in Egypt a Muslim scholar formally took a woman to be his “right hand possession,” even though she wasn’t conquered in a jihad and in fact entered the agreement willingly.

Yet what Professor Saleh and Muslim apologists fail to understand is that an inherently unjust and uncivilized law — such as one that permits the sexual enslavement of “infidel” women — will, by nature, always be “abused.”

For example, Saleh and others would insist that the mass rape and sexual abuse of European women by Muslim men in Cologne and elsewhere does not fit the literal definition of “right hand possessions.”

However, other interrelated Islamic doctrines command Muslim men to hate all non-Muslims, and to see women — especially “white,” infidel women — as little more than sex objects. In the words of a Muslim who recently murdered a Christian girl in Pakistan for refusing him sex:

Christian girls are only meant for one thing, the [sexual] pleasure of Muslim men.

Moreover, Islamic clerics routinely encourage Muslims to migrate to Europe to help empower Islam anyway they can — including through propaganda, proselytization, apologetics, births, theft, etc. — and not just through violent jihad. If they do any of this, they technically become jihadis. After all — and as the apologists are fond of insisting — jihad literally means “striving” on behalf of Islam.

Thus, many Muslim rapists in Europe believe it their Islamic right and reward to sexually abuse infidel women.

The “exploitation” of Islam’s already unjust and uncivilized laws is common and inevitable.

Muslims are not supposed to coerce non-Muslims to convert (Koran 2:256). Yet from the dawn of Islamic history until to the present, forced conversions have been a normal aspect of Islam. Why?

Because based on the hate that Islam engenders for non-Muslims, “compelling” infidels (especially female ones) to embrace Islam can — and often is — rationalized as an altruistic act. After all, how bad can it be to force hell-bound infidels into the true religion? Moreover, it helps the growth of Islam, and so it can also be seen to fall into the jihad category.

As one human rights report explained while discussing the rampant sexual abuse and forced conversion of Christian girls in Pakistan:

The dark side of the forced conversion to Islam is not restricted only to the religious Muslim groups but also involves the criminal elements who are engaged in rape and abduction and then justify their heinous crimes by forcing the victims to convert to Islam. The Muslim fundamentalists are happy to offer these criminals shelter and use the excuse that they are providing a great service to their sacred cause of increasing the population of Muslims.

Likewise, Islamic law (based on Koran 9:29) calls for the leaders of state to extort money (jizya) from Christian and Jews who live under their authority. Most Muslim countries, thanks to European pressure in the colonial era, abolished this practice and its strictures. However, Muslims around the world know the basics, namely that the non-Muslim is meant to provide the Muslim with wealth and resources. In the words of one caliph to his general in Christian Egypt:

Milk the camel [the Copts] until it gives no more milk, and until it milks blood.

Nearly 1600 years later, a Muslim cleric in the UK receiving welfare referred to British taxpayers as “slaves.”  He explained:

We take the jizya, which is our haq [“right”], anyway. The normal situation by the way is to take money from the kafir [“infidel”], isn’t it? So this is the normal situation. They give us the money — you work, give us the money, Allahu Akbar. We take the money.

Unsurprisingly, all over the Muslim world non-Muslims are being kidnapped and held for ransom, or just robbed and plundered.

The problem isn’t that Muslims aren’t strictly following Islam’s rules concerning the sexual enslavement of infidel women, but rather that Islam allows non-Muslim women to be enslaved in the first place.

The problem isn’t that Muslims aren’t strictly following Islam’s rules concerning conversion, but rather that Islam calls for nonstop enmity and war against non-Muslims in the first place.

The problem isn’t that Muslims aren’t strictly following Islam’s rules concerning who has the ultimate right to collect jizya from infidels, but rather that Islam allows non-Muslims to be plundered in the first place.

It is no solace for non-Muslims to learn that Islam bans their being enslaved, raped, converted, and plundered in certain circumstances while allowing them to be enslaved, raped, coerced, and plundered in others.

ISIS: The Latest Phase of the Jihad

Hoover Institution’s Strategika, by Raymond Ibrahim, Feb. 5, 2016:

The best way to understand the Islamic State (ISIS) is to see it as the next phase of al-Qaeda. All Sunni Islamic jihadi groups—Boko Haram, ISIS, Taliban, al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda, even Hamas—share the same motivations based on a literal and orthodox reading of Islamic history and doctrine: resurrecting a caliphate (which existed in various forms from 632 to 1924) that implements and spreads the totality of sharia, or Islamic law.

ggAccordingly, ISIS’s notorious atrocities—beheading, crucifixion, sexual enslavement, and destruction of non-Sunni places of worship—are being committed by other jihadi groups (e.g., Boko Haram and al-Shabaab, both of which pledged allegiance to ISIS) and even by some Muslim governments (e.g., Saudi Arabia) and individual Muslims around the world.

Conversely, although al-Qaeda (AQ) adheres to the same sharia that ISIS implements, it has long waged a propaganda war against the West. AQ portrays all terrorist attacks on the West, including 9/11, as mere payback for the West’s unjust polices against Muslims, including support for Israel and Arab dictators.[1]

To maintain this “grievance” narrative, AQ knows that the innately supremacist and violent aspects of sharia—for example ISIS’ destruction of churches and subjugation of “infidel” Christian minorities—need to be curtailed or hidden from the Western world.  Otherwise AQ’s efforts of portraying jihadis as “freedom fighters” resisting an oppressive West risk being undermined.[2]

Regardless, AQ’s strategy of turning Western opinion appears to have borne fruit in one pivotal area: canceling longtime Western support for secular Arab dictators. In the context of the “Arab Spring,” the Obama administration turned its back on America’s Egyptian ally of 30 years, Hosni Mubarak; helped ISIS-affiliated jihadis overthrow Libya’s Gaddafi (even though he was complying with Washington); and continues supporting ISIS-affiliated “moderates”[3] to overthrow Syria’s Assad. Idealists in both government and media forgot a primary reason the U.S. had formerly supported secular Arab dictators: they single-mindedly opposed the jihadis.

The result has been a new and emboldened phase of the jihad, a.k.a., ISIS. Born and entrenched in precisely those nations that U.S. leadership brought “freedom and democracy” to—Iraq, Syria, and Libya—ISIS (or al-Qaeda 2.0) is now indifferent to Western opinion. By widely broadcasting its savage triumphalism in the name of Islam, ISIS forfeits the “grievance card” but plays the “strength” card, thus inspiring millions of Muslims. According to the Pew Research Center, in 11 countries alone, at least 63 million and as many as 287 million Muslims support ISIS.[4]

Yet even ISIS works in stages. When criticized by Muslims for killing fellow Muslims and not attacking Israel—the supreme enemy—ISIS responded by saying it was following the pattern of the historic caliphate founded in 632.[5] Then, Caliph Abu Bakr beheaded and crucified tens of thousands of Muslims for apostatizing. Only after the rebel tribes were brought back into the fold of Islam were they set loose to conquer European/Christian territories during history’s early Muslim conquests (634–750). Indeed, it is believed that ISIS’ caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took this name to signify his focus, that is, terrorizing all “hypocrites” and “apostates” until they unify under the caliphate’s banner.

It still remains to be seen whether ISIS’ strategy—inspiring Muslims but losing Western opinion—will succeed. According to polls, “Islamophobia” is on the rise in the West, especially after the rise of ISIS, prompting several politicians to speak more candidly about the catalysts for terrorist violence.

The Obama administration’s weak responses feed into AQ’s narrative that Islamic terrorism at least in part reflects Islamic grievance; and it refuses to connect the actions of any jihadi organization—whether ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, et al—to Islamic teaching.

Time will tell whether the next administration will remain willfully ignorant of the nature of its jihadi enemy—which is fatal in war according to Sun Tzu’s ancient dictum, “know your enemy”—or whether reality will trump political correctness.

[1] See “An Analysis of Al-Qa’ida’s Worldview: Reciprocal Treatment or Religious Obligation?” Also, The Al Qaeda Reader, which separates the organization’s communiqués into two groups: “Propaganda” messages to the West portraying jihadi terrorists as mere freedom fighters, and “Theology” messages to fellow Muslims, preaching the same Islam of ISIS.

[2] See “Al-Qaeda: Defender of Christians?” for a more elaborate explanation of this theme.

[3] For the Syrian Free Army’s role: “Largest Massacre of Christians in Syria Ignored.”

[4]Pew poll: Between 63 million and 287 million ISIS supporters in just 11 countries.”

[5]New Islamic Caliphate Declares Jihad on … Muslims.”

Al Azhar and ISIS: Cause and Effect

al-azharBy Raymond Ibrahim, Nov. 18, 2015:

After being asked why Al Azhar, which is in the habit of denouncing secular thinkers as un-Islamic, refuses to denounce the Islamic State as un-Islamic, Sheikh Nasr said:

It can’t [condemn the Islamic State as un-Islamic].  The Islamic State is a byproduct of Al Azhar’s programs.  So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?  Al Azhar says there must be a caliphate and that it is an obligation for the Muslim world [to establish it].  Al Azhar teaches the law of apostasy and killing the apostate.  Al Azhar is hostile towards religious minorities, and teaches things like not building churches, etc.  Al Azhar upholds the institution of jizya [extracting tribute from religious minorities].  Al Azhar teaches stoning people.  So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?

Nasr joins a growing chorus of critics of Al Azhar.  Last September, while discussing how the Islamic State burns some of its victims alive—most notoriously, a Jordanian pilot—Egyptian journalist Yusuf al-Husayni remarked on his satellite program that “The Islamic State is only doing what Al Azhar teaches… and the simplest example is Ibn Kathir’s Beginning and End.”

Ibn Kathir is one of Sunni Islam’s most renowned scholars; his Beginning and End is a magisterial history of Islam and a staple at Al Azhar.  It is also full of Muslims, beginning with Muhammad, committing the sorts of atrocities that the Islamic State and other Islamic organizations and persons commit.

In February, Egyptian political writer Dr. Khalid al-Montaser revealed that Al Azhar wasencouraging enmity for non-Muslims, specifically Coptic Christians, and even inciting for their murder.  Marveled Montaser:

Is it possible at this sensitive time — when murderous terrorists rest on texts and understandings of takfir [accusing Muslims of apostasy], murder, slaughter, and beheading — that Al Azhar magazine is offering free of charge a book whose latter half and every page — indeed every few lines — ends with “whoever disbelieves [non-Muslims] strike off his head”?

The prestigious Islamic university—which co-hosted U.S. President Obama’s 2009 “A New Beginning” speech—has even issued a free booklet dedicated to proving that Christianity is a “failed religion.”

In short, the phenomenon known as “ISIS” is not a temporal aberration within Islam but rather a byproduct of what is considered normative thinking for Al Azhar—the Islamic world’s most authoritative university.

Also see:

Raymond Ibrahim on Russia’s “Holy War” on ISIS

nby Raymond Ibrahim on October 27, 2015

I was recently interviewed by Erick Stakelbeck on The Blaze TV regarding my article, “Russia Declares Holy War on Islamic State.”  Are Russian claims concerning persecuted Christians sincere or propaganda?  What of Russia’s alliance with Iran?  I respond to these concerns and more in the 7-minute video below: