ISIS – apostles of the Apocalypse

A caliphate established by radical Muslims that supports genocide and appears intent on precipitating World War 3 with an aim of engineering the Apocalypse – “that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.”

A chilling explanation of what is driving the Islamic State, by Graeme Wood at The Atlantic, and the deadly destination they are intent of reaching.

What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

Short version – they want to revert to practising Islam word for word as written 1500 years ago. This means reliigious law, genocide and precipitating the end of the world.

In conversation, they insist that they will not—cannot—waver from governing precepts that were embedded in Islam by the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers.

The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail.

And being fanalical religion based they are not the sort of people to be persuaded that they might be wrong.

Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. Baghdadi has spoken on camera only once. But his address, and the Islamic State’s countless other propaganda videos and encyclicals, are online, and the caliphate’s supporters have toiled mightily to make their project knowable.

We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.

The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior.

Its rise to power is less like the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (a group whose leaders the Islamic State considers apostates) than like the realization of a dystopian alternate reality in which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million.

And holding territory is an important part of their plans – an essential part.

Control of territory is an essential precondition for the Islamic State’s authority in the eyes of its supporters. This map, adapted from the work of the Institute for the Study of War, shows the territory under the caliphate’s control as of January 15, along with areas it has attacked. Where it holds power, the state collects taxes, regulates prices, operates courts, and administers services ranging from health care and education to telecommunications.

So doing nothing and allowing them to capture and control more territory doesn’t seem a wise option.

But combatting their influence and their spread won’t be easy and it won’t be without paying potentially a heavy price.

They are provoking more and more countries. That must be deliberate.

They want to precipitate World War Three and want it to be the war that ends all wars, the end of human civilisation.

They only represent a small minority of Muslims. But they are growing in numbers and influence.

We should be worried.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent – Edmund Burke

It’s a long article but worth wading through – What ISIS Really Wants

Caliphate (Wikipedia):

A caliphate (Arabic: خِلافة‎ khilāfa) is a form of Islamic government led by a caliph (Arabic: خَليفة‎khalīfah   pronunciation (help·info))—a person considered a political and religious successor to the prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire Muslim community.

The Rashidun caliphs, who directly succeeded Muhammad as leaders of the Muslim community, were chosen through shura, a process of community consultation which some consider an early form of Islamic democracy.

During the history of Islam after the Rashidun period, many Muslim states, almost all of them hereditary monarchies, have claimed to be caliphates.

The Sunni branch of Islam stipulates that, as a head of state, a Caliph should be elected by Muslims or their representatives. Followers of Shia Islam, however, believe a Caliph should be an Imam chosen by God from the Ahl al-Bayt (the “Family of the House”, Muhammad’s direct descendants).

In 2014, the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levantdeclared itself a Caliphate; nonetheless, its authority remains unrecognised by any country.

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20 Comments

  1. “Short version – they want to revert to practising Islam word for word as written 1500 years ago. This means reliigious law, genocide and precipitating the end of the world.”

    Wood doesn’t know what he is talking about. Salafism sells itself as fundamentalism, but it’s ideals and goals are diametrically opposed to the the original philosophy of Islam.

    The west is at a major disadvantage in understanding Islam because it is beholden to a financial empire which depends on usury, and usury is forbidden in Islam.

    Reply
  2. “This map, adapted from the work of the Institute for the Study of War, shows the territory under the caliphate’s control as of January 15”

    ISIS are blind apostates, they are not the Islamic caliphate.

    Reply
  3. I don’t understand any of this stuff.

    Reply
    • Religious nutters want to hurry on Armageddon. That’s the simple version. Luckily, religious nutters tend to be their own worst enemies and soon fall out/split/wander off on their own versions of what their religious gobbledegook is supposed to really mean.
      And even if this particular lot of nutters does succeed…well, everybody gotta die sometime, ass Sgt Barnes points out in Platoon.

      Reply
      • Best summary – imagine a death cult (like Jim Jones or David Koresh), due to the incompetence and corruption of the governments, managed to seize control of an area with 8 million people, and they are trying their best to recreate a sick medieval religious fantasy and bring about the apocalypse.

        Reply
    • You could think of it as a fact finding exercise for mankind. The facts can be learned the easy way, by investigation, or the hard way, by inevitability.

      Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  18th February 2015

    What they really want is power. Religion is just the easiest means to that end – for the masses which are ruled by demagogues and warlords in broken countries and for disaffected and powerless minorities in democratic countries.

    The best way to destroy it is to show that it fails to win power anywhere. That means an armed and crushing response to the violence it employs. I see no alternative.

    Reply
    • You can’t show that it fails to “win” power anywhere. Its power in Syria derived in part from taking control of strategic infrastructure, which will not be crushed while it is aligned with US regional goals.

      Reply
  5. Missy

     /  18th February 2015

    The growth of ISIS in the last 12 months or so is quite scary, and contrary to some views I have read on the internet I doubt much of that growth is because the US is funding them. I believe that some of the reason for the growth of ISIS is due entirely to the leaks by Edward Snowden. This has not been hinted in any reporter, or for that matter any commenter / commentator on the blogs I read, I think because it is a little inconvenient for many to admit that perhaps the leaks by Snowden were damaging.

    The head of MI6 warned over 12 months ago that the leaks would prove to be to the advantage of the terrorists, and last year at a parliamentary committee it was stated by the Intelligence Chiefs in the UK that due to the Snowden leaks intelligence collection had been set back by several years as many of the terrorist cells in the UK had gone quiet on the internet.

    I truly believe that some of what we are seeing now with ISIS and ISIS inspired individuals are consequences of the Snowden leaks, and the media that published that information have enabled the growth of this organisation and it’s followers.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  18th February 2015

      Doubt Snowden had any impact on the Sunni takeover of northern Iraq or the Syrian civil war. More likely to have made it a bit harder to identify and track bad guys in the West.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  20th February 2015

        It would be naive to assume only the Western intelligence agencies have been impacted by the Snowden leaks. Intelligence collection is likely to be carried out in similar ways all over the world, so if information gets out about how one country collects, it is likely that others will also be impacted by the changes in the way these groups operate to evade our intelligence services.

        So, I believe that a case could be argued that the Iraqi and Syrian intelligence services may also be finding it difficult to track terrorists, and therefore Snowden could potentially have an impact on events that are not connected to the West.

        Reply
  6. Brown

     /  19th February 2015

    Its much easier than you think. Islam has always been violent and a quite visible battle has wobbled about across Africa, Middle East, India and Europe for 1400 years. ISIS are good Muslims because they act the way their prophet did. The Islamic teachings are all self referencing – the Koran is the word of Allah because the prophet says so and the prophet had divine revelations from Allah because the Koran says so. You are not allowed to critique or question this and that makes it brain dead theology for morons. You cannot drag this violent 7th century rubbish into a civilised world because, being Allah’s word, it cannot be revisited.

    Your supposed moderate Muslims are not good Muslims because they have fallen away from the fundamentals of the revelation of llah. The problem we now face is that the west has become infected with progressive and liberal rubbish and self loathing. The political elite has welcomed millions of those that want to see the west’s relative civilisation gone and replaced with Sharia law.

    The west will win by kicking Muslims out – all of them. They have no place in the west and you need to be for it or against it – there is no middle ground.

    Reply
    • I think the extreme actions of ISIS will end up being rejected and reviled by the majority of Muslims around the world.

      Fighting factions of Christians have managed to learn to co-exist reasonably peacefull despite major differences in interpretation of their faitghs. I don’t see why common decency can’t win over most Muslims.

      The key is education. That’s what turned the Christian world around. It took a long time but it can happen, especially in the modern world of uber communications.

      Reply
    • “ISIS are good Muslims because they act the way their prophet did.”

      You don’t know what you are talking about, Brown. ISIS are apostates who reject the principles of justice described in the Quran.

      “The Islamic teachings are all self referencing”

      Wrong. They depend on Mohammad’s status a prophet.

      Reply
  7. Graeme Wood doesn’t have a fucking clue what he is talking about. He quotes Bernard Haykel as an “expert”, who says “As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts.”

    Religion is based on what people believe, not what they do. Heykel is looking to the actions of apostates and hypocrites when he should be looking to the original beliefs as described in the Quran.

    Reply
  8. Brown

     /  19th February 2015

    Wherever you have moderate Muslims you will have good Muslims like ISIS that follow the Koran’s clear teachings. I wish them no harm but we need to really discuss the Koran without having our heads lopped off. God luck, its not permitted to question Allah.

    Ugly truth, you are a fool.

    Reply
  9. Brown

     /  20th February 2015

    FFS Ugly, read the bloody thing, study the history of Islam and find out what the “moderates” still want in the 21st century. You can give them the time of day but they’ll still have your head on a spike tomorow.

    Reply
    • So you can’t answer the question, no surpises there then. BTW how did your other attempts to predict the future work out for you, Brown?

      Reply

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