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.