While U.S. President claims that ISIS is not Islamic, the facts refute his claim.
In his prime-time speech to the nation on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 jihadist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, President Obama stated that the Islamic State terrorists “are not Islamic.”
Speaking from the state floor of the White House residence, Obama said, “Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.”
He went on to say, “And ISIL is certainly not a state. It was formerly al-Qaida’s affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates. ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.”
Truth be told, ISIS does have a vision. It is clearly articulated in a new publication it puts out called, “Dabiq”. This electronic magazine provides an insight into ISIS’s claim to religious authority on the basis of political control. It is VERY Islamic in it worldview and its justification for its actions.
The title of the Dabiq magazine series has symbolic meaning. Dabiq is a small town in northern Aleppo, Syria, where, according to a well-known hadith about Armageddon, Muslims and “Greece” (generally interpreted to mean the West) will clash. (It is interesting to note that in that battle, Muhammad is related to have said that their false Messiah (ad-Dajjāl) will be a young man with long hair and blind in the one eye, and on his forehead will be the three letters K F R, signifying kāfir or infidel. He will first appear midway between Syria and ‘Irāq, and will do many wonders and perform many miracles, and will eventually be slain by Jesus.)
Released digitally on July 5, 2014, a month after the fall of Mosul, the first Dabiq installment provides English-language readers with battlefield updates, administrative reporting, and religious commentary. A second edition, released on July 27, 2014, follows the same format. The main effort of this outreach campaign appears to be the explanation for the Caliphate’s propriety and existence. (Two other editions have followed.)
The magazine is distributed digitally primarily in English and other European languages, and the content carefully builds off a basic set of Islamic religious concepts. The aims of the magazine Seems to be to communicate with both its enemies and potential ISIS supporters in the Western world.
What makes the magazine significant is the fact that it even exists. Dabiq demonstrates that ISIS is looking not only to nearby areas for support, but is undertaking a global outreach strategy to recruit immigrants to build its state. It also shows that ISIS’s publishing capabilities are fairly sophisticated, evidenced by the ability to assemble fifty and forty-four page publications within the span of a few weeks. The publications, in fact, generally reflect facts on the ground within a few days of their publication, indicating a short timeline to publication. ISIS has dedicated significant resources to this effort, as seen in the extensive campaign by ISIS supporters to distribute the publication online, and to launch an international publicity tool while ISIS attacks continue.
These efforts underscore ISIS’s desire to erect a functional Caliphate within the boundaries of its controlled territory. That effort requires political and religious control in addition to military victory, and ISIS has a vision for how the Caliphate will form.
In many ways Dabiq is the Muslim equivalent to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kamph.
Dabiq articulates the ISIS vision in a more comprehensive way than could be gleaned by simply tracking military offensives. The magazine illuminates how ISIS consolidates its power, justifies its authority, sequences its military strategy, and argues against opposition groups. These concepts are communicated in a thoughtful and remarkably public manner. Dabiq demonstrates that ISIS is not a shadowy terrorist cell; rather, it is a proto-state that is testing out the best ways to get the world’s attention, and broader support from the Muslim community abroad.
ISIS is very clear in this magazine that Islam is the driving force for the Caliphate and the movement in general. The magazine states that the Caliphate would be established, a step that would lead to an “all-out war with the unbelievers until the end of time.”
Dabiq implies that ISIS wants to be seen as the jihadist group that will lead the Muslim community into worldwide domination.
The magazine is also calling for the immigration of Muslims to the Caliphate through “Hijrah”, a process they compare to the Jewish “Aliyah”.
The first issue of the magazine is calling for “doctors, engineers, scholars and specialists” to come to the Caliphate. A renewed call for emigration was published in the forward of the second installment of Dabiq, affirming that hijrah to the Islamic State is a literal requirement for all Muslims, not just a symbolic request. The self-proclaimed “Dabiq team,” communicating “the position of the Islamic State leadership,” clarifies that even non-specialists are obliged to rush to the Caliphate as a first priority.
Readers are told to bring their “parents, siblings, spouses, and children,” and that “There are homes here for you and your families.” This summons indicates that ISIS plans to repopulate its territory as a way to establish sustainable control. With a strong base of supporters in place, the organization will likely look to strengthen itself militarily and to expand governance measures, bolstering the sustainability of its new state.
While the West has been very slow to pick up on the seriousness the jihadists are about establishing the Caliphate, Israel is not. In Israel, Jews and Muslims talk openly about a war with the Muslims view a coming war as the fulfillment of prophecy as predicted in the Koran.
Jordan’s King Abdullah is not blind to the current circumstance. In recent weeks he has warned the United States numerous times that a dangerous religious war is brewing over Jerusalem.
Overall, the West does not seem to understand that religion is a cornerstone of anything that goes on in that part of the world. Where the West has separated the Church from the State, Muslims, especially consider Religion preeminent over the State.
If the West fails to come to grips with this concept, they will be in for a very rude and bloody awakening.