It's easy for Western minds to dismiss these radical Islamists as insane, trying to establish conditions exactly the way their prophet ordered it in the Koran. They are far from insane; they're methodically reconstructing the seventh century world as they believe they're commanded to. They are perfect Muslims in their minds and attack anyone who believes in anything their spiritual leaders say is wrong. In short, in the words of the subtitle of that piece:
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.I've stated before in various places that Islam is Satanic. I realize that probably sounds inflammatory, especially to non-evangelicals, but all it means is that it follows tenets that are anti-Christian. Among those beliefs is that phrase "...it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse". Christians don't believe God requires us to create the apocalypse. God could end the world in an instant if He desired. If you compare the biblical book Revelations to Islamic stories of the return of the 12th Imam - the Mahdi - from a well in Iran, I think it can easily be envisioned that they're talking about a similar story but from opposite sides. Unlike the Christian end-times talk, Muslims who follow this theology believe they need to go on such a killing spree as to wash the world in blood before their leader will return.
I'll be honest: I haven't finished the article, but I think it's worthwhile reading - if not mandatory for understanding the world in 2015. I'll excerpt some pieces here that particularly made me take notice:
That's probably too much to have excerpted here, but these are important pulls. There is no negotiation with the Islamic State. All you have to look at is their imagery: the crucified men and children; the beheaded prisoners, including little girls barely beyond toddler age; prisoners drowned en masse, burned to death, or beheaded in lines along the beaches. Then we find their own doctrine forbids negotiation or making peace in any way. No, their doctrine ensures that the only response proper for the Islamic State is the same as for an invasive cancer. Every single cell must be killed. The author of that piece offers as one of his conclusions that a slow, continuous bleeding of ISIS might be the best of the bad solutions to dealing with them.
- 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.
- In fact, much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse.
- 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. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it.
- Following takfiri doctrine, the Islamic State is committed to purifying the world by killing vast numbers of people. The lack of objective reporting from its territory makes the true extent of the slaughter unknowable, but social-media posts from the region suggest that individual executions happen more or less continually, and mass executions every few weeks. Muslim “apostates” are the most common victims. Exempted from automatic execution, it appears, are Christians who do not resist their new government. Baghdadi permits them to live, as long as they pay a special tax, known as the jizya, and acknowledge their subjugation. The Koranic authority for this practice is not in dispute.
- According to Haykel, the ranks of the Islamic State are deeply infused with religious vigor. Koranic quotations are ubiquitous. “Even the foot soldiers spout this stuff constantly,” Haykel said. “They mug for their cameras and repeat their basic doctrines in formulaic fashion, and they do it all the time.” He regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous, sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts.” Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. “And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else.”
- The Koran specifies crucifixion as one of the only punishments permitted for enemies of Islam. ... Leaders of the Islamic State have taken emulation of Muhammad as strict duty, and have revived traditions that have been dormant for hundreds of years. “What’s striking about them is not just the literalism, but also the seriousness with which they read these texts,” Haykel said. “There is an assiduous, obsessive seriousness that Muslims don’t normally have.”
- If al-Qaeda wanted to revive slavery, it never said so. And why would it? Silence on slavery probably reflected strategic thinking, with public sympathies in mind: when the Islamic State began enslaving people, even some of its supporters balked. Nonetheless, the caliphate has continued to embrace slavery [including sex slavery - SiG] and crucifixion without apology. “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women,” Adnani, the spokesman, promised in one of his periodic valentines to the West. “If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.”
- The biggest proponent of an American invasion is the Islamic State itself. The provocative videos, in which a black-hooded executioner addresses President Obama by name, are clearly made to draw America into the fight. An invasion would be a huge propaganda victory for jihadists worldwide: irrespective of whether they have given baya’a to the caliph, they all believe that the United States wants to embark on a modern-day Crusade and kill Muslims.
- Properly contained, the Islamic State is likely to be its own undoing. No country is its ally, and its ideology ensures that this will remain the case. The land it controls, while expansive, is mostly uninhabited and poor. As it stagnates or slowly shrinks, its claim that it is the engine of God’s will and the agent of apocalypse will weaken, and fewer believers will arrive. And as more reports of misery within it leak out, radical Islamist movements elsewhere will be discredited: No one has tried harder to implement strict Sharia by violence. This is what it looks like.
- The Islamic State awaits the army of “Rome,” whose defeat at Dabiq, Syria, will initiate the countdown to the apocalypse. [All bold emphasis added - SiG]