To understand ISIS motivation, can we learn from Muslim history?
We are seeing with our own eyes men and women who are radically committed to redoing, even reliving Islam, the perfect Islamic Community, as lived by The Prophet Mohammad, and the few generations after. Known broadly as Salafism, in general, these men are Wahhabists. A Saudia Arabia based sect, the spread of which the Saudis have financed all over the world. Extreme, pure, simple, true to Islam.
The Islamic State are including brutality, slavery, brutal beheading, and destruction of ‘idol temples’, all demonstrations of their ability to beat ‘The Crusaders’. Crucufixions, mass rape, plunder, and of course, suicidal attacks, if done within the rules, are considered highly honorable to warriors.
Since they are committed to the reproduction of early Islam, what can we see as parallels between the beginning of Islam, and what they hope is an apocalyptic conclusion?
Global Empire Weakness
The first thing we must see is a 7th century global big-picture of empires and power diminished by conflict. The Persian Empire (Iran) fought with Byzantium (the Greek Orthodox Eastern Roman Empire). At the same time Turks took over Central Asia as China also went through a time of imperial weakness. Of course the Western half of the Roman Empire was already being overcome by barbarians. All of these factors created a power vacuum in the Middle East, especially the ‘empty’ deserts, that brought Arab tribes raiding on the periphery of the Persian and Byzantium empires, even before Muhammad and Islam took advantage for the great cause of Allah.
What is the current global empire weakness?
Today’s Power Vacuum
So today, there is a power vacuum created first by the Soviet Unions demise (defeated in part by Afghan Mujahideen), and America’s inability to provide sustainable structure to replace Sadam Hussein and his Baathist stronghold, and Assad’s Baathist rule of Syria. This has left America weak and in debt. Retreating from the Middle East to face the new Empire of China, which is finally re-establishing it’s world power status after several centuries of European and then Japanese colonization.
With the upheaval of empires the view of ISIS is clear: Reproduce the Caliphate, a philosophy that does not believe in colonial boundaries. Israel must be wiped out. Many more nationalistic borders must be erased, this includes replacement of infidel-backslidden royalty (Saudis) in the holy land of Mecca.
The drive of most of those involved is to recreate the near-perfect Umma (Islamic Community), then by force if necessary, take the simple message of Islam to the whole world, restoring it’s proper place in this world, to make way for their end-of-this-world climactic and apocalyptic return of Jesus (yes, Jesus appears, subordinate to Muhammad) and then of course, Muhammad himself.
Islam, A Religious Revolution
Second, a religious revolution. There were many prophets in Arabia, preaching forms of two monotheistic religions, both Judaism and Christianity. Many Arabs were attracted by monastic and ascetic Christianity. Yemen, for example, was ruled for centuries by a dynasty that converted to Judaism. Muhammad was able to take the strands of these religions (600 years after Jesus), well known by many before him, absorbed as he traveled the trade caravan routes, and weave them into an almost perfect Arab version. This new religion, Islam, made way for Muhammad to first rule most of the tribes of Arabia, so they might be converted from polytheism to Islam.
Then, instead of individual tribes raiding at the edges of the Persian and Byzantium empires, this new united-by-religion wave of Arab warriors created a holy caliphate conquering Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Persia, to the Gates of Constantinople and beyond. The goal of the caliphate is simple: bring the perfect and finished revelation of Allah to the entire world. If force is necessary (since many infidels resist) then that is clearly blessed by Muhammad (thus blessed by Allah). Eventually this holy army included many other nationalities.
Wealth and Power to Spread Islam
The men who are leading ISIS, and the soldiers following believe that they are leading a righteous and holy religious revolution. Their fresh experience of plunder, slaves (soldiers are promised wives), and power to force ‘pure’ Islam, is clearly not only promised by the Qu’ran, but commanded by the very Word of Allah through his final prophet, Muhammad. This wealth and power will fund the spread of Islam. So will taking back the Holy Lands of Mecca and Jerusalem.
All other weak Muslims, and infidel Jews and Christians must be forced to convert, or pay a tax and live as second-class citizens. Many are simply killed, which makes their home and wealth available plunder.
Not only is wealth gained now, great honor and future blessing in eternity are reserved for those who do the most to advance Islam, especially striking killer blows at the obscene, unholy, perverse, and immoral infidel nations. They will not rest until Islam is spread throughout the world. In their third try the Turkic Islamic Caliphate pushed to take over Spain, almost to Paris, and to Vienna in Eastern Europe.
They Simply Will Not Give Up
I am amazed and saddened to hear ‘experts’ on TV say that the current Islamic terrorism really has nothing to do with Islam. That is ridiculous political-correctness, with a lack of honest historical perspective.
ISIS has experienced rapid success in it’s raids at the edges of frayed empires (Syria and Iraq and Iran) So they now conquer and rule from Raqqua to Mosul to Ramadi. Like their heroic Prophet and his Arab army they have moved to conquering geographic territory, and founding the final-countdown caliphate. This is major friends! It will not be easily erased. In fact, it might be impossible to reverse.
Make no mistake, the plan is to conquer, first all that is Muslim and was part of the first Caliphate. That would be Pakistan to Jerusalem to Mecca to Northern Africa. They are using international Jihad veterans, to raise up local armies of Holy warriors.
The recent ‘raids’ in Paris, Beruit, Baghdad and 242 Russians in Sinai are the Caliphate flexing it’s raiding muscles. Young men demonstrating their extreme godliness, giving their lives to shed the blood of as many infidels as possible. We will see more. Much more. In Europe, America, Russia, and Iran (Persia). Iran is fighting Arabia again, this time each pushing their version of Islam.
Surveys show that of the 1.5 billion Muslims fully 10% favor the Wahabbi-Salafist form of Islam being practiced by ISIS. Many others fully believe that an end-time caliphate will rise up, but they do not favor the level of violence being practiced. Yet, that 10% is 150,000,000 people! The other 90% are passive, not sure fighting ISIS is right. Fueled first by hatred of Israel, determined to conquer Jerusalem. Israel will be attacked again by fervent Islamic jihadi’s.
And one generation of hatred leads to another. We are not facing a ‘new threat’. In the 1920’s, when the WW1 lines were fresh, the Ikwhan’s, fiery pure Wahhabi warriors from Eastern Arabia set out to conquer and purify Islam in the Middle East. They raided and plundered to Jordan and Iraq, working to overthrow the Hashemite royalty (King Abdullah of Jordan’s great-grandfather and uncles). They were wiped out by machine guns fired from British biplanes.
These prequel of ISIS warriors had helped the British and Saudis take and keep power during WW1, but then felt betrayed, and hated the impurities of both. They resisited the Saudi family ruling Arabia, and so were wiped out by Britain, an important ally.
What is happening now has actually happened many times in Muslim history.
Cleaning up and practicing the simple holiness of submission. But now it is too big to go away. If we are going to do the right thing we must look at history closely and then decide. Russia is on a holy crusade. Putin’s effort was officially sanctified (an Orthodox fatwa!) by the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church!
All of this is craziness before our eyes. Muslim-powered murder and mayhem, proudly on display so the world clearly understands, Islam must rule, in Paris. All around the world. That is so painful. Do we respond with hatred?
What can history teach us?