Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Let’s hope someone at the White House reads Graeme Woods’s brilliant essay, “What ISIS really wants”

The White House has just released a statement condemning the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians by ISIS which fails to mention one or two minor details that you or I might have considered vaguely relevant – such as the fact that the murdered men were all CHRISTIANS and that the blood-crazed brutes who slaughtered them were all MUSLIMS. Ah, but hang on – the leader of the Free World, one Barack Hussein Obama, has made it very clear that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. The Atlantic (which I was being very rude about two days ago) has just published a superb, towering piece of journalism which makes it very clear indeed that ISIS could hardly be more Islamic if it tried. (The article can be found here.)

The urgent need to get Obama and his minions to stop misunderstanding the enemy (or at the very least to stop deliberately misrepresenting it) was underlined for me by watching a snippet of some blonde White House libtard telling MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that the best way to combat ISIS might be to make sure the fighters had jobs. Just pause for a moment. Yup, that’s right – the Ismlamist warriors of ISIS are, you know, kinda bored and disaffected cos, like, there isn’t a government apprentice scheme or whatever to give them a leg-up in life or a local youth centre or whatever. The current US administration evidently thinks it’s dealing with a few problem kids from the ghetto. Next, they’ll be sending Al Sharpton over for a chat with the gangbangers (actually, that’s not a bad idea, especially if they tell him to emphasise the fact that he’s a Baptist minister – that’d go down well).

On the vexed issue of whether ISIS is or is not Islamic, Graeme Woods has this to say:
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.
Of course, Obama – and our very own David Cameron – are just parroting the “nothing to with us, guv” stance of many Muslims:
Many mainstream Muslim organizations have gone so far as to say the Islamic State is, in fact, un-Islamic. It is, of course, reassuring to know that the vast majority of Muslims have zero interest in replacing Hollywood movies with public executions as evening entertainment. But Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition… 
...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.”
Fascinating! As are the sections  dealing with the (marked) differences between ISIS and other creepy-crawlie Islamist groups, including Al-Quaeda, Hammas and Hezbollah (ISIS appears to regard practically every other Muslim as an apostate). Equally fascinating is the revelation that ISIS is an apocalyptic sect absolutely gagging for an “end of days” scenario, whose game-plan we already know. One particularly interesting point highlighted by Woods is that without territory, ISIS (unlike Al-Quaeda) would crumble – the fact that it managed to occupy large areas of Iraq and Syria is what gave it legitimacy, which in turn allowed it to announce a caliphate, leading to a huge boost in recruitment. The one thing guaranteed to weaken ISIS - possibly fatally - would be a sizeable loss of territory. That would probably require lots of American boots on the ground – which, unfortunately, doesn’t tend to end well, and which is exactly what these vile apocalyptic shags want.

Graeme Woods’s article is long, but extraordinarily rewarding. Let’s just hope the man upon whom the presidency seems to hang “like a giant’s robe upon a dwarfish thief” can spare some time in between taking selfies and honing his golf swing to read the damn thing, because, as Woods puts it, "We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal."

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