The President has made very clear, most recently after the terrorist attack in Orlando, that he believes that the Islamic State has perverted Islam while at the same time vowing to destroy them. He has, quite rightly, called on those with differing theological interpretations of the Quran to assist in the struggle.
Part of this effort has included, quite wrongly, an attempt to ascribe alternative explanations (other than exacting religious fervor) for ISIS’ barbaric hatred, killing, and terrorism.
But if you actually listen to what the radical jihadists have to say about their motivations, they have been extremely clear.
Dabiq (warning: there are some VERY disturbing images contained therein) is an online magazine, published irregularly by the Islamic State for purposes of marketing, propaganda, and scriptural explication. I had never heard of the magazine until listening to Sam Harris’ recent podcast about the most recent issue. This is how the magazine describes itself:
“…a periodical magazine focusing on the issues of tawhid (unity), manhaj (truth-seeking), hijrah (migration), jihad (holy war) and jama’ah (community). It will also contain photo reports, current events, and informative articles on matters relating to the Islamic State.”
“Break the Cross” is the title of the latest release and it is focused on converting non-Muslims to Islam, including an extended unapologetic defense of the religion’s theological roots and truth. Two more articles within are from former Christians, one an American and another from Finland, who explain in energetic detail why they became Muslims and moved to Iraq.
For anyone who has ever read Christian books or articles, the style and passion are immediately recognizable. Obviously, the theological claims are utterly different. As someone who has spent a lifetime reading the Bible and Biblically-based literature, it was equal parts familiar and frightening.
There was one article written specifically to explain the motivations for and intentions of the Islamic State. It is titled “Why We Hate You & Why We Fight You.” Here is the chilling (and VERY direct) opening paragraph:
Shortly following the blessed attack on a sodomite, Crusader nightclub by the mujahid Omar Mateen, American politicians were quick to jump into the spotlight and denounce the shooting, declaring it a hate crime, an act of terrorism, and an act of senseless violence.
A hate crime? Yes. Muslims undoubtedly hate liberalist sodomites, as does anyone else with any shred of their trah (inborn human nature) still intact. An act of terrorism? Most definitely. Muslims have been commanded to terrorize the disbelieving enemies of Allah. But an act of senseless violence? One would think that the average Westerner, by now, would have abandoned the tired claim that the actions of the mujahidin – who have repeatedly stated their goals, intentions, and motivations – don’t make sense.
After a couple of paragraphs explaining the errors of those who try to give alternate explanations for the agenda of the Islamic State, the article gives six detailed reasons why “in unequivocal terms – yet again – why we hate you and why we fight you.” Here are excerpts from each point.
They hate us as disbelievers:
We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son, you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices.
They hate us because we’re secular:
We hate you because your secular, liberal societies permit the very things that Allah has prohibited while banning many of the things He has permitted, a matter that doesn’t concern you because you separate between religion and state, thereby granting supreme authority to your whims and desires via the legislators you vote into power…
They hate us because our country has atheists:
In the case of the atheist fringe, we hate you and wage war against you because you disbelieve in the existence of your Lord and Creator. You witness the extraordinarily complex makeup of created beings, and the astonishing and inexplicably precise physical laws that govern the entire universe, but insist that they all came about through randomness…
They hate us because of our crimes against Islam:
We hate you for your crimes against Islam and wage war against you to punish you for your transgressions against our religion. As long as your subjects continue to mock our faith, insult the prophets of Allah – including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad – burn the Quran, and openly vilify the laws of the Shari’ah, we will continue to retaliate, not with slogans and placards, but with bullets and knives.
They hate us because if our crimes against Muslims:
We hate you for your crimes against the Muslims; your drones and fighter jets bomb, kill, and maim our people around the world, and your puppets in the usurped lands of the Muslims oppress, torture, and wage war against anyone who calls to the truth…
And they hate us as invaders:
We hate you for invading our lands and fight you to repel you and drive you out. As long as there is an inch of territory left for us to reclaim, jihad will continue to be a personal obligation on every single Muslim.
You may want to reread them – I sure did.
Harris asserts that it is absolute lunacy to not take these radicals at their word. He uses a simple analogy: consider someone’s explaining why they want to become a doctor (to help people, have a successful career, etc.) and then coming up with an alternative explanation that has nothing to do with what they said – and one that also makes no sense whatsoever (“I wasn’t good enough to be a professional athlete and decided to become a dermatologist because it was the closest approximate career.”)
One would never second guess those stated motives and one shouldn’t do the same with ISIS, as well. This entire Dabiq article is a response to repeated efforts from many in the West to do just that.
It is VERY simple: the Islamic State is certain that their holy scriptures have required them to do what they’re doing and they have full confidence they do so with the blessing of their deity. They KNOW that they have God on their side and are doing His will. They also understand that they will be eternally rewarded for doing so. Therefore, they will not stop.
We and our political and military leadership ignore this at our peril. The monstrous actions of ISIS are not the result of economic injustices or psychological impairments or anything else. No amount of dialogue, engagement, or other wishful-thinking based actions will affect them. They just have to be aggressively and violently stopped.
This was originally published at Independent Journal Review
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