ISIS Is Only One Strain of Jihad
On Sunday, the UK’s Daily Mirror alerted its readers to the latest edition of Dabiq, the multilingual digital magazine uploaded periodically by the Islamic State terrorist organization. The current issue, the publication’s 15th since its inception in 2014, is titled “Break the Cross,” an apt description of the group’s systematic subjugation and slaughter of Christians.
One of the articles in this edition — “Why we hate you and want to fight you” — lists six reasons for the destruction of the West:
1. “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.”
2. “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.”
3. “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.”
4. “We hate you for your crimes against Islam and wage war against you to punish you for your transgressions against our religion.”
5. “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.”
6. “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.”
Among its other recruitment tools, Islamic State uses glossy graphics and carefully edited translations of the Quran to woo young Muslims and others living in the West into its ranks to fight for its cause.
If the radical Islamist group had not been so successful at this endeavor, one easily could have assumed that the goal of establishing a global caliphate would not be the least bit attractive to anyone other than a handful of lunatic imams. Credit, therefore, must be given to ISIS for discovering a mysterious formula that prompts young people, amid their studying, dating and planning their futures, to drop everything and learn how to commit mass murder in the name of Allah.
But it is the response of the West, which has been suffering increasingly bloody attacks on its shores, that is both baffling and worrisome.
On the one hand, Americans and Europeans view ISIS as the world’s ultimate bogeyman — one worth defeating, even on the battlefield. On the other hand, the very same leaders and pundits who have reached a consensus on the evil nature of Islamic State remain in denial about the many other Islamist organizations and “lone wolves” who commit atrocities on their behalf.
What those leaders and pundits choose not to see is that though ISIS terrorists may be a bit more theatrical than competing killers, they are not worse than members of Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, al-Qaida or Boko Haram. Indeed, though their PR machine is as well-oiled as their literature is articulate, they are not more deserving of eradication than the others. Indeed, every point on ISIS’s list could have been and is made by all jihadis.
Instead of separating Palestinian terrorists into a different category — as those with a legitimate gripe that can be resolved with Israeli concessions — the West needs to wake up to reality.
ISIS is merely one strain of the deadly disease of jihad. An urgent antidote is needed to combat all of its manifestations and mutations. Otherwise, its literal and figurative host bodies will perish.
Ruthie Blum is the managing editor of The Algemeiner.