The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
On October 21, 2021, the Islamic State (ISIS) released issue 309 of its weekly newspaper Al-Naba', which included an editorial highlighting the objectives of jihad and asserting that jihad distinguishes between true believers who believe in the "divine secret," and those who only pretend to believe.
The editorial argued that Allah has made it obligatory for Muslims to wage jihad because "it is an irreplaceable religious practice and the only way for certain goals to be achieved."
The most significant purpose of jihad, said the editorial, is that it "distinguishes between believers, who believe in the divine secret, from those who only pretend to be believers." Another objective highlighted in the editorial is that "the religion can be empowered by waging jihad, because the people of unbelief will not accept Islam, nor will they accept the followers of Islam as having power in the world, especially nowadays, when those in power ensure that parts of the commandments of Allah are not implemented, in an effort to please the East and the West."
According to the editorial, by waging jihad, people are "guided to practice that which they were created to do, [because] the leaders of unbelief stand between the religion of Allah and the people who will benefit from it in their interests and their lives. Allah ordered Muslims to wage jihad so that they will uproot the thrones [of unbelief] and allow the religion to reach the people."
Boasting about the successful expansion of Islam in the world thanks to the mujahideen, the editorial said they reached as far as China, Spain, France, Russia, Vienna, and Africa. It then disputed claims that Islam spread due to people converting thanks to Muslim merchants. The editorial stated: "When you reflect on the conquests [made] during the first 100 years of the Islam, when the horses of the fighters reached beyond Spain, you may question the nonsense uttered by those who downplay [the impact] of jihad."
By waging jihad, the editorial further argued, Islam will be protected from disrespect, distortion, and the failure to implement shari'a law. It cited the example of "distorting the concept of Shura [advisory council] to mean democracy and disabling the hudoud [...] under the false claim that they are unsuitable for this era [...] Those who make such claims can only be deterred by death and suffocation."
The editorial also noted that by waging jihad, Muslims will feel safe, and their assets and families will be protected. The killing of Muslims, it claimed, increases when Muslims abandon jihad, and the ongoing attacks carried out by mujahideen on the "Crusaders and their allies" have saved the lives of Muslims for the past several decades.
When they wage jihad, the editorial added, Muslim thrive, but when they do not, they become impoverished, because "the resources of their countries are be transported to the countries of their Crusader enemies[;] this is a punishment from Allah for abandoning jihad."
The editorial concluded by stating that by waging jihad, the unbelievers "who opposed Allah and harm his people" will be humiliated. It then cited Quran 9:14: "Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you (to victory) over them, heal the chests of Believers."