February 1, 2016 Special Dispatch No. 6288

Iraqi Journalist Comes Out Against Claim That ISIS Has Nothing To Do With Islam

February 1, 2016
Special Dispatch No. 6288

In an article titled "Does Terror Truly Have No Religion?" in the pro-Iranian Iraqi newspaper Al-Akhbar, Iraqi journalist Fadel Boula came out against the claim, which is frequently heard in the Arab world and outside it, that the terror of the Islamic State (ISIS) and its ilk is completely unrelated to Islam. He pointed out that these terror organizations are motivated by an extremist Salafi ideology and claim that their atrocities represent Allah's will and directives.

The following are excerpts from his article:[1]  

Fadel Boula (image: Al-Akhbar, Iraq)

"[Does terror truly have no religion?] This slogan is uttered regarding terror, as though [terror] reflects a picture that is completely unrelated to its perpetrators' religious affiliation, and as though there are no religious goals or values behind it, but only a state of insanity that causes those afflicted with it to run amok, unaware of what they are doing or what [they seek] to achieve by their actions - [actions] that disgust not only human beings but [even] the beasts of the jungle.

"The terror that is shaking the world today is not a natural disaster like a tornado, a thunderstorm or an earthquake, and it is not perpetrated by savage tribes. It is perpetrated by people who enlist [because they are] inspired by a religious ideology. [These people] advocate enforcing and spreading [this ideology as a set of] dogmatic principles that must be imposed by the force of the sword, and which [mandate] killing, expulsion and destruction wherever they go.

"Since its inception, this movement of terror has espoused a Salafi ideology that champions religious extremism, and brainwashed people of all ages have rallied around its flag, [people who were] trained to kill themselves and kill others in order to attain martyrdom.

"The terror organizations that act in the name of religion were born when [the mujahideen] declared Islamic jihad against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan. It was the Saudi sheikh Osama bin Laden who laid the cornerstone for the first [terror] cell, which he named Al-Qaeda. Later he called to launch a war in the name of religion, and young believers, influenced by fatwas of extremist [clerics], especially Saudi ones, flocked from the Muslim lands [to Afghanistan].

"[Then, Abu Mus'ab] Al-Zarqawi formed a branch of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which, calling itself 'the Islamic State in Iraq,' recently settled in the city of Mosul and united with its counterpart in Syria. Thus, a scary organization [namely ISIS] suddenly appeared, which advertises itself as the bearer of Islam's message and banner. [Emulating the early] Islamic conquests, [this organization] invaded Iraq and Syria and appointed a Caliph for the Muslims: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who settled in Mosul and showed its people what [it is like] to be ruled by a government [that is a throwback to] 1,400 years ago, in terms of the treatment [they received] and the plunder of their lands. The invaders attacked the populace of Mosul and eastern Syria, arrested them by the hundreds, and took a sword to their necks, and later singled out the Christians among them and offered them two options: either convert to Islam or pay the poll tax, as happened to their forefathers when the Arabs attacked their lands in the days of the Caliph 'Umar Al-Khattab [583-644 AD]. When [the Christians] rejected this humiliation, [ISIS] seized their property, expelled them from their historic home, the province of Ninveh, and sent them to wander destitute under the skies, seeking rescue and safety.

"As for the Yazidis, their plight was and remains an historic disaster that was inflicted upon them by the God-fearing Caliph [Al-Baghdadi] when he applied to them the verse pertaining to infidels, namely offering them two options: to [either] embrace Islam, or die and have their money, women and children seized. We keep seeing images of innocent people being killed and beheaded by these terrorists, who butcher their victims while crying out "in the name of Allah the merciful" and "Allah akbar." All these crimes are [ostensibly] carried out with Allah's approval, and they are perpetrated by those who praise Allah day and night and who pray fervently and do everything according to His will.

"When the terrorists blew up the World Trade Center and several airplanes, killing thousands of victims, Osama bin Laden, surrounded by his people, said on television: 'This is a victory from Allah.' And now ISIS is bragging about killing innocent people in Paris, saying that it was 'done with Allah's approval,' and threatening that the next attack will be in the U.S., Allah willing. And [Sheikh Yusouf] Al-Qaradhawi and others like him pray and hope that, in the wake of this terrorist momentum, a day will arrive when Muslims inundate Europe and subdue it to Islam. Is this not enough to convince [us] that terror [does] have a religion?"




[1] Al-Akhbar (Iraq), November 18, 2015.

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