Further discrediting the oft-heard claim that ‘ISIS has nothing to do with Islam.’ You don’t usually see long blocks of text here, but this is worth your attention.
It happened because the Islamic State, the latest version of the Islamo-apocalyptic movement, has decided that Western democracies, representing the “Infidel” world, are no longer prepared to fight even to preserve their comfortable lives. The Paris attacks came on the first day of the Muslim lunar month of Safar, which coincides with the anniversary of the Prophet Mohammed’s first successful “ghazva” (raid) against the “infidel” at Safwan in 623 AD.
The Islamic State is already referring to the Paris attacks as another “ghazva,” promising many more. The aim is to terrorize all mankind into submitting to the diktats of The Only True Faith.
This is how Sheikh Abu-Bakr Naji, the late theoretician of the Sunni version of the Islamo-apocalyptic movement, put it: “No one should feel safe without submitting, and those who refuse to submit must pay a high price. The aim of our movement is to turn the world into a series of wildernesses in which only those under our rule enjoy security.”
The sheikh’s neo-jihadi theory was explained a decade ago in his magnum opus “Governance in the Wilderness” (“Edarat al Tawwahush”). The book rejected al Qaeda’s theory of war based on the assumption that “the infidel” would succumb to Islamic rule with a few spectacular attacks such as 9/11 against New York and Washington. The sheikh further examines what he calls “the five schools of jihad” to reveal their inadequacies.
According to the sheikh, in a world dominated by “Crusaders,” it is not possible to create a proper Islamic state in a single country. He cites as example the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Although a proper Islamic regime, it did not survive “infidel” attacks and opposition by Afghan elements.
The Islamic movement must become global, fighting everywhere, all the time, and on all fronts. He wants neo-jihadis to create an archipelago of “wildernesses” in non-Muslim countries, especially in the West, turning them into parallel societies alongside existing ones. They do not set up formal governments that could be vulnerable to economic pressure or even military attack.
To our neo-jihadi sheikh, these parallel societies could resemble “liberated zones” set up by Marxist guerrillas in parts of Latin America in the last century. But they could also exist within cities, under the noses of the authorities, operating as secret societies with their own rules, values and enforcement mechanisms.
The “wilderness” will provide cover for operational bases. Jihad would be everywhere rather than in just one or two countries that the “infidel” could hit with superior firepower.
The sheikh recommends “countless small operations” that render daily life unbearable rather than a few spectacular attacks such as 9/11. The idea is that the “infidel,” leaving his home every morning, should not be sure whether he would be alive in the evening.
The sheikh believed that, if subjected to constant intimidation and fear of death, most non-Muslims, especially in the West, would submit to Islam in exchange for a minimum of tranquility. The only Western power still capable of resisting was the United States. But that, too, would change with a new president. (That was before Obama was elected.) In any case, the sheikh, quoting historian Paul Kennedy, has no doubt that “America is destined to fall.”
The sheikh’s theory is built on the concept of terror as the main organizing principle of the mini-states he hopes to set up in preparation for the coming caliphate.
The Paris “ghazva” used a tactic that some call “symphonic” because it offered several forms of terrorism in different themes, mixing regular military-style assaults with classical terrorism and kamikaze operations. Thus we had suicide attacks aimed at a sports stadium packed with 80,000 people, random shooting from at least two cars on people in restaurants and terrace cafes, a raid on a concert hall and the holding of hostages, and a gun battle with the security forces.
The Islamic State’s message is stark: Western civilization is doomed. Its last bastion, America, lacks the will for war. The infidel loves life and treats it as an endless feast. Jihadis have to ruin that feast and persuade the “infidel” to abandon this world in exchange for greater rewards in the next.
Terrorism is a beast with an extraordinary ability to mutate. As soon as its victims have learned to cope with its methods, it develops new ones. Groups of anarchists throwing bombs follow the lone assassin who targets a king or a political leader.
The hijacking of passenger jets is replaced by the transformation of aircraft into missiles against fixed buildings. All the time, the intention is to terrorize the largest number of people, eroding the ordinary man’s confidence in the ability of the authorities to protect him, and, in the long run, persuading a majority of the people, who just want to live their lives, to trade their freedom for the security that the terrorist promises in his utopia.
Paris was attacked not because of what the French do, as some blame-the-West intellectuals claim, but because of what the French are: infidels who refuse to see the light of Islam. The hope is that just as the Prophet forced the Arab tribes to accept Islam in exchange for protection, the “infidel” nations will also decide that it is in their best interest to submit.
Today, however, I see no sign the French tend toward submission. As always, the terrorists may end up like the man who, having won a great many tokens at the roulette table, is surprised when the casino tells him his winnings cannot be cashed.
This is still the spirit of America