BREAKING: The Islamic State Is Islamic

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Fresh from that steaming cauldron of Republican Islamophobia, The Atlantic:

In September, Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the Islamic State’s chief spokesman, called on Muslims in Western countries such as France and Canada to find an infidel and “smash his head with a rock,” poison him, run him over with a car, or “destroy his crops.” To Western ears, the biblical-sounding punishments—the stoning and crop destruction—juxtaposed strangely with his more modern-sounding call to vehicular homicide. (As if to show that he could terrorize by imagery alone, Adnani also referred to Secretary of State John Kerry as an “uncircumcised geezer.”)

But Adnani was not merely talking trash. His speech was laced with theological and legal discussion, and his exhortation to attack crops directly echoed orders from Muhammad to leave well water and crops alone—unless the armies of Islam were in a defensive position, in which case Muslims in the lands of kuffar, or infidels, should be unmerciful, and poison away.

The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.

I’m sure President Selfie will be on the case, just as soon as he stops blaming the Seventh Ecumenical Council for demonstrating insensitivity to Muslim sensibilities.

Read the rest of Graeme Wood’s terrifying overview, go here.

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3 thoughts on “BREAKING: The Islamic State Is Islamic

  1. Its fascinating to watch some parts of the left slowly waking to the reality of Islam. As the article makes clear, the Islamic State is profoundly religious and deeply serious about practicing Islam in precisely the right way. The way Wood describes the western apologists of ISIS actually reminds me of some of my friends who are very serious about arguing for Christianity. The core difference is the underlying religion, not the best interpretation of it. ISIS is a huge, obvious rebuke to the liberal shibboleth that all religions are really the same.

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