Guardian Liberty Voice has corrected this article to read Sunni-dominated ISIS.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is the organization that has quickly gained control of vast areas of Syria and Iraq using no-holds-barred tactics such as beheadings, kidnappings, and bombings, has now declared that one of its goals is “to fight the barbaric Jews and kill those of them hiding behind the gharqad trees, the trees of the jews.” Ghargad is a small bush the grows on desert sand dunes. In order to commit such murder, ISIS said it will first “do everything within its means to continue striking down every apostate who stands as an obstacle on its path towards Palestine.” This area is composed of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, as well as other places.
The intent of the group to take control of Palestine is shored up by media reports that ISIS cells are forming inside the Gaza Strip. Moreover, its intent to murder Jews was advertised last month when hooded ISIS members chanted “Death to Jews” at a protest in The Netherlands.
Inflammatory statements appeared in ISIS’ new, slick English language publication, Dabiq, which is geared toward young Muslims in Western states. The New Republic said the magazine “looks like a New York glossy with pictures of mutilated bodies.” Unlike other militant recruiting publications (i.e. Al Qaeda’s Inspire), Dabiq avoids religious text and relies on calls-to-action that sound contemporary, and therefore, digestible for young recruits hoping for a chance to die for their cause. It also prominently displays front-and-center writings about a coming apocalypse.
The magazine declares ISIS’ “commitment to making the religion of Allah triumphant over all other religions” and that ISIS’ fighters will continue “until we die trying to make the religion triumphant.” With major victories on either side of the Euphrates River, ISIS has claimed vast swaths of territory for the Islamic State it wishes to create in the Gaza Strip and elsewhere.
ISIS became very present in the Western consciousness when it recently published a video of James Foley, an American journalist, being executed. Estimates are that up to one-half of the people in ISIS’ ranks are from the West. The top suspect in Foley’s death–the man believed to have beheaded him–is a British rapper nicknamed “Jihadi John” by his ISIS colleagues.
Dabiq does not publish Arab poetry, as previous jihadist publications have. It is written, instead, in simple English, a language that young Muslims in the United States or Europe can relate to. Its latest (second) issue implores readers to perform hijrah, or to travel “from the state of the infidel to the state of Islam.”
Dabiq shows branding sophistication in its obvious desire to appeal to its target audience via using a slick format and many graphic illustrations. High quality photographs show ghastly executions and jihadists on battlefields. The terrorist acts that are described are rationalized in the magazine by ISIS’ overall goal of creating a caliphate, or a country ruled over by a strict and horrifying interpretation of Islamic Law, or Sharia. Intent as it is on Palestine, Dabiq offers the promise of the murder of Jews as a recruiting enticement.
The leader, or caliph, of ISIS is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has been criticized for not helping Palestinian civilians from being killed in the recent hostilities with Israel in the Gaza Strip. His new magazine states that, unlike the empty words of Arab nations who say much and act little, theirs should not be taken lightly.
In addition to its giant presence in war-torn Syria, the Sunni-dominated ISIS also stormed across Iraq recently, conquering Sunni cities and, according to the United Nations, driving over one million people from their homes and committing murder upon an untold number of Jews, as well as other ethnicities. In an episode reminiscent to the homes of Jews being marked in 1930s Germany, ISIS showed its intent by marking the homes of Christians in Mosul with a “N” for Nazarene. ISIS then forcibly removed all Christians from their homes and destroyed all of the local Christian institutions. For ISIS, it is Palestine or bust, apparently.
Opinion By Gregory Baskin
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