February 19, 2015

"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."

Writes Graeme Wood in The Atlantic in "What ISIS Really Wants/The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it."
Centuries have passed since the wars of religion ceased in Europe, and since men stopped dying in large numbers because of arcane theological disputes. Hence, perhaps, the incredulity and denial with which Westerners have greeted news of the theology and practices of the Islamic State. Many refuse to believe that this group is as devout as it claims to be, or as backward-looking or apocalyptic as its actions and statements suggest....
Read the whole chilling thing.

45 comments:

Michael K said...

How dare some writer lecture imam Obama on The Prophet.

mikee said...

"I told you so" is only fun if you are the one doing the telling, and then only if the person you are telling it to hasn't suffered devastation of their economy, culture or nation.

Let's hope lotsa those telling us these things get the opportunity to say "I told you so" when ISIS is history, rather than an even more troublesome foe.

SMGalbraith said...

The Obama Administration wants Muslims to defeat a movement that has, they say, nothing to do with Islam.

Then why must Muslims defeat it?

The idea behind the strategy - to separate Islam from the movement and thereby diminish it - makes sense on one level.

But no one believes this has nothing to do with Islam especially the moderate/non-radical Muslims we need to win out.

It's a war, in large part, within and between Muslims. Denying this only makes the problem worse.

chuck said...

denial with which Westerners

Yeah, right, "Westerners". I'd say, mostly academics, progressives, and other poorly educated thoughtless souls among the liberals. Many of us with better connections to reality never had that problem.

traditionalguy said...

The oldest response in the book to a political group that announces they are going to hunt you down and kill you is to beat them to it.

But Muslim Obama will only allow the use of patience and a slow strategic elimination of that group's enemies for its benefit.

That makes Obama's Presidency into ISIS's most valuable asset.

TreeJoe said...

Nazi ideology makes very little sense to the vast, vast majority of people today and is most commonly rejected.

Nonetheless, it was successful in driving a political party in one country to taking on the entire world within a generation.

Kind of important to identify such ideologies early on, head on.

Bobber Fleck said...

This Althouse thread and the original article are excellent examples of why "net neutrality" is a high priority for the Obama administration.

Oso Negro said...

But our betters have told us repeatedly that it is not Islamic.

Fandor said...

We need a president who can say to the Islamic world,
"If you're not with us, you're against us".

Once that is determined, who's with who, open the gates of hell for ISIS (and pals) in every conceivable way.

No nation building afterwards.

There is a saying, "Rubble makes no trouble".

Larry J said...

It's absurd to claim, as Obama does, that ISIS isn't an Islamic organization. They're extremely Islamic, as the Atlantic article puts it so well. ISIS is the representation of an idea, and ideas are hard to kill. Perhaps the only thing we could do is to so thoroughly and brutally destroy the organization and most especially its leadership as to discredit the idea of a caliphate.

Reforming Islam itself is beyond our power. A few brave voices are starting to speak out on the need to reform Islam. Unfortunately, those will likely be silenced in random acts of workplace violence in short order.

http://jordantimes.com/we-have-a-problem

Rob said...

Prophetic methodology, eh? Perhaps because it's throwback Thursday, that brings to mind the widespread efforts to excuse Rev. Jeremiah Wright's excesses as consistent with the "prophetic tradition" of African-American preaching. Matthew said, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits." Or in the case of ISIL, by their beheadings.

traditionalguy said...

Mohammed was an experienced caravan raider. That was how Arab tribes made a living.

Mohammed wrote down his advice on how to conquer the rich merchant's caravans and murder any resistors as a warning to others who dared to resist his raiding bands. The territory was then made a post for expansion. The conquered that surrendered and joined his band then extended to conquest circle.

Mohammed found it convenient to create his own religion to give a morale boost to the raiders that god liked their work too. He borrowed it from Moses and expected Jews to join him. When Jews refused to join him, he made an example of killing them for resisting him.

The Islam became Judaic laws creating immense guilt for sin with no atonement sacrifices. That too was helped out by killing infidels as the sacrifice acceptable to Allah.

rhhardin said...

The lefty Jacques Derrida taking sides against Islam. He also destroys the arguments of the left against it :

That is why, in this unleashing of violence without name, if I had to take one of the two sides and choose in a binary situation, well I would. Despite my very strong reservations about the American, indeed European, political posture, about the ``international terrorist'' coalition, despite all the de facto betrayals, all the failures to live up to democracy, international law, and the very international institutions that the states of this ``coalition'' themselves founded and supported up to a certain point, I would take the side of the camp that, in principle, by right of law, leaves a perspective open to perfectibility in the name of the ``political,'' democracy, international law, international institutions, and so forth. Even if this ``in the name of'' is still merely an assertion and a purely verbal committment. Even in its most cynical mode, such an assertion still lets resonate within it an invincible promise. I don't hear any such promise coming from ``bin Laden,'' at least not one in this world.

Larry J said...

traditionalguy said...

Mohammed found it convenient to create his own religion to give a morale boost to the raiders that god liked their work.


"You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion."

L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology

Krumhorn said...

b-b-b-but I thought it was about poverty, education, opportunity and root causes!!

Heck, I only know what I'm told by my leftie betters. As someone else observed, leftie realpolitik is a bitch and a half.

- Krumhorn

SteveR said...

as Chuck said, not something I've had trouble understanding.

rhhardin said...

Obama is a community organizer.

ISIS are community organizers.

This is a curious fact.

Bob Boyd said...

Here is another very insightful piece on what ISIS is and what can be done about it.


http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/143043/audrey-kurth-cronin/isis-is-not-a-terrorist-group

buwaya said...

This millenarian, extremist outbreak is not strange, unique or special. This is a basic characteristic of Islam, we are just seeing it in modern form.
Its not significantly different in substance than thousands of prior localized Mahdis and "mad mullahs". They all follow the same pattern. Every so often a bunch of Muslims spontaneously decide to go off and conquer for Allah. The scale and scope of the outbreaks vary.
The other consistent pattern is raiding or otherwise mistreating the non-Muslim neighbors, which is constant, and not in itself religiously motivated, as such, but seems to grow from a fundamental contempt of the others.

The whole Wahhabi business, to speak of part of it, is just a leftover of an 18th century outbreak, which has recurred several times and died away several times.

The only differences these days are oil money, technology, and large scale immigration. The Mahdi of the 1880's could not inspire adherents in Britain. Kurdish tribesmen of the 1890's were limited to raiding their Armenian neighbors whenever the mood took them, not their Danish or Swedish neighbors.

Sebastian said...

A more academic take on Islamic violence, also suggesting its textual roots (mentioned in a previous thread): http://www.hoover.org/profiles/mark-gould

The problem is deeper than Barry, or W for that matter, realizes.

Hagar said...

There was a time too when the State Department argued that Mao and his followers were not Communists, but peaceful "agrarian reformers."

Hagar said...

Deja vue all over again.

buwaya said...

Useful works on this matter -
Naipaul -
"Among the Believers"
"Beyond Belief"

richlb said...

I read this yesterday. This is the most complete and non-partisan takedown of ISIS available anywhere.

Charlie Currie said...

Once you've read Lawrence Wright's "The Looming Tower" you'll be asking yourself, why is the Muslim Brotherhood in the White House? And, you won't like the answer.

St. George said...

Muhammad personally ordered hundreds of beheadings and took a child bride.

Nothing new here.

Jon Burack said...

rhhardin,

Is this you or Derrida?

"I would take the side of the camp that, in principle, by right of law, leaves a perspective open to perfectibility in the name of the ``political,'' democracy, international law, international institutions, and so forth."

Whoever said it, I am not impressed. Who the heck needs "perfectibility" anyway. And as for "In the name of" only, that's a pathetic joke. A professor in a Western institution of learning, or a writer or citizen in a vibrant democracy in all seriousness suggests these professions of belief are "in name only"? Sorry, but it is exactly that sort of tepid, half-hearted ambivalent embrace of the values, liberties, dignities and democratic institutions of our civilization that makes it so hard for us to stand up to this assault on that civilization in any sort of confident and assertive manner. It dooms us to stretches of hesitancy interspersed with brief spasms of incredible violence. Better if we could mobilize ourselves with fortified will for a long haul.

Biff said...

If it were to be accurate, "the incredulity and denial with which Westerners have greeted news of the theology and practices of the Islamic State" would read "the incredulity and denial with which Western leaders, liberals, and other self-proclaimed sophisticates have greeted news of the theology and practices of the Islamic State."

Fernandinande said...

traditionalguy said...
Mohammed found it convenient to create his own religion to give a morale boost to the raiders that god liked their work too.


He may have had temporal lobe epilepsy, in which case he still invented the religion, but probably didn't realize it.

Dostoevsky: "I feel full harmony in myself and in the whole world, and the feeling is so strong and sweet that for a few seconds of such bliss one could give up ten years of life, perhaps all of life.

I felt that heaven descended to earth and swallowed me. I really attained god and was imbued with him. All of you healthy people don't even suspect what happiness is, that happiness that we epileptics experience for a second before an attack."

~ Gordon Pasha said...

30-30 solution. 30 years, 30% of their young men. Then it will be over. Worked for the 30 Years War, Napoleon, American Civil War, World War I-II (same thing with an intermission). We'll see if we have enough steel for this.

Darcy said...

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
Revelation 20:4

damikesc said...

Nazi ideology makes very little sense to the vast, vast majority of people today and is most commonly rejected.

Nonetheless, it was successful in driving a political party in one country to taking on the entire world within a generation.


It also had the benefit of an international community unwilling to do anything to stop them.

It's easy to forget that Hitler could've been stopped EASILY many, many times --- the major European powers were just led by cowards and defeatists.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"[The President and many of adherents] refuse to believe that this group is as devout as it claims to be, or as backward-looking or apocalyptic as its actions and statements suggest....

Fixed it for you.

James Pawlak said...

Islam is NOT a religion. It IS a criminal-terrorist ideology much like that of the KKK and Hitler's Nazis---Sharing many common, and horrid, belief.

Michael K said...

Sultn Knish pretty much nails it.

Journalists trying to make sense of ISIS demanding Jizya payments and taking slaves ought to remember that these aren’t medieval behaviors in the Middle East. Not unless medieval means the 19th century. And that’s spotting them a whole century. Saudi Arabia only abolished slavery in 1962 under pressure from the United States. Its labor market and that of fellow Petrojihadi kingdoms like Kuwait and Qatar are based on arrangements that look a lot like temporary slavery… for those foreigners who survive.

Dead on.

Richard Dolan said...

Wood's analysis is chilling but it's not news (at least it shouldn't be).

Even more remarkable is where these articles are showing up -- The Atlantic, the NYRB, the WaPo, to name a few. For example, this week's NYRB has two articles with equally unvarnished analyses of the jihadi threat -- Mark Lilla's piece on 'France on Fire,' and another article about jihadism in Norway. Lilla is a professor at Columbia, card-carrying standard-issue lefty academic, the whole bit -- and his piece is a remarkably clear-eyed commentary on the realities in France, with a few smack-downs of the French 'far right' along the way to prove his bona fides. He never mentions Obama, but it's clear who (among others) he has in mind when he quote Ch Peguy's saying that it's essential to see what you are seeing right in front of you.

Similar stuff has often been published in Commentary, Weekly Standard, Nat Review, Fox, etc., but is usually dismissed by Team Obama because of where it was published and who wrote it -- venues and authors inherently unfriendly to all things Obama.

No way anyone can say that about Wood and the Atlantic, Lilla and the NYRB or even Leslie Gelb (Pres emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations who published a stinging critique in Jan of Obama's nat security team as the real JVs who all needed to be replaced).

To say that it's a gigantic vote of no confidence from the Dem policy elite in Obama is an understatement.

Jason said...

In order to be a liberal today, you have to believe that transgenders with penises are women because they say so, but ISIS is not Muslim, no matter what they call themselves, what their foundational texts are, what motivates them, what their goals are, what they believe and how they behave.

dbp said...

I found this apt, "Barack Obama himself drifted into takfiri waters when he claimed that the Islamic State was “not Islamic”—the irony being that he, as the non-Muslim son of a Muslim, may himself be classified as an apostate, and yet is now practicing takfir against Muslims. Non-Muslims’ practicing takfir elicits chuckles from jihadists (“Like a pig covered in feces giving hygiene advice to others,” one tweeted)."

Michael McClain said...

Okay.

Now we should be able to kill them all without a second thought.

dbp said...

"In Islam, the practice of takfir, or excommunication, is theologically perilous. “If a man says to his brother, ‘You are an infidel,’ ” the Prophet said, “then one of them is right.” If the accuser is wrong, he himself has committed apostasy by making a false accusation. The punishment for apostasy is death."

For background, since my above comment uses "takfir" but does not explain it.

hombre said...

Muslims doing what their holy books admonish them to do are not Muslims. Just ask Barack and Co.

Iranian Ayatollahs don't mean what they say when they promise to annihilate Israel and Israelis. Just ask Barack and Co.

We are lucky in these confusing times to have a POTUS who has a handle on all this!

jr565 said...

If ISIS looks to their religion when justifying chopping off heads or warring against infidels they can look to their most holy man and use him as an example. Since he was the leader of ISIS of his day. And they spread ISlam the same way ISIS spreads itself.

Gusty Winds said...

Mohammed was a false prophet, and Christians were warned that he and many others would come. 700 AD, he simply says of Jesus, "no he didn't, and no he wasn't."

Then he claims, the guy who said, love your neighbor as youself, healed the sick, opened the temple to the unclean, and taught forgiveness and redemption is going to side with barbarism in the final battle.

Mohammed was a slave owning resentful son of Ishmael. ISIS is true to his words. He seems to be the ONLY religious figure that would take pride in ISIS' actions.

Well...Satan too.

Gusty Winds said...

I'm thinkin' Obama isn't in denial. He knows what's in the Koran, and he knows ISIS is carrying out its clearly defined instructions.

To give Obama the benefit of the doubt, whether he is Christian, Atheist, or Muslim (I don't think we really know) he is trying his best not to take the Apocalyptic bait.

That is, of course, assuming he actually gives a shit. His treatment of Israel, might make a person think otherwise.

jr565 said...

If ISIS thinks that they need to fight us in a war to bring about the apocalypse I say let it happen. It will be THEIR apocalypse. Kill them down to the last man, just as they prophesize for themselves. And then for good measure wrap all the dead carcasses in pork, and put yarmulkes on their dead corpses. And then the world can collectively pee on their graves.