October 9, 2016

WHY ISIS WAS NEVER A THREAT:

Apocalypse Or Bust -- The Battle For Dabiq (David Patrikarakos, 10/09/16, Radio Liberty)

The town of Dabiq, in northern Syria, around 25 miles from Aleppo, with its population of just under 3,500, is an unimpressive site for a battle that is supposed to herald the Apocalypse.

Yet, according to the Hadith (a collection of reports about the sayings and doings of the Prophet Muhammad), that is exactly what will happen: According to Abu Hurayrah, a companion of Muhammad, the prophet said, "the Last Hour would not come until the Romans land at al-A'maq or in Dabiq. An army consisting of the best of the people of the earth at that time will come from Medina [to defeat them]."

Dabiq is central to the highly sophisticated propaganda operation of the extremist group Islamic State (IS). The group's official magazine even carries its name. At Dabiq, IS claims, the ultimate battle between Christians and Muslims will be fought. That last claim is less than half-right. A coalition of U.S. Special Forces and air support (nominally Christian), supporting Turkish forces, and Syrian rebels (both Muslim) is now advancing on the town. "If matters proceed as planned, within 48 hours we will be in Dabiq," Ahmed Osman, commander of the Sultan Murad Free Syrian Army (FSA) group, told Reuters on October 4.

Unlike the nearby city of Aleppo, the town is not militarily significant for IS, being merely one among many that must be cleared on the way to Al-Bab and (ultimately) the city where Islamic State is headquartered, Raqqa. But if IS were to lose Dabiq, it would still be a blow. As Kyle Orton, a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, points out, IS uses the Hadith on Dabiq to "call on Muslims to come and buttress the ranks of Islam in this fight. In combination with the formation of an actual statelet, this propaganda has worked: the apocalypticism and the caliphate have given IS an appeal its jihadi rivals don't have and this is reflected in the number of foreign volunteers who have flocked to their banner as compared with, say, Al-Qaeda."

You can't understand just how impossible it was for ISIS to succeed without understanding their theology.  And if you think that theology is Islam you've completely missed the point.

Posted by at October 9, 2016 8:56 AM

  

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