The new world order needs a new Islam
by Sandhya Jain on 26 Aug 2014 22 Comments

The stunning success of the rabid Sunni group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), in seizing territory in both nations since June calls for careful scrutiny to discern the reasons for its sudden comeback. Some events have occurred in rapid succession. First, terror was unleashed on ‘Shia and other heretics’ and their holy sites destroyed. Second, its leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, proclaimed himself ‘caliph’ Ibrahim of an amorphous Islamic State. Third, photographs have surfaced of al-Baghdadi in the company of Arizona Senator John McCain (Guardian, Reuters and Der Spiegel report that ISIS was trained by American professionals for two years in Safawi, Jordan, with French and British advisors; McCain visited them here).


Fourth, after the beheading of American journalist James Foley, British authorities identified the killer as John from Tower Hamlets, who went to Syria after embracing Islam (possibly a rapper named Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, son of an Egyptian-born militant awaiting trial in Manhattan for the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania). Half of 500 British citizens fighting in Iraq and Lebanon are reputedly Londoners. Tower Hamlets is an East London borough with 35 per cent Muslim population of mainly Bangladeshi origin. The Saudi cleric Sheikh Adel Al-Kalbani of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, who was refused entry into Britain in 2013, visited London’s East End in 2008 as a guest of Lutfur Rahman, the current mayor.


Russian oriental expert, Vyacheslav Matuzov, claims Al-Baghdadi had close links with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) throughout his supposed incarceration in a US prison (2004-2009). Many analysts believe ISIS was created by Western intelligence agencies for a geostrategic goal, and that its atrocities against civilians are intended to justify US military intervention on humanitarian grounds. That is why the ISIS suddenly re-emerged in Iraq and Syria in April 2013 after Syrian government forces beat back the US-sponsored insurgency and the Free Syrian Army and other terror brigades collapsed.


Both countries are to be split along sectarian ethnic lines, viz., a Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, and a Republic of Kurdistan. This is similar to the split of the Federation of Yugoslavia into “independent” Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia (FYRM), Slovenia, Montenegro, and Kosovo. Notably, the ISIS is funded by America’s staunchest allies - Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia - and assisted by Jordan and Turkey.


Geostrategic expert William Engdahl claims that the ISIS captured Iraq’s oil stronghold of Mosul with suspicious ease and alacrity. He points out that natural resources are always behind ‘global crime’ and regime change projects; hence the foreign aid and weaponry that flood such places. In 2013, an al-Qaeda group had seized Syria’s oilfields, which would benefit the geopolitical and transnational corporate interests of the West. In June 2014, Iraqi (Kurdish) oil was delivered to Israel. The strengthening of Sunni terror brigades and terrorising of Shias serves Western interests; already the US has succeeded in driving Nouri al-Maliki out of office in Baghdad. Iran remains the ultimate target.


Western condemnation of the ISIS is for public consumption as the goalposts are unchanged and defence contracting is a highly lucrative business. In July 2012, Hillary Clinton, then US Secretary of State, attended the “Friends of Syria” conference in Paris, where a violent Western-backed campaign was discussed for Syria. Significantly, both Facebook and Twitter permit the ISIS to use their platforms for propaganda, and to upload their savage acts to attract more foreign recruits to fight in Syria and Iraq.


In this background, sources attributed to Edward Snowden (unconfirmed; denied by an obscure website) and Iranian intelligence, claim that al-Baghdadi is not an Arab but a Mossad-trained operative named Elliot Shimon, trained by US-UK-Israeli intelligence in espionage and psychological warfare against Arab and Muslim societies. No country has commented on this story, which has gone viral. If true, it may be the greatest undercover operation since Eli Cohen, who was publicly hanged in Damascus in May 1965, despite clemency pleas from the international community, including Pope Paul VI. But it is undeniable that a fanatical force of Arabs and non-Arabs has been created to unleash absolute horror on Shias, native Christians, and small non-Muslim tribes in the region.


One astounding reason for the rise of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi involves revision of the Quran to legitimise the ISIS’s extremist objectives, as exemplified in the tragedy of the Yazidi. Tradition holds that the Quran was committed to writing and given final shape by third caliph Othman; it remained untouched in subsequent centuries as it was believed to be the word of Allah as conveyed through his messenger.


According to media reports quoting Afaq al-Iraq television network, the ISIS wants to delete passages promoting coexistence and tolerance among different faith communities. These include a verse in El-Kafirun addressed to non-believers, which concludes, “You have your religion, whereas I have my religion”. Moderates have long cited this as evidence that Islam does not intend to win converts by force.


Imam Mehmet Vehbi Guler, retired Imam of Diyanet, Turkey’s presidency of religious affairs, says this verse defines the right attitude to those who reject (Islamic) faith. According to the Quran, whoever recites the kalima shahadah (‘God is one and Mohammad is his Prophet’) is Muslim. Thereafter, to define people who drink alcohol as unbelievers is wrong, but ISIS refuses to accept this. “The Prophet Mohammad said Muslims do not kill Muslims, do not kill any one… However ISIS has been killing whoever comes their way. They are not Muslims, they are not humans,” Imam Guler insists, while urging Turkish youth to shun the ISIS and its discourse on jihad. The Quran, he asserts, cannot be tampered with as even a change of comma can destroy its meaning. For instance, the sentence ‘God created the world’ becomes ‘God destroyed the world’ if you omit the dot on the Arabic letter ‘hi’ to read ‘ha’.


Revision of the Quran is obviously a Western design, at par with the political revision of the Bible in the centuries after Nicaea. The ISIS has pushed Islam into unenviable civil war, fitna, the like of which it has not seen since the death of the Prophet. Ironically, it was on the fertile plains of Syria and Iraq that the Shia-Sunni schism solidified; it is here that unity must be attempted if Islam is to beat back the rampaging colonialists. Islam today is facing a challenge to its very survival; but the non-Western, non-Muslim world has a stake in the outcome. 

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