ISIS: The Caliphate is Reborn
by R K Ohri on 14 Jan 2017 2 Comments

The high regard for the traditional Caliphate in the hearts of Muslims worldwide has been capitalized upon by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Under his charismatic leadership ISIS has become the world’s most successful terrorist group, financially secure and militarily quite powerful. It must be admitted that Baghdadi has managed to propel the Caliphate to the world stage seemingly out of nowhere, by sheer savagery, including the beheadings on camera of several American hostages. He has been trying to overawe the world by overrunning international borders in the Middle East, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan and many other Muslim-dominated regions. In India too, the Kashmir valley has witnessed regular waving of the black flags of ISIS during Friday prayers.


After defeating his opponents, Al-Baghdadi carved out a radical State which rules over nearly nine million people and has captured large swathes of territories which are larger in size than the United Kingdom. By carrying out the genocide of non-Muslims, ISIS managed to expand the lure of Islamic glory in many Muslim countries like Libya, Tunisia, Nigeria, and Caucasus in Russia. Islamic State has occupied the mindscape of Muslims in Indonesia and even in the faraway Mindnao and Sulu groups of islands in southern Philippines.


The blood-drenched narrative of the newly created Caliphate and its military conquests is an amazing success story. The Islamic State has a conquest-oriented religion – it is called the religion of the sword. It rules over an expansive territory in West Asia and parts of Africa in accordance with the Takfiri ideology which has deep roots in the psyche of Muslims worldwide. Takfiris are an ultra violent offshoot of the Salafi movement. They openly preach murder and mayhem and condone acts of violence in pursuit of Islam’s religious and political goals. They believe that Islam must be practiced strictly in accordance with the interpretation of Prophet Muhammad’s actions and the traditions established by him and his companions. As pointed out by Robert Baer, a well-known expert on the Middle East, Takfiris are Sunni Muslim whose mission is to create a global caliphate as envisaged in the Qur’an and enforce the Sharia. Al-Baghdadi has revived the longing of the faithful to restore the long lost grandeur of Islam.


Savagery Used as Force-Multiplier


A critical study of the history of Islamic wars waged in India and across several other countries during medieval times and modern era reveals the ugly contours of relentless use of savagery against the Hindus of India and Christians of the Balkans and Spain. Unfortunately many analysts and security experts have failed to understand that during medieval times ‘savagery’ was used as a powerful “force- multiplier” by the Muslim invaders and rulers. It was the single most important reason for the dramatic victories of Islam worldwide. The same strategy of ruthless savagery has been adopted by ISIS in their campaigns in Syria, Iraq, Levant and parts of Africa. The strategy has been borrowed from the scriptural narratives followed by Islamic warriors throughout history, and further honed by Abu Bakr Naji who is the real ideologue of Islamic State. Recourse to widespread savagery to terrorize non-Muslims during jihad has been advocated by Naji in his tome, ‘Management of Savagery’. The scriptural guidelines prescribed by Naji are being implemented in the Caliphate controlled by al-Baghdadi for imposing Sharia and capturing more territory. Large scale beheadings of kaffirs and abduction of Yazidi and Christian women for sex-slavery are two prominent examples of the savagery unleashed by the storm-troopers of the Caliphate. In scale and methodology their tactics are totally comparable to the barbarism practiced in India by Islamic invaders. A similar strategy for seeking victory over the Christian kaffirs was successfully replicated by Ottoman Turks in Eastern Europe.  … …


Savagery Creates Caliphate


The ideologue of Islamic State, Abu Bakr Naji, himself has admitted that “the administration of savagery has been established in Islamic history various times”. He recalls that “the first example of savagery was the establishment of the Islamic state in Medina.” The following quote from Naji’s war manual, Management of Savagery, shows the importance which the Caliph and his storm-troopers attach to using savagery as a force-multiplier for achieving victory in West Asia and across the globe. … …


Not many strategic analysts know that Abu Bakr Naji is the ideologue of Al-Baghdadi’s Caliphate and that his infamous book, Management of Savagery, has become the guiding principle of the Islamic Caliphate. The book was published online in 2004. It was translated into English in the year 2006 by William Mc Cants, who is a Fellow at the West Point Combating Terror Center. The English translation was funded by John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University. Not much is known about the background of Abu Bakr Naji, apart from the fact that he has been a frequent contributor to the al-Qaeda’s mouthpiece, a magazine titled “The Voice of Jihad”. According to the Al Arabiya Institute for Islamic Studies, the real identity of Abu Bakr Naji is Muhammad Khalil al-Hakaymah. His known works are this remarkable treatise on using savagery as a war-winning strategy, apart from his contributions made to al-Qaeda’s online magazine Sawt al-Jihad, which means “Lovers of Paradise”. The said online journal is a professional guide for training the jihadi recruits. … …


Naji’s Formula for Victory of Islam


According to Naji, for establishing an Islamic State, the Ummah, i.e., the Muslims, will have to walk through the following three stages.


The first stage will be to increase the power of “vexation and exhaustion” in pockets located in the targeted areas of the selected country.


The second stage will comprise the stepping up of the administration of savagery by jihadi groups to create chaos and lawlessness.


And thereafter will come the third stage, namely the moment of victory after acquiring the power of establishing the Islamic state.


A close study of the resounding success of Al-Baghdadi’s Caliphate in Syria, Iraq, Levant and parts of African continent reveals how by recourse to gross savagery the above mentioned three stages have been accomplished.


The ‘pockets of vexation and exhaustion’ advocated by Naji are nothing but the areas widely perceived and called in common parlance as “no-go zones” created by radical Muslims in several cities of various countries, including India. These are the areas where the law-enforcers remain frequently locked in conflict with organized gangs of determined mobsters.

In these Muslim-dominated ghettoes, the rowdies don’t allow non-Muslims to enter their turf. Examples of pockets of ‘vexation and exhaustion’ created by radical Muslims in the world are many, including the Chechnya region of Russia, the tribal areas of Afghanistan and AFPAK region. India, too, is dotted with scores of pockets of ‘vexation and exhaustion’ in the Kashmir Valley, western Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and West Bengal, where entry of security forces is opposed by Islamic militants and saboteurs. Other prominent examples are the multiple zones of battle with kaffirs (read the Christians) in Nigeria, Libya, Somalia and Mali. These areas have been captured by Boko Haram and Al Shabab, the two violent outfits which have declared themselves as Affiliates of the ISIS. The militancy in the southern States of Thailand and the holy war being waged by the militants of Moro Islamic Liberation Front in southern Philippines (Mindnao and Sulu Islands), too, are prominent pockets of vexation and exhaustion. There are hundreds of no-go zones all over Europe. In a broad sense all Muslim-dominated areas, whether in Europe, or in India, can be converted into ‘pockets of vexation and exhaustion’ by ensuring that the police and non-Muslims are not allowed to enter without facing resistance.


Excerpted from Chapter I

Global War Against Kaffirs. The Rise of the Islamic State

R K Ohri, 2017

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