UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND ISIS TODAY
IS ISIS ISLAMIC? — Part 3
Part one Is ISIS Islamic? part 1: Jesus Kingdom versus Muhammad's Kingdom compared and contrasted the kingdom’s of Jesus and Muhammad and presented their differences in terms of morality, method, and goal. Part two established that ISIS is Islamic and shows that their cruel actions emulate Muhammad’s cruel actions.
The Islamic State (ISIS) is an Islamic organization ruling as a Caliphate over parts of Iraq and Syria. It seeks to duplicate a similar form of government and society that Muhammad established in the Hijaz near the end of his life. Muslims worldwide endorse that goal and have provided ISIS with significant financial and material support. More importantly tens of thousands of Muslims from around the world have joined ISIS as fighters. Up to this point (Aug 2015) ISIS has been mostly successful on the battlefield.
WHY IS ISIS DOING WHAT IT IS DOING?
If you want to understand ISIS’s strategy and goals you have to look to Muhammad. ISIS’s goals correspond to Muhammad’s goals. Many other Islamic groups share a similar goal. They use varying tactics and methods but the goal is still the same: to make Islam supreme and establish Allah’s kingdom on earth over all people. This was Muhammad’s goal and to fulfill it he ordered his followers to continue in jihad (religious warfare) until it is accomplished.
The Islamic source materials, the Quran, hadith, and sira, record Muhammad’s life and actions. Start with Muhammad’s life from 622 through 632 AD and then look through Ali’s Caliphate. You’ll find there are many parallels between the Muslims of that period and ISIS today. Don’t waste your time with shallow-thinking pundits who point to Sayyid Qutb, Ibn Saud, the Muslim Brotherhood, Ibn Taymiyyah, or whoever. Certainly they may have influenced ISIS’s leadership one way or another but the root of all of these is Muhammad and early Islam. So many pundits miss or gloss over its primary root: Islam, real Islam, Muhammad’s Islam. Those that fail to comprehend this are destined to identify an ever changing root cause. It all goes back to Muhammad.
These source materials show that he and the early Caliphs were as brutal as ISIS is today. ISIS’s violence, conquest, and brutality against those it considers enemies mirrors Muhammad’s, Abu Bakr’s, Umar’s, Uthman’s, and Ali’s. This includes massacres, murder, assassinations, torture, war, rape, slavery, destruction of pagan idols, and oppression of non-Muslim minorities.
ISIS is but one Islamic roach crawling from a sewer of filth spreading death and sickness as it fights to achieve its goal. Other Islamic organizations with different names, different leaders, and different approaches/methodologies have the same goal, and crawl from that same sewer be it CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood, Ansar al-Islam, Al-Qaeda, etc.
Simply stated, ISIS wants to fulfill Muhammad’s vision.
ALLAH’S DIRECTIVE TO MUHAMMAD
Allah commanded Muhammad to fight men until Islam rules over them:
“I have been commanded to fight against people until they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer, and pay the religious tax, and if they do it, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.”
Below I’ve broken down Muhammad’s last ten years and the subsequent Caliphs’ rule into four general and simple phases for the purpose of comparing them to ISIS. I’m not going to provide references for each statement below. If you want to know these years in detail read Tabari’s History published by SUNY, volumes 6, 7, 8, and 9. They’re well written, easy reads, about two hundred pages each, and inexpensive.
Phase 1 begins in Mecca with Muhammad receiving Allah’s permission to use both defensive and offensive violence against his enemies. This is known as the “Order to Fight.” Allah’s command allowed Muhammad to make war upon non-Muslims. Shortly after receiving this permission Muhammad and the Muslims fled to Medina.
Muhammad obeyed Allah and after arriving in Yathrib (Medina) he started his religious kingdom in the Hijaz, a State in the Arabian Peninsula. He began sending his men out in raids against outlying Pagan tribes and Meccan caravans. He defeated most of the Pagans and plundered their goods and their women. Muhammad would give the captured women to his soldiers as spoils of war and as such these women were property and subject to rape.
He was most often victorious. He and his followers believed that his martial success was proof that he had God’s stamp of approval. His followers thought: “if God were not with Muhammad he would have failed against the odds he faced.”
While in Mecca Muhammad was weak and non-violent, but in Medina he established a measure of power. The fairly nice, peaceful, and humble guy in Mecca began murdering people and cutting off heads in Medina. Think about that next time you read about a lone wolf Muslim in the West. Some of his friends and neighbors will testify, “he was such a nice young man I never thought he was capable of something like this.”
Muhammad continued to attack non-Muslims and win victories. Over time the Medinan Pagans saw Muhammad’s strength and victories against the Jews and non-Medinan Pagan tribes and converted to Islam. Muhammad’s dominion spread quickly. The Medinan Pagan clans grew weaker as most converted to Islam.
Muhammad became stronger and eventually destroyed or exiled all the Medinan Jewish clans. The Jews were ignorant and arrogant and divided amongst themselves. Therefore they never aided one-another when Muhammad attacked.
Some eight years after his flight to Medina he returned and conquered Mecca. Then he ordered the assassinations of people he hated including three slave girls who had mocked him years earlier. The Pagans who remained in Mecca converted to Islam, “willingly or unwillingly.” Compulsion certainly is a part of Islam.
After conquering Mecca his dominion over much of the Arabian peninsula occurred quickly. Muhammad crushed his enemies under his feet and many submitted to him without a fight. Sun Tzu would call that the supreme excellence or the highest form of warfare.
As Muhammad neared the apex of his power he ordered the destruction, submission, or expulsion of non-Muslims, while the Christians and Jews who submitted became humiliated and oppressed second-class citizens and forced to pay extortion (see Quran 9:5, 29, 30). Muhammad ordered the destruction of the various Pagan shrines and established Islamic law as the basis for his society. In accordance with Allah’s command he kept the flames of jihad burning until he died. Just before his death he had commissioned another large military campaign against Syria. Muhammad intended jihad to continue until the entire world was subjected to Islam’s rule and said that his true followers would continue to fight until that end.
At the end of his life Muhammad had just about everything his heart craved: power, wealth, honor, and sex with many beautiful women.
PHASE 4: THE CALIPHS THROUGH ALI
Phase 4 is a continuation of phase 3 except now the fighting was led by the Caliphs. Following Muhammad’s death the caliphate spread far and wide. There were power struggles amongst the top Muslims and there were assassinations, battles, and civil wars. Muslims killed and murdered fellow Muslims by the thousands. You’ll find magnificent death and corruption in the hearts and actions of Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman, and Ali. Muhammad’s “companions” who had at one time fought side by side against common enemies in service to Allah now fought against and killed each other, (examples “The Battle of the Camel” and the murder of Uthman). What ISIS is doing to fellow Muslims, the Shia, Sufi, and some Sunni, parallels what the Muslim rulers did to each other after Muhammad died. Muslims who did not support and obey the ruling Caliphs were marked as apostates and infidels and were killed.
However, during all this internal conflict the Muslim rulers continued on with Muhammad’s goal to subject the world to Islam’s rule. The Muslim armies continued their wars of jihad successfully.
Those weaker than Muhammad and the first four Caliphs received little mercy and were crushed in battle and oppressed. (You see this attitude reflected in the Quran, 9:1-41 or so, that starts with Muhammad ending or breaking treaties.)
This simple breakdown of phases is my own and other Muslim scholars have broken down Islam’s rise into similar phases. Muhammad’s process was similar to what other warlords and conquerors have done: grow power, consolidate, expand, grow power, consolidate, expand, etc.
In this same way ISIS has gained power, victory, and grown stronger. They attack and expand if they win or re-group and possibly re-attack if they lose. When they conquer a town or region they plunder it and consolidate their gains. All the while they prepare and train to fulfill Muhammad’s vision. They know they will suffer setbacks and losses but that does not deter them from Allah’s mission. Just like Muhammad and the early Muslims they are willing and able to die in Allah’s cause.
THE POISONOUS ROOT
If you perform any type of root-cause analysis you have to identify the impetus for the failure, or problem. Any study on the motivations of Muslim terrorists from lone-wolf to ISIS will list religion or faith as one of the motivations. Many modern pundits and journalists bend over backwards to hide Islam’s effect in the hearts and minds of these evil terrorists, and choose to blame or emphasize other motivating factors but over time, as the sample size grows, the strongest common theme is motivation based on Islam.
Islam, real Islam, Muhammad’s Islam, is the poisonous root of all of these terrorists. The long term goal will never lose its divine importance: Islam is to rule by any means necessary and they will kill or crush you if you stand in their way.
Consider a weed in your garden. You can cut its top off but you know it will grow back. Unless you pull out or kill the root the weed persists and regrows. In the same way this poisonous Islamic root poisons Muslim people. The more committed they become to Islam, the more they study and learn, the more they feed on the poison, the more they use violence and intimidation to further Islam’s rule. Your input affects your output.
The root needs to be killed or it will fight you forever. It is its biological fact, a normal phenomenon, a law of nature. Kill the root. How is this poisonous root to be killed?
MUSLIMS TODAY AND SUPPORT FOR ISIS
Dedicated Muslims worldwide support ISIS because they know ISIS is pursuing Muhammad’s goal. While Muslims in the West are not killing non-Muslims en masse they are finding ways to further Islam’s power locally and lend support to ISIS. They may not be too vocal and they may not argue with you but deep down they are in one accord. Just do a little web surfing to find the evidence. Despite what you want to believe there are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Muslims in both England and America who support ISIS.
On the other hand ISIS’s support in the Arab world is underestimated by Western pundits. It is impressive that several other Islamic movements have “joined” them, such as the groups in Libya, Indonesia, and Nigeria.
That’s a notable alliance of groups.
Worse yet, senior American intelligence officers have altered and slanted intel reports to make ISIS appear to be weaker than they really are. (Let’s face it, while American intel has had some notable successes, by and large they’ve had notable failures over the long haul and yet again they’ve put politics, ahead of lives. They certainly have not delivered real value for the huge amount of financial resources they consume.)
Intel ISIS Allegations
Bear this in mind: when Muhammad started out he was much weaker, far weaker, than ISIS is today. Yet through his commitment, fortitude, and bravery he was able to forge a powerful nation, a nation that expanded itself into one of the world’s largest empires within 100 years after his death.
No one should underestimate the dedication of Muslims to Muhammad’s cause. ISIS and other Muslim terror groups have the willpower and support to succeed. They are willing to die for their cause and many have given sacrificially to support them. About a year ago President Obama underestimated ISIS and called them a “jv” (junior varsity) team. In retrospect Obama’s words were ignorant and stupid. If the political fruit of the West is this blind and incompetent how bad then is the corruption within the West?
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? ISIS IN THEIR CALIPHATE
Predicting what happens next need not be a prophetic effort. Historic Islam expanded primarily by the sword and ISIS follows that script. Since the dream of a restored Islamic Caliphate lives in the hearts and minds of millions of Muslims, ISIS’s support base will continue to help them toward that goal. Their efforts have enabled ISIS to take root, put out a few blossoms, and bear fruit. ISIS has won the first and second rounds clearly and they’re going to be around for a while. Even after al-Baghdadi is killed ISIS will continue on because they’ve had far too much success to quit.
Following Muhammad’s pattern ISIS will continue to expand if they continue to win military battles or they will call for a truce if they meet their match. Once a truce is implemented they will have time to learn from their mistakes, prepare and train, gather strength, then break the truce if convenient and start to fight again. If they begin to get crushed and a truce is rejected by their opponents then their fighters will simply blend back into civilian life and wait for another day and perhaps another Islamic terror organization.
None of their local opponents have both the will and ability to defeat ISIS in the Sunni-Arab regions. The Kurds continue to win and lose, the Shia are forming their own defensive areas, but the Arab-Sunni regions are now mostly under ISIS control. As the borders become more static ISIS will continue to garner support from Muslims worldwide and grow in strength all the while exporting Islamic terrorism.
Islam is a religion of power: power of Muslim over non-Muslim, power of strong Muslim over weak Muslim, power of men over women. To the victor go the spoils. This is ISIS’s approach. Historic Islam’s expansion was stopped only by force of arms. It was not only prayer nor preaching. It was stopped only by Christian, and other nations, fighting the Muslims and winning the wars.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? ISLAM IN THE WEST
While ISIS continues to build its strength Western leadership is still too cowardly or two ignorant to identify the true-Islamic component of ISIS’s theology. During WW2 Americans from all walks of life were able to identify and condemn Nazism freely. But today American’s who speak out about the evils of real Islam, Muhammad’s Islam, ISIS’s Islam, are censored. Hence you have the Kurt Shilling situation where ESPN censured him for speaking the truth, or Brandeis University who out of fear of political incorrectness revoked their honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Western society is too weak, ignorant, and confused to stand strong. However, things in this realm are improving.
The West’s law enforcement agencies are short-term tacticians who are able to identify, take action against, and neutralize Muslim terrorists effectively. They are good at cutting off the top of the weed. Yet the weed will continue to grow back and over time the willpower, discipline, and strength of these agencies will wane and fail. Dedicated Muslims are focused and in this for the long haul while Western leaders are short sighted, ignorant, corruptible, and lack stamina.
Until the poisonous root is identified and understood to be Islam, Western leaders will slide slowly deeper into the muck and mire of failure. This understanding is missing at the highest levels of political and enforcement leadership. Like ancient witch doctors they identify and treat symptoms but not the cause. They often kill or capture Muslims who are plotting evil but never identify the source of that poison. At best political correctness allows them to say, “the enemy is radical Islam!” and even then they fear censure. No, the enemy is Islam, real Islam, Muhammad’s Islam.
This higher, or deeper, war is between Islam and all that is non-Islamic. A Muslim need not be a member of ISIS or al-Qaeda to support or carry out terrorism and violence. The world has seen countless attacks by lone-wolf Muslims who are not affiliated with terror groups.
Most Muslims in the West are copying Muhammad’s process: live in peace as you gain power, once you have more power, subject your enemies and establish Islam’s rule. This has happened in parts of Europe where in some of the larger cities Muslims are helping terrorists and have established Islamic “no-go” areas.
THE PAST IS THE FUTURE
Here are two applicable events from Muhammad’s life that bear upon Islam’s power and the actions of Muslims in the West. The first is Muhammad’s order to kill those that opposed or rejected him. In this case it was the Jews in Medina but Muhammad’s injunction in applicable to any Muslim today:
"The apostle said, "Kill any Jew that falls into your power." Thereupon Muhayyisa b. Masud leapt upon Ibn Sunayna, a Jewish merchant with whom they had social and business relations, and killed him. Huwayyisa was not a Muslim at the time though he was the elder brother. When Muhayyisa killed him Huwayyisa began to beat him, saying, 'You enemy of God, did you kill him when much of the fat on your belly comes from his wealth?' Muhayyisa answered, 'Had the one who ordered me to kill him ordered me to kill you I would have cut your head off.'" 
This event describes what so many of the lone-wolf Muslims have done: when the time comes they will attack and kill people in West who have been their friends and helped them through life. A Muslim is to obey Muhammad/Allah and this includes fighting that which is non-Islamic. This is more than a question of principles; it’s a question of loyalty. When a choice is needed between loyalty to Islam or loyalty to non-Muslim friends, Islam wins out often. Non-Muslim friends are still “kafir,” unbelievers, dirty infidels, whom Allah will destroy.
The second event is similar to the first. Here, one of Muhammad’s assassins (Umayya) failed to kill his target, fled his pursuers, and hid in a cave. Later a one-eyed shepherd (badu) entered the cave to sleep. The shepherd asked the Muslim who he was and Umayya hid his true religious faith, and intentions, from the shepherd. They spoke and learned they were from the same clan. This caused the shepherd to trust the Muslim. They spoke as friends and as they went to sleep the shepherd said in passing that he would never become a Muslim…
"as soon as the badu was asleep and snoring I got up and killed him in a more horrible way than any man has been killed. I put the end of my bow in his sound eye, then I bore down on it until I forced it out at the back of his neck."
After returning to Medina Umayya met with Muhammad and told him about the murder:
... "He asked my news and when I told him what had happened he blessed me".
This shepherd was not a threat to the Muslim assassin. He was not a military man or combatant, he was a civilian. However he was also a man who rejected Muhammad’s claim to be a prophet. The Muslim deceived the shepherd, gained his trust, and when the shepherd’s guard was down, the time was convenient and the Muslim murdered the shepherd. Muhammad blessed this man who murdered a one-eyed shepherd while he slept.
These two events describe Europe’s and America’s future. Muslims are going to continue to plan and execute attacks against any target of opportunity, military or civilian. Over time they will become more successful and more effective. They are dedicated, focused, and determined warriors. They will learn from their failures and mistakes and improve.
There is another aspect to this theme that most Americans are ignorant of. During the Middle Ages Muslim armies tried for hundreds of years to conquer Constantinople. It represented the seat of Christianity’s strength. It was the prime target of Islam and tens of thousands of Muslims died trying to conquer it. Regardless of the cost in blood and treasure it had to fall. Eventually, due to corruption within the Orthodox church and the carnal split between them and the Catholics, Constantinople fell. It was Islam’s greatest victory in the last thousand years! America is today’s Constantinople. Muslims worldwide understand this. The Ayatollah Khomeini understood this and branded America as the “Great Satan.” He knew that the hideous strength of America impeded Islam’s conquest so it had to be broken.
CHRISTIANS GET INVOLVED!
To Christians: share the gospel with Muslims. More Muslims are finding Christ today than ever before in Islam’s 1400 year history. Muslims are thinking about the contradictions in the Quran, seeing the records of Muhammad’s evil, seeing the evil perpetrated by their leaders, and they know that deep down there is something better. Get involved as best as you can. Put your hand to the plow, put your shoulder to the work and labor. Why sit in the bleachers when you could be playing on the field making a difference? Forgive me, but wouldn’t you want to stand before God and know that you entered the battle as a soldier instead of sitting in your easy chair? But do more than just pass out cookies. Share the real Gospel, seek actual conversions: Jesus the Son of God, the Savior who died for our sins to bring us forgiveness, acceptance, and eternal life with God the Father.
Earlier I asked how to kill the poisonous root. I have my opinions and viewpoints but this is not the venue to present or discuss them. Nor is that discussion within the scope of the Answering Islam website. The over-arching goal is defeating Islam’s ideology.
However I must say this:
Some martial pundits have an easy time saying “send in the troops” because they have no skin in the game. It won’t be their son being killed for absolutely nothing (per George W. Bush’s Iraq war. He wasted your sons’ lives and your dollars). Personally I do not support putting a single boot on the ground until a comprehensive “destroy ISIS permanently” plan is established. Otherwise politicians and generals will continue to piss young soldiers’ lives away. In fact, I say strongly to all Christian parents, keep your children out of the military until the military and President have both the right perspective, and plan, to defeat the enemy comprehensively. Otherwise you will let calloused self-serving leaders spill your children’s blood for nothing. Obama’s presidency, and the one before it, did not have our soldiers’ backs, why should citizens volunteer to sacrifice ourselves in meaningless service, not for the country, but for politicians’ whims?
I’ve read many good articles related to this subject on many good websites. Here are some of the better ones.
Treason of the Professors
Genocide - Islam - Weapons
How to Fight the Islamic State
Censorship of Palestinian Terrorism
ISIS Could Win
Five Reasons the US Cannot Defeat ISIS
I’ve tried to make in this 3 part series these key points:
1) That Jesus and Muhammad were very different and operated from contradictory moralities.
2) That ISIS does what Muhammad did.
3) That ISIS or any Muslim terror organization, or State, will continue to commit the same crimes.
4) That the root of Islamic terror is theological, i.e. it is rooted in Islam’s doctrines.
5) That this war needs to be fought on several fronts.
6) That pew riding Christians need to get involved.
The short term future is going to get darker because there is nothing in place to stem the tide of darkness that grows worldwide.
 Muslim, Abu’l-Husain, “Sahih Muslim”, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1971, translated by A. Siddiqi, volume 1, number 33
 Ibn Ishaq, "Sirat Rasulallah", compiled by A. Guillaume as "The Life of Muhammad", Oxford, London, 1955, page 369
 Ibn Ishaq, "Sirat Rasulallah", compiled by A. Guillaume as "The Life of Muhammad", Oxford, London, 1955, page 674