Post-Caliphate ISIS

Feb 19, 2019 by

by Lawrence A Franklin, Gatestone Institute:

The disintegration of the Islamic State’s Caliphate — which once included large portions of Iraq and Syria — may be a strategic defeat for ISIS, yet the jihadi terrorist group is very much alive. Its ideology, tactics and objectives have not altered. ISIS remains steeped in the ideology of “salafiya jihadiyah” (Salafi jihad), which requires every Muslim to wage “holy war” in some fashion against the “infidel.”

The ideological vision of ISIS and the extremist acts which flow from that vision, such as its iconoclastic destruction of graves, sacred shrines, and cultural sites, closely resembles that of Sunni Wahhabi extremism with origins in Saudi Arabia, the source of the ISIS’s ideological conflict against the values shared by freedom loving nations. An example of this ideological affinity is ISIS’ destruction of the alleged graves of the Prophets Daniel and Jonah in the area of Mosul, Iraq in July 2014. As early as 1802, Wahhabi marauders acted similarly, destroying many shrines, graves and sacred sites in Shia Islam’s holy city of Karbala, while massacring hundreds of Shia Muslims in the process. This behavior closely resembles the comportment of ISIS operatives throughout their Caliphate territories in Iraq, where they destroyed Christian churches in Mosul, Iraq and in Syria where they demolished ancient ruins in Palmyra.

Today, ISIS remains a most brutal jihadi terrorist network, known in the West for posting horrific execution videos online. The unearthing of several mass graves in regions of Iraq and Syria once under ISIS control underscores its willingness to murder large numbers of innocents. By spreading paralytic fear, they can presumably more easily control local populations.

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