|"A fast-spreading disease: New map shows ISIS has become a truly global terror group, with outposts as far as Mali and the Philippines"--Daily Mail|
Last week Pope Francis declared that the world is at war, but it was not a religious war. He clarified that "when he speaks of war, he is speaking of 'a war of interests, for money, resources. … I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don’t want war. The others want war.'" While I commend the Pope on seeing the underlying reasons for the war in Syria as originating over resources and power--specifically the desire to build a pipeline through Syria to take natural gas from the Gulf states to Europe--that is not the only war that is going on; and is not the one on which most people are focused.
Rather, Islam has been undergoing its own version of the Reformation, attempting to recapture the roots of its religion, which has led to the growth of fundamentalist Islam, to include the formation and growth of groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda, and those "lone wolves" that are inspired by them. These are not groups that attack kaffir in Dar al-Harb (or their enemies within Dar al-Islam) to secure access to Western energy markets for gain, but seek to wage jihad against the West because of their religious tenets.
And these groups are very clear about making us understand their motives. ISIS, for instance, has devoted much of the most recent issue of its magazine, Dabiq (PDF here), to reject the Pope's claim, "assuring the pontiff that their sole motivation is religious and sanctioned by Allah in the Qur’an." Specifically, in a lengthy article entitled "Break the Cross," ISIS argues that Christianity is a sham religion, and calls for Christians to submit to Islam, either by renouncing their religion or by submitting to the jizyah. The author warns:
Know well that our fight will continue until you are defeated and submit to the rule of your Creator, or until we achieve martyrdom. Allah has made our mission to wage war against disbelief until it ceases to exist, as he has ordered us to kill all pagans wherever they are found. He said, “Then kill the pagans wherever you find them” (At-Tawbah 5). In His eternal wisdom, He made an exception to only one group of disbelievers. He said, “Fight those who neither believe in Allah and the Last Day, nor do they forbid what Allah and His Messenger forbade, nor do they follow the religion of truth, of those who were given the Scripture, until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled” (At-Tawbah 29).
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... Any Christian or Jew who accepts the jizyah and then breaks any of the agreed upon stipulations shall find no security, and their blood thus becomes lawful to spill and wealth permissible to seize. For indeed, “Honor belongs to Allah, His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know” (Al-Munafiqun 8).(p. 63). The article concludes:
In the end, we challenge all of the arrogant Christian disbelievers with the challenge presented by Allah for those who lie against Jesus, as the Lord said, “Verily the example of Jesus according to Allah is like that of Adam. He formed him of earth and then said, ‘Be,’ so he became. So whoever disputes with you regarding him, after this knowledge has come to you, then say, ‘Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then humbly pray for Allah’s curse to be upon the liars’” (Al ‘Imran 59).(Id.)
There are those that recognize that ISIS wants to start a clash of civilizations. James Poulos, writing in Foreign Policy, points out:
With Tuesday’s mid-Mass beheading of an elderly French priest in Rouen, a short distance from Paris, the Islamic State’s malignant devotees have dealt a vicious blow against the West’s all but emotionally neutral campaign to contain the quasi-caliphate. Though the internecine conflicts wracking the Arab world ensure the war against the Islamic State is hardly a war on Islam, the jihadis are bent on a clash of civilizations. And by martyring French Catholics who are Old Christendom’s flesh and blood, they’re one step closer to getting one.
Whatever the extent of Western reluctance or prudence, the truth is there’s no better way to shake Europe out of what many now see as its guilt-ridden paralysis than to assault French Catholicism — the oldest, most ingrained force that transcends nationalism in Europe’s most powerful proud nation.He likens the probable response to a defensive Crusade (the historical Crusades were, in fact, defensive in nature). A view that seems to be gaining strength in France, at least. Poulos continues:
In Europe, both politicians and the pope all but deliberately mischaracterize Islamist violence as senselessly absurd. As Pope Francis has focused attention on the weakest and most vulnerable to arrive on Europe’s shores — or perish in their attempt — his plea that refugees “are not dangerous but in danger” has run up against the hard truth that among the hundreds of thousands of newcomers are enough killers to keep horrific bloodshed in the news and in public nightmares. While the willful pontiff labors to prove that charity and solidarity are two sides of the same coin, France’s increasingly devout Catholic insurgents see, and paint, a darker picture.
Consider the reaction of France’s youngest and most alluring reactionary, the sensational young National Front figure Marion Maréchal-Le Pen. At first, in horror and frustration, came the obvious: “They’re killing our children, assassinating our police officers, and slitting our priests’ throats,” she tweeted. “Wake up!” You’d expect nothing less from a scion of the Le Pen dynasty, one primed by the grisly, unprecedented truck attack in Nice, which is just a two-hour drive from her political headquarters.
But Marion Le Pen wasn’t finished. Hours after her first appeal, she urged Christians worldwide to unite against Islamism. And then the coup de grâce: “Faced with the threat weighing on France, I’ve decided to join the military reserve. I invite all young patriots to do the same.” The logic may be unnerving, but it is crystal clear. For Le Pen and Europeans starved for leadership consistent with patterns adhered to for centuries on end, it is Islam’s would-be holy warriors who have invited a defensive Crusade, and the time has come to give it to them.The tragedy is that stronger action in the past could have avoided the much larger bloodbath to come. The Clintons, Bushes, and Obama all had opportunities to contain the contagion. But they did nothing, in the case of Bill Clinton and the Bushes, or actively supported the Muslim Brotherhood and tacitly supported other vicious strains of fundamentalist Islam in the case of Obama and Hillary Clinton. In point of fact, the tragedy can probably be traced back to the failure to smack down Saudi Arabia when it seized the property of foreign oil companies operating there, for the subsequent flow of wealth into Saudi coffers allowed Wahhabism to fester and spread.
We may not see ourselves in a religious war with Islam, but growing factions within Islam certainly view themselves involved in a religious war against the West.