If you’ve been reading Spencer’s Jihad Watch blog all these years, you’re probably aware of a lot of the insane and nasty sides of Sharia.
But the article in The Atlantic about “What ISIS Wants” has pointed out some new wrinkles.
1. The leader of ISIS is a member of Mohammed’s Quraysh tribe, and thus is potentially eligible for being a legit caliph.
2. A legit candidate having fulfilled all the other conditions and declared himself caliph, all Muslims are supposed to declare their allegiance to him. If they support anybody else, they can be considered apostate and killed. (Of course, Shia Muslims and Ahmadi Muslims are pretty used to that.)
3. There’s a lot more Sharia law for individual Muslims and the state to follow, when under an caliphate.
4. Under a caliph all Muslims are supposed to live off the state, and all People of the Book and slaves are supposed to do the paying and the working. So other than fighting, ISIS supporters don’t plan on doing anything with their lives; and they must keep conquering and oppressing, or the whole structure collapses under its own weight.
5. If the caliph neglects anything in Sharia law and doesn’t respond to criticism from his followers, they can declare him apostate and kill him. Another member of the Quraysh tribe can then take over as emir, and later, caliph.
6. ISIS members love to declare other Muslims apostate. They will do this even if it’s stuff that traditionally has been considered okay. This is why the Al-Qaeda guys thought the ISIS guys were too nuts for them, and kicked them out.
7. So obviously, other people would love to declare ISIS apostate, and thus the ISIS members are pretty much trapped by their own rhetoric and past actions to keep doing nastier and nastier things.
8. The way out is that they expect an anti-Messiah to show up and kill them, and then the prophet Jesus to come back with a spear* and spear the Dajjal anti-Messiah, and then the Mahdi to come back at the end of the world. So if they can hang on until the end of the world, everything will be hunky-dory.
9. They have an obsession with a town in Syria called Dabiq, which is basically the legendary Muslim equivalent of Megiddo/Armageddon.
10. They expect to fight “the forces of Rome,” which some identify with Muslim Turkey! (It was the home of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, and as non-Arabs, Turks are not popular with some). Others identify it with the US (of course!) or “any infidel army.” I don’t know whether Chechens buy the Russian propaganda that Moscow is the Third Rome, but I bet somebody finds it convenient. (UPDATE: But the guys in Libya define Rome as the city of Rome. Apparently Italians are reacting with mockery and no fear of these bozos. Romans are hard to impress.)
11. If the caliphate loses all its territory, it no longer can claim to be legit, there’s no caliph, and all pledges of allegiance to the ex-caliph are dissolved.
12. As with other religious movements, a fair number of imams are ex-Catholic. Isn’t it great to have young Catholics left out on their own, with a lack of solid religious education and spiritual direction? Yay!
13. There are some pious, educated Muslims (Salafi, even) who argue against the legitimacy of ISIS on the grounds of arrogance, no clear evidence of God’s will, and causing social unrest. (UPDATE: These people believe that the head of ISIS did not properly fulfill the conditions before arrogantly declaring himself caliph, and thus that he’s just some boob whom God will soon smite.)
14. Liberal reporters have a weird attraction to creepy people. At least this guy fights it.
* Probably because one verse of Revelation (Rev. 2:12) in the Vulgate calls for Jesus to have a two-edged rhomphaeum (Thracian polearm with a long skinny blade) instead of a gladium (the Roman shortsword of the Legions). The Greek version of Revelation talks about a romphaia or rhomphaia, which is the same thing. Carried by the Thracians as early as 400 BC. Much later, it was used by the Emperor’s guards in Byzantium. Sometimes people talk about this as being a falchion or a spear, but it was a polearm.