Obama on ISIS: Is the Islamic State really unrelated to Islam?

President Barack Obama speaks about the killing of American journalist James Foley by the terrorist group ISIL

SAN DIEGO, August 27, 2014 — “Let’s be clear about ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant),” President Obama said firmly last week after confirmation that the terrorist organization had beheaded American journalist Jim Foley.

“They have rampaged across cities and villages,” he continued, “killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children, and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims — both Sunni and Shia — by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can for no other reason than they practice a different religion. They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people.”

Up to this point in the speech, the president was uncharacteristically accurate in his assessment of a foreign threat. But he couldn’t resist adding that tired, obligatory disclaimer that Muslim terrorists are not truly practicing Islam.

“So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day.”

Truth and falsehood were woven together in those last remarks. It is ironically true that the victims of Muslims are often other Muslims accused of not being obedient enough to the dictates of Jihad. It is also true that no just God would stand for such pure evil. But this only begs a much larger question: Does the doctrine of the Koran lead us to a just God or some other kind of God?

As for the targeting of innocents, Mr. President, that is exactly what the true Muslim faith does. No, the Koran would not describe its targets as “innocents,” instead calling them “infidels” and “blasphemers,” but they remain innocent casualties by any decent understanding of the word.

It is the Koran itself that is being held up to scrutiny here, not the entire Muslim world population.

There are many peaceful Muslims in the world who want no part of this barbarity. However, while every Muslim must be judged on an individual basis, evaluating Islam itself is another matter. The Jihad commands of Surah 9 and many other passages of the Koran really do call upon Muslims to conquer the world, offering “infidels” the choice of converting, submitting to Muslim rule, or dying.

That is a powerful and controversial claim; let’s address the anticipated objections one at a time:

“But only the terrorists take those words seriously.”

Not so. It is true that the terrorists (sadly) are interpreting the Koran accurately, but many Muslims who do not identify themselves as terrorists still abide by their own book, which makes sense. After all, to them, the Koran is sacred scripture.

Are you saying there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim?”

Many Muslims call themselves moderate, but the Koran itself leaves no room for moderation. Therefore, those who consider themselves moderate Muslims are actually nominal Muslims.

What do we mean by nominal?  Just as there are people who live in America or Europe who know absolutely nothing about the Bible other than a few choice ideas taken out of context, people who nevertheless call themselves Christians because they were raised with some kind of church background, there are likewise many people born into Muslim countries or raised by Muslim families.

If you asked them if they believed in the Koran, they would say, “Yes.” If you asked if they believed in the Jihad, they would deny it and they would be telling the truth. There are millions of such people and yes, they are peaceful Muslims.

There are also Muslims who see the Jihad verses and choose to interpret them differently.

However, any Muslim who takes the Koran seriously and literally, who truly understands the entire message, not only accepts the Jihad commands, but is also taught that it is okay to lie during a time of war.

Why not let Mohammad speak for himself?

“Lying is wrong, except in three things; the lie of a man to his wife to make her content with him, a lie to an enemy, for war is deception, or a lie to settle trouble between people.” (Hadith, Mussnad Ahmad 6:459).

Even so-called “moderate” Muslims are allowed to lie during a time of war and deny that they believe in the Jihad. On that note, when is militant Islam not at war?

This explains why the allegation of a “moderate” organization such as CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) having ties to terrorist groups is not such a stretch of the imagination.

Although CAIR officials deny the connection, FBI agent Lara Burns, during testimony at a 2010 trial regarding CAIR’s connection with Palestine Committee and its relationship with Hamas, read  from the transcript of a 1993 Hamas supporter group in Philadelphia where the idea of starting a new organization with a less threatening name was being discussed. Her reading was a quotation from Holy Land Foundation President Shukri Abu Baker:

“And let’s not hoist a large Islamic flag, and let’s not be barbaric-talking. We will remain a front so that if the thing happens, we will benefit from the new happenings instead of having all of our organizations classified and exposed.”

Daniel Pipes pointed to similar connections in a 2005 article for Front Page Magazine, co-authored with Sharon Chadha:

“The Institute of Islamic Thought, an institution linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, gave CAIR’s Washington office $14000.00 in 2003.”

Whether we’re talking about the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, or the most current horrific news maker, ISIL, it must be noted that these different organizations are really the same cereal in different boxes. The accurate title describing all of them is Militant Islam.

All branches of militant Islam have declared war on the non-Muslim and they have specifically articulated this goal as war against United States, whether we accept it or not. Since they get their cues from the Koran and not U.S. Middle Eastern policy, we’d best put away the self imposed guilt, mindless diplomacy, and the ultimately useless surgical military responses. The only way to end this war is to truly win this war.

Yes, there are many nominal Muslims, but a dedicated Muslim who accepts the Koran literally and truly understands the Koran, is not allowed to be moderate. It is time for U.S. foreign policy to also end its moderation.

This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious, obvious.


The Wall Street Journal,The Investigative Project on Terrorism, and Front Page Magazine contributed to this story.

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Bob Siegel
A graduate of Denver Seminary and San Jose State University, Bob Siegel is a radio talk show host and popular guest speaker at churches and college campuses across the country, using a variety of media including, seminars, formal debates, outdoor open forums, and one man drama presentations. In addition to his own weekly radio show (KCBQ 1170, San Diego) Bob has been a guest on many other programs, including The 700 Club, Washington Times Radio's Inside the Story, The Rick Amato Show, KUSI Television's Good Morning San Diego, and the world popular Jonathan Parkradio drama series, for which Bob guest starred in two episodes and wrote one episode, The Clue From Ninevah. In addition to CDN, Bob is a regular contributor for San Diego Rostra. Bob does a good deal of playwriting as well (14 plays & 5 collaborations), including the award winning, Eternal Reach. Bob has also published books of both fiction and non-fiction including; I'd Like to Believe In Jesus, But...and a fantasy novel, The Dangerous Christmas Ornament.
  • Irfan Tusneem

    It is unfortunate that you consider terrorists more knowledgeable about Islam than people who have spent their entire life studying the Quran. Unfortunately instead of seeing journalism, I see the worst kind of article, lies mixed in with some truth to make the reader believe what the writer wants. Believing things is this article is like saying that I should believe in Timothy McVeigh’s view about patriotism as opposed to someone whose family has been serving in military for generations.

    • Bob Siegel

      I have read the Koran cover to cover. What I said in this article is the truth. I also gave a reference for one of the Surahs in the Koran which issues Jihad commands, Surah 9. However, if you are interested in setting up a debate on my radio show, you can challenge my article. But you will be asked to offer some facts of your own rather than unsubstantiated insinuation. It will not take the audience long to determine who is being responsible with the facts. Details about my radio show and contact info can be found at the end of my column.

      • Sohaib Awan

        If I asked one my writers to develop a response to this piece, where can he submit it?

        Sohaib Awan
        Chairman, Muslim Writers Guild of America

        • Mr. Awan:

          Please contact me at [email protected]. We will need you tor eview this page http://www.commdiginews.com/submit-a-post/ and send the release on that page, the article and a 100 x 100 photo of the writer This is a promise to review, but not to publish. This information is on every page, right rail, in the masthead information. I look forward to your counterpoint.

        • Bob Siegel

          After you write the article, I will invite you to come on my radio show and defend it in an open real time debate where you will need to give honest on the spot responses to some very interesting questions I will have for you.

          • Bob Siegel

            The debate is an option of course, not a requirement for having one of your writers submit an article, merely a challenge.

  • Caeser Flickerman

    If one thing is for certain, it’s that Obama is a delusional lunatic.

  • Brian Wagner

    I agree with this article though I believe from my own reading of the Koran that it is apostates and blasphemers that are condemned to death. The term infidel should not be confused with any who were born outside of Islam and have rejected it. Yes, these killers in ISIS are not radical Islamists, they are fundamental Islamists. Take away those two clear teachings of the Koran against publicly standing against Islam (blasphemy) and publicly leaving Islam for another religion (apostasy) and the whole authority of their prophet Mohammad is undermined. Liberalizing a religion away from it foundational teachings and still claiming allegiance to that faith may be more socially acceptable in a modern society, but it is not a true allegiance. ISIS may be radical in its extreme methods of its obedience to the Koran, but it truly is obeying the clear teaching of the Koran.

    • Bob Siegel

      Actually the commands are against infidels in Surah 9.

      • Brian Wagner

        I may be wrong, but I had previously thought infidel meant someone who does not believe in Islam, and had never before professed to. But I think in the Koran it stands for someone who is apostate, unfaithful to Islam, having publicly left it. Surah 9 appears to command only taxation to non-Muslims, unless they publicly take a stand against Islam, then that would be “blasphemy” and worthy of capital punishment. But infidels are ex-Muslims, I believe, and are condemned to death in Surah 9 unless they repent.

        • Bob Siegel

          The Koran describes both types

    • Bob Siegel

      The Koran describes both types.

  • jfreed27

    In the Torah you find the injunction to kill one’s son if he is sufficiently disobedient; the community must stone him to death. But, even the most observant Jews simply do not do that.

    • Bob Siegel

      Observant Jews also understand that such passages are often taken out of the context from the rest of the Torah where financial retribution was accepted as an alternative to capital punishment.

      • jfreed27


        The point, Bob, is that even the most zealous are not “required” to follow every injunction. We no longer make suspected adulteresses drink the “water of bitterness” or stone those who do not observe the Sabbath, etc.

        I don’t know if we ever did, but we do not do so now.

        Mercy is even greater than justice. I would hope that jihadists would choose their scripture that honors that principle. It is hard to imagine the one true G_d being “pleased” by the rape, torture and murder of innocents. They cannot hide behind their religion and are, simply, assholes.

        • Bob Siegel

          I have an article on this subject which I wrote on my Website with all kinds of Bible verses. Just go to the “articles” section of my Website and use the convenient search engine. As for Islam, the most zealous ARE commanded to obey the entire Koran