Our Middle East strategy is wrong because we don’t understand the ISIS message


CHARLOTTE, NC, September 17, 2014 – Conventional wisdom is that the West must wipe the Islamic State from the map before we witness massive 9/11s on our shores. Destroying ISIS is a legitimate goal, but Western policies fail to grasp the differences between the Islamic State and previous terrorist groups.

Barack Obama, John Kerry, the liberal media and academia continue to insist that the Islamic State is not Islam. On the contrary. The Islamic State may actually be the most Islamic of all terrorist organizations we have ever encountered.

ISIS is following the philosophies of the Prophet Muhammad to the letter. That is as Islamic as you can get.

What is different about ISIS and its goals from other terror organizations is that the Islamic State has no intentions of invading the West any time soon. There are no immediate plans to send homegrown terrorists back to their native countries to perform acts of violence and destruction like those of the Boston Marathon bombing.

This is where the West misunderstands how to combat the ISIS enemy.

Muhammad was a pragmatist. He never waged war against a foe he did not believe he could defeat. Such an endeavor was counter-productive.

Instead, the Prophet made compromises and treaties with his intended victims until he had enough strength to combat and defeat them. Only then would he incite actions against the infidels in order to achieve his ultimate goals.

Terrorism as we have known it since 9/11 under Osama bin Laden has, until recently, had a different policy. Mass destruction and death on a huge scale were intended to frighten the West and create uncertainty about when the next event might occur.

The Islamic State, on the other hand, uses horrifying acts to arouse anger. The atrocities they have committed however, have either been within the territories they intend to conquer or against individuals in order to make a statement to the West.

At the moment the true goal of the Islamic State is to consolidate as much territory in the Middle East as possible in order to establish a massive power base from which to operate its new Caliphate.

Islam is most dormant militarily when it has no ability to control a society. That is also the time when it is most dangerous for terrorism because that is the only means to defense for their cause.

In Iraq and Syria, ISIS has already controls a vast territory. Some estimates say that the area is larger than the island of Great Britain.

ISIS is currently in the second phase of operations to consolidate other parts of the Middle East in order to gain dominance. The methods of the Islamic State are precisely those of Muhammad himself. Therefore, to state that ISIS is not Islam is to bury our heads in the sand and not accept reality.

The Hadith, the holiest book in Islam except for the Koran, outlines the strategy in explicit detail. The Islamic State’s online magazine “Dabiq”, which is clearly aimed at recruiting Westerners, tells readers that ISIS’ primary goal is to conquer Saudi Arabia, then Iran and finally Rome.

That is precisely why the Saudis are so concerned about their fate and why they may even be willing to form an alliance with Israel for protection.

Saudi Arabia is a huge land mass that is also the birthplace of Islam, the home of Muhammad and has huge oil reserves.

As the Hadith says, “You will invade the Arabian Peninsula, and Allah will enable you to conquer it. You will then invade Persia, and Allah will enable you to conquer it. You will then invade Rome, and Allah will enable you to conquer it.”

In other words, the Islamic State is telling the West precisely what it intends to do.

What makes ISIS more dangerous than al-Qaeda is that the ultimate goal is to gain control of the West. Therefore, the recruits ISIS seeks are not intended for immediate terrorist activities. Rather they are training to establish a base of future Islamic leaders who can control the population when ISIS gains control of the West.

Perhaps the West sees no distinction between the two forms of terror. Certainly the Islamic State is malicious in its video attacks on the West. But disgusting as those events may be, they are intended merely to horrify, to anger, to mock and to humiliate.

More importantly they are intended to distract from ISIS’ true goals and from the terrorist activities of other Islamic extremists.

It took Europe nearly 500 years to battle the first Islamic expansion with the Crusades, and almost six centuries to finally defeat them at the gates of Vienna in 1683.

It is time to pay attention to history so it does not repeat itself.

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.

Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)

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  • HA

    in Islam it is prohibited to go to ANY war unless it is in defense mode. So although I respect your article, the whole Islamic State that is based on going into war is prohibited and not valid at the first place.