On November 13, ISIS released the following document (A Statement on the Blessed Onslaught in Paris against the Crusader Nation of France) celebrating their "holy war" or jihad against France who they call a "Crusader nation." It is noteworthy that the attacks are justified by citations from the Qur'an, use of the Islamic calendar, and celebrate the dedication of the "holy warriors" in their so-called battle to rid France of its sinfulness. In a very ironic fashion, the statement is a back-handed challenge to the Church as well.
a. This so-called jihad or holy war by ISIS finds its justification in the Qur'an and in the life of Muhammad and Islamic history. That is to say it is not a "radical" "extremist" or "lunatic fringe" effort. The precedent of what happened to the Jewish tribe the Banu Nadir is immediately appealed to in the text by its reference to Surah 59.2.
b. Nations which historically were associated with the cross, namely France and Germany in this case, are dubbed "Crusader" nations. It is a sad irony that largely these nations from which Calvin and Luther had their roots, and which was influenced by the Reformation, have forgotten God, and live in immorality. It is also a pitiful irony that ISIS, for all of its moral outrage against the "sins" of these nations, perpetuates the same and more especially in areas under its control.
c. The easy justification for slaughter on the part of ISIS stems from this so-called "righteous indignation." Yet it could be deemed a hypocritical indignation, just as the Surah of the "hypocrites" was appealed to.
d. As much as the liberal press would suggest that any outrage against Islam for this action is questionable, one wonders if it is high time for Islam to take responsibility for its actions. Little wonder, however, that when the Egyptian "Mark Gabriel" started asking questions while he was still a Muslim, about the linkage between the actions and ideas of the founder of his religion and perpetual violence, he was jailed and tortured for asking the wrong questions.
e. These actions are directly linked to a strategy called "civilization jihad." Note how these ideas are linked by a strategy paper from the Muslim Brotherhood of the USA entitled "An Explanatory Memorandum"
“The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan [=Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and — “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” – Pg. 7 of 8
Compare this statement with that of a French historian André Servier who lived in then French Algeria in the early 1900's.
“Islam was not a torch, as has been claimed, but an extinguisher. Conceived in a barbarous brain for the use of a barbarous people, it was — and it remains — incapable of adapting itself to civilization. Wherever it has dominated, it has broken the impulse towards progress and checked the evolution of society.”
André Servier, Islam and the Psychology of the Musulman [French L’islam et la psychologie du musulman. Paris, 1923
f. The document rightfully demonstrates that the West faces an ideological type of warfare where jets and bombs will not necessarily completely win the day. In a back-handed way it also challenges the Church to think how it can mobilize its youth to lives of self-sacrifice, and why its task of unashamedly proclaiming a Biblical Christian worldview is more needed than ever.
g. The document in a back-handed way challenges the Church to self-sacrifice, loving our lives not unto death, of eternal rewards, and of having a healthy understanding of what martyrs like Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna stood for.
h. As much as the reference to the Crusades could invoke a lot of hand-wringing on the part of the West, the reality at present is that ISIS has declared war on all of humanity except itself, and thus calls for a strong response from all of humanity except ISIS, just as the Allies took a strong response to the Nazis. Platitudes such as those which came from Chamberlain about Hitler, do not portray love, but culpable indifference to the sufferings of others.
i. This document is a wake-up call. Will the West hear it?
[i] Note that this is date is from the Islamic calendar, which counts history from the year of the Hijra or immigration to Medina.
[ii] The Surah (chapter of the Qur'an) where this comes from is called Sūrat al-Hashr and it means "the exile" or the "banishment" which refers to the Jews of the tribe of Banu Nadir from their settlement. The not-so-subtle message that continues in the text is that ISIS is going to banish the "crusader" French from their own houses, with the blessings of Allah.
[iii] This is a dominant theme in Islamic history, and is detailed especially in the first authorized biography of Muhammad, by Ibn Ishaq and revised by Ibn Hisham.
[iv] From Sūrat al-Munāfiqūn or the "hypocrites". The text makes it clear that only Allah of Islam, Muhammad, and Muslims are those who "know" or are properly guided. Those who are two-faced are the ignorant ones. Likely it serves two purposes. First it distinguishes ISIS and its supposed obedience to the laws of Allah and the ways of Muhammad from all other people, and secondly it could be a covert call to arms for all non-ISIS Muslims, as by definition, the hypocrites were those who were Muslims, but were not radical enough and tried to soften the radical attitudes of Muhammad and his closest followers.