Methodical terror in Paris and Brussells 
This website and its publications have claimed from the outset, that it is Muslims who are the intended victims of Al Qaeda and latterly ISIS. That is not in any way an attempt to divert sympathy and support from the all too numerous non-Muslims who have suffered, it is a statement about the strategy followed by these groups and their spawn. Mehmood Naqshbandi, August 2006: "Terrorist groups exploit these tensions to achieve three quite explicit objectives: ... most pertinently, (iii) to try to drive a wedge between Muslims settled in the West and their host communities.
The last tactic is part of a strategy to ‘purify’ Islam by removing it from decadent Western influence, and to return to an international situation where the borders of
Islam are distinct (and therefore controllable) from the non-Muslim world, in defiance of globalisation of borders.

Now, thanks to an article by Shiraz Maher in this week's New Statesman, you can read it in ISIS's own words without risking that knock on the door at 4am:

'All of this falls into a strategy where IS wants to eradicate what it calls the “grayzone” of coexistence. Its aim is to divide the world along binary lines – Muslim and non-Muslim; Islam and non-Islam; black and white – with absolutely no room for any shades of grey.

“The Muslims in the West will quickly find themselves between one of two choices, they either apostatise and adopt the kufri [infidel] religion propagated by Bush, Obama, Blair, Cameron, Sarkozy and Hollande in the name of Islam so as to live amongst the kuffar [disbelievers] without hardship, or they [migrate] to the Islamic State,” says an editorial in Dabiq magazine. “The option to stand on the sidelines as a mere observer is being lost.”

Atrocities such as the Paris attacks are designed to put a strain on the “grayzone”, thereby polarising Muslim and non-Muslim communities alike. Indeed, this is precisely what Islamic State said it hoped to achieve after the Malian-French radical Amedy Coulibaly declared, in a video released two days after his death, that he had participated in the Charlie Hebdo attacks on IS’s behalf. “The time had come for another event – magnified by the presence of the Caliphate on the global stage – to further bring division to the world and destroy the grayzone everywhere,” Dabiq said.'

"Why Isis seeks a battle with Western nations - and why it can't be ignored", Shiraz Maher, 22 November 2015.

ISIS has grabbed for themselves an important Muslim ethic, the principle that the dunya, the world, and everything in it, is of no value compared with the akhirah, the hereafter, and of no value compared with the worship of Allah alone. Muslims should have so little attachment to the dunya that they would be ready to leave it at any moment. This is not a fundamentalist ethic, it is the root of the principle of Islam, submission to the will of Allah. It is the principle which Sufis strive for no less than jihadis, real or cult-ist. The only difference is that ISIS has co-opted it into its own death-cult and applies it as a tool to exhort its followers into acts of violence that intentionally push the boundaries of human disgust. They are not mad, they are calculating. Their calculations are so cynically utilitarian that their followers earnestly believe they are making the ultimate sacrifice (and presume to gain the highest reward) in order to force Muslims 'back' to a life in conformity with the Shari'ah, or their absolutist, grim interpretation of it. The more they cause horror in their depravity, the less Muslims have inclination to seek a life in the West and the harder it will be to resist ISIS's exhortations to return to the Straight Path, or ISIS's twisted and mangled, soulless interpretation of it.

What that means for tackling ISIS and its progeny, is very significant. It means that whatever Western or Russian, or Iranian, or even local, forces do to remove ISIS from the territory it holds, and even if every single follower is killed, the idea will spread and grow in potency. So much has already happened - Iraq and post 9-11 Afghanistan drew in ten or a hundred times more militants than Bosnia; Syria and ISIS now draw in ten times again. The Dawlat of ISIS will probably evaporate, but its followers will disperse and filter into Saudi Arabia whence many of its supporters come from, and it poses an existentialist threat to that country's government which is weaker now than it has ever been. If ISIS's rump fights its final actions "defending" the Haramain, there will be few Muslims who will not feel compromised by not joining them. (An aside: The notion that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia backs ISIS is nonsense, but the numerous malcontents within KSA at every level, have no difficulty putting aside something to back them or presume to exploit them.)

So the bottom line is this: ISIS and its threat will not disappear, it will not even be contained, until every Muslim stands firm against ISIS and what it stands for. Not 'everyone including Muslims' but every Muslim ! This is not about Muslims condemning, saying, 'they are not of us', and it is not in the least about blaming Bush, Blair and co for the Iraq war: Saddam's removal was an opportunity for ISIS, not the root cause of ISIS. Yes if the Iraq invasion had not happened, the opportunity would not have come, perhaps, but only Allah knows. Muslims must on every level reject ISIS's death-cult perversion of the ethic of detachment from the world, and replace it with the detachment that says that jihad is to live in the world in the way of the Shari'ah and Sunnah, without it imposed on you, without you imposing it on others, fulfilling your duties to your neighbours, not least of which is that they should never have any reason to distrust you on any matter whatsoever. ISIS followers say they love death as we love life. The truth is that they are cowards that fear life in the way of the Sunnah, and fear not knowing how their deaths will be and the lifelong need to strengthen their imaan against doubt, and the possibility that they may now be wrong and that they might even live long enough to have remorse for their evil. Theirs is a death-cult which believes it can bring about that which Allah alone can bring about, including their own (worthless) deaths.

The struggle against extremism, militancy and 'jihadism' is not something Muslims 'have to put up with' or for Muslims to endure while governments take away the civil liberties of all of us and tabloid journalists demonise us, it is our own struggle. Not one of us should complain when we are told we are not condemning loudly enough, not doing enough to single out and expel 'extremists' from our midst. This website more than any other has provided demonstrable and factual evidence for the absence of extremist imams and preachers in our masjids; but the fight against ISIS and everything it has co-opted in the name of Islam, is our fight, Muslims' fight, and we will lose it unless we take it on with both hands.

And Allah alone knows best. Wa akhiru da'wana an al-hamdu li-Llahi rabb il-'alamin.


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