Sunday, November 15, 2015
Paris has been attacked by ISIS. Why? What should we do about it? These are very important questions and deserve some thought rather than knee jerk reactions.
Why have they attacked Paris? I think to understand that you need to have some understanding of who ISIS is and what they want. There is a remarkable and timely article in The Atlantic that is a long read but worth the effort entitled "What ISIS really wants".
And what ISIS really wants is the apocalypse.
They see the world as heading toward the end times, with a final showdown between True Islam and the rest of the world (false Islam and all other religions and beliefs). They see themselves as on the side of God and fully expect God to make sure that True Islam prevails. ISIS is profoundly religious in their beliefs and motivations, and they see themselves as major players in God's plan to bring about the world that God wants - the establishment of the Final Caliphate. They see any effort to move Islamic belief into the modern world as anathema needing to be violently eliminated. They see the word and world of Mohammed as sacred and perfect and see themselves as appointed by God to establish that world, and expect God to help them and assure their success.
They see the end times as having been prophesized and see themselves as appointed by God to bring it to pass. But, what does that mean? Apparently, there is a script: the arrival of the Mahdi to lead them to victory - a massive confrontation with the "armies of Rome" (all those who are not True Muslims, I guess) in Northern Syria at the city of Dabiq - the defeat of "Rome" - the expansion of the Caliphate to conquer Istanbul - the emergence of an anti-messiah who will kill off most Mustlims - and finally (SURPRISE!) the second coming of Jesus will "spear the anti-messiah" and lead the Muslims to final apocalyptic victory.
Whew, that Jesus guy has a lot of people waiting for his second coming to set up the perfect world after the slaughter of lots of people! Apparently Jesus is considered by Muslims to be the second most important prophet after Mohammed. I think there are some fundamentalist Christians waiting for Jesus to come down during the apocalypse and establish a Christian paradise. So, a tough choice for Jesus, I guess. Does he establish a Christian paradise or a Muslim paradise? Either way, I think stoning folks for adultery and homosexuality is part of that Jesus inspired "paradise."
I certainly hope Jesus has something better to do.
So, the second question is what do we do about the terrible attacks on Paris and the rest of the civilized world?
DON'T TAKE THE BAIT. That's my advice. Why do they attack Paris? to incite a massive military response in the Middle East. Why do they want a massive Western attack in the Middle East? As a call to arms to Muslims around the world to flood to the defense of the Caliphate and the initiation of the apocalypse that will end up with the end times and the establishment of (according to their deeply held religious belief) a final Caliphate and a final Muslim Paradise.
Who wants to rush in militarily to the Middle East and crush the Caliphate? Well, I guess we can start with Western Christians who also see the end times upon us and fully expect to have an apocalyptic showdown resulting in the establishment of a Christian Paradise (women and homosexuals beware in both cases!)
So, in my mind, that is what not to do - don't invade Syria/Iraq to crush ISIS because it will explode into a world war against hundreds of thousands or millions of deeply fanatical Muslims who seek death in the cause of creating the apocalypse that will establish a Muslim Caliphate paradise.
So, what do we do? I believe we need to reach out to our natural allies in the fight against ISIS and other slaughtering in the name of Mohammed Islamists - Muslims. Sane Muslims. Adult Muslims. Modern Muslims. A few centuries back there was the Spanish Inquisition - torturing and killling heretics. That is Islam today. Christianity outgrew that insanity. Islam will too. Now is the time to help that along. The Christian world knows how to do this. It has already walked that path. The Western world knows how to do this, it is part of our past.
It is time for modernist Islam to take over their faith. Fortunately they are finally standing up and speaking out. Muslim leaders around the world recently released a detailed condemnation of ISIS as being un-Islamic. This might seem like small potatoes to us in the West, but it is the heart of the matter in the Middle East. Who is Islamic and who is un-Islamic is the most important question of all to them. So, these Middle Eastern Islamic leaders say ISIS in un-Islamic, and they cite very scholarly textual justifications. Here is a list of how ISIS violates the doctrines of Islam according to these Middle Eastern religious leaders (including Sheikh Shawqi Allam, the grand mufti of Egypt, and Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the mufti of Jerusalem and All Palestine):
We can't kill our way out of this mess. This is a battle of ideas. This is a civil and religious war within Islam. The West is being used as a tool and a fool by the combatants in this religious war. That is why their attacks are so heartless and nihilistic against the West, as a way of baiting the West into foolish, massive military responses which will explode into a worldwide upsurge of fanatical Muslims and an exponential growth of the Caliphate that ISIS is trying to establish.
Don't take the bait. Make alliances with those who are the real targets of fanatical Islamist attacks - Muslims in the Middle East.