umm Abdillah, Radio Islam Programming – 2014.08.10 | 14 Shawwal 1435
ISIS is one of ‘em impudent young kiddo’s who’s behaviour brings disgrace to their parent body. Deceptive, arrogant, garrulous, and at times, downright diabolical in their zealousness, they make grown-up Muslims wrought and fraught. But is it the Muslim ummah who are their parent body; or are ISIS merely the extremist manifestation of years of depravity via the US coalition and foreign policy? As shark-infested these waters may be, we know we can’t throw the ISIS baby monster out with the bathwater. As depraved as it may be to pose with the head of an Alawite soldier on Twitter, it’s to a far lesser degree than what Syrians have been suffering under Assad, and Iraqi Sunni’s under Nouri Maliki. Still, it doesn’t make it right.
As reported by Syrian scholars, the catastrophe in Syria has culminated in predominantly misinformed outsiders bolstering the strength of ISIS, duped by the group’s buzz-words: Khilafah, Bay’ah, Amir al-Mu’minin, Hijrah, Jihad etc. In reality, ISIS has either been severely infiltrated by Assad’s regime or their ideology is starkly unrelated to Islam and critically misguided.
Who are they?
Not so new kids on the block, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Shaam) or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), sometimes merely “State” or “Dowla” or “IS” operates in Iraq and Syria with the aim of creating an “Islamic State” across the borders of the two countries and beyond. Reportedly previously “Al-Qaeda” in Iraq, it became the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria last year. It has played a prominent role in Syria's civil war in a bid to save Muslims from Alawite tyranny.
Fighting under the ISIS banner are a broad range of smaller groups – some committed Islamic fighters; some radicals; some remnants of Saddam Hussein's old regime; disaffected Sunni tribal leaders, and many smaller disenfranchised militia who desire to further their own aims by hitching their wagon to a popular movement. Iraqi officials believe there are between 6,000 and 10,000 ISIS militants in the country.
Reports from cities where ISIS has taken control are bleak - public executions, forced conversions, beheadings, kidnapping, starving people, amputations, torture and beatings among tactics used to maintain control.
“Al-Qaeda” has reportedly complained that ISIS is too brutal and that its focus on establishing an Islamic State has become more important to them than toppling President Assad. In territories where ISIS operates, Syrians feel they’ve merely traded in a tyrant in Bashar Al Asad for another tyrant in ISIS. ISIS still however pose a significant challenge to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s control over his country.
In the past weeks, thousands of Christians have reportedly fled northern Iraq, land they’ve inhabited for centuries. The exodus was caused when ISIS issued its ultimatum that by July 19 2014, Christians convert to Islam, pay a tax or be killed for their faith. Reports find fleeing families were stopped at checkpoints and stripped of money, passports and personal possessions.
Who funds them?
In March 2014, Shi’i Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar, US allies of openly funding the Sunni Muslim insurgents his troops are battling in western Anbar province.
ISIS has acquired money and supplies including American-made vehicles, arms, and ammunition as they loot American bases in Iraq and as they take over more towns. The group also reportedly scored $430 million when they looted the main bank in Mosul. They reportedly have a stream of steady income sources, including oil sales in the Northern Syrian regions they control.
“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organisation that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.” [Tony Cartalucci quotes from ”The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?”]
The plan, from the beginning, was to raise an extremist expeditionary force to trigger a regional sectarian bloodbath – a bloodbath now raging across multiple borders and set to expand further.
Despite an open conspiracy to drown the region in sectarian strife, the US now poses as a stakeholder in Iraq’s stability. Their recent “support” of the Yazidi’s is one such example. They are complicit in raising armies of extremists within Libya and along Syria’s borders. ISIS itself has operated all along Turkey’s border with Syria, “coincidentally” where the US CIA has conducted years of “monitoring” and arming of “moderate” groups. Having armed, funded, and assisted ISIS into existence and into northern Iraq itself, the idea of America “intervening” to stop ISIS is comparable to an arsonist extinguishing his fire with more gasoline. When a fire is raging, firefighters are called – not the arsonist who started it, especially if they return to the scene of the crime dragging a barrel of gasoline behind them. Yet, this is precisely what the US proposes – that they – the geopolitical arsonists – be allowed to return to Iraq to extinguish the threat of heavily armed sectarian militants.
Maliki’s prisons and Assad’s Hell – Sunni genocide
According to the UN, Syrian armed and security forces have been responsible for unlawful killing, including of children (mostly boys), medical personnel and hospital patients; torture, including of children (mostly boys, sometimes to death) and hospital patients, and including sexual and psychological torture; arbitrary arrest "on a massive scale"; deployment of tanks and helicopter gunships in densely populated areas; heavy and indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas; collective punishment; enforced disappearances; wide scale and systematic destruction and looting of property; the systematic denial, in some areas, of food and water; and the prevention of medical treatment, including to children.
Men and women have been subjected to brutal sexual violence by government forces. According to the UN, sexual violence in detention is directed principally against men and boys, rather than women and girls.
Men were routinely made to undress and remain naked. Several former detainees testified reported beatings of genitals, forced oral sex, electroshocks and cigarette burns and boiling water to the anus in detention facilities. Testimonies were received from several men who stated they had been anally raped with batons and that they had witnessed the rape of boys. One man stated that he witnessed a 15-year-old boy being raped in front of his father. A 40-year-old man saw the rape of an 11-year-old boy by three security services officers.
Maliki’s jails are notorious torture chambers to the Sunni population of Iraq.
According to professionals, the situation in Iraq is common in ongoing civil wars, with the regime in power attempting to eliminate opponents from the past. Executions and torture are "intentional state terror".
"The goal is to create a visible spectacle, and the purpose is to terrorise communities into quiescence."
Amnesty International sent it’s finding of this sadism in Iraq to the Iraqi government in December 2012 but has yet to receive any response from them.
In conclusion an armed struggle against such tyranny was and is the only viable response - only the ISIS players, given the diversity of their intentions, are more brutal and misguided to holistic Islamic teachings. The Muslim ummah may have the same gripes as they do, but aren’t unified in their vision and certainly not their methodology.
Image Source - A sign with numbers of American military members killed and wounded in Iraq is seen as a part of a temporary memorial, known as "Arlington West" a project of Veterans For Peace, on Santa Monica Beach in Santa Monica, Calif., on Dec. 9, 2012.