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Theme Changer

 Topic: 'Islamic State' a.k.a. ISIL

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  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #750 - August 20, 2014, 06:56 PM

    ^ Front page.


    Thank you Osman.

    That message, not that it will ever be read by those to whom it refers so perhaps I am preaching to the choir here, is intended for every moderate and benign priest, bishop, imam, mullah, rabbi and all inbetween, from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope, Chief Rabbi, Quilliam Thinktank, Templeton Society, and politician, all the way down to religious charities, 'inter-faith' (oxymoron) groups, faith school leaders, every loving, decent, kind generous and productive religious person in our society, and every parent who thinks they are promoting morality and virtue in their child by promoting these absurd and in many cases horrid ideas as fact.

    While many of these outdated (they were already outdated when they were thought up) dangerous beliefs are ignored by a vast majority of religious people, its the promotion of 'faith', respect for faith and beliefs just because they are strongly held, that gives oxygen for others to pick up the ball, and run with it.

    This could all be so easily stopped within ONE generation, all it takes is for schools, parents and society in general, to stop teaching it to their kids as 'facts', and that faith is something to be cherished.

    Rant 2 over.


    I am better than your god......and so are you.

    "Is the man who buys a magic rock, really more gullible than the man who buys an invisible magic rock?.......,...... At least the first guy has a rock!"
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #751 - August 20, 2014, 07:04 PM

    Brilliant quote Adey. Do you mind if I paraphrase it?


    Please do, take what you want from it. Change it or add your own pearls of wisdom, or remove any errors. I am sure it can be improved as I wrote it at 3am this morning but had to get it out before I went to bed. I hope it gives the gist of what I  am trying to say.

    If it changes anyone's mind, or at least makes them think about promoting faith as a virtue (along with its 2 other ugly sisters, the fake virtues of self righteousness and piety), it will have done what I intended it to do.

    I am better than your god......and so are you.

    "Is the man who buys a magic rock, really more gullible than the man who buys an invisible magic rock?.......,...... At least the first guy has a rock!"
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #752 - August 20, 2014, 08:04 PM

    That stark picture is so haunting. I don't want to look at it.

    I hate those zombies that are doing that to those people. I fucking hate them.  Cry

    I am better than your god......and so are you.

    "Is the man who buys a magic rock, really more gullible than the man who buys an invisible magic rock?.......,...... At least the first guy has a rock!"
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #753 - August 20, 2014, 08:08 PM

    nice posts today Adey

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #754 - August 20, 2014, 08:11 PM

    That stark picture is so haunting. I don't want to look at it.

    I hate those zombies that are doing that to those people. I fucking hate them.  Cry


    Your picture suits you, you are very much a thinker, if only I could be as eloquent as you!
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #755 - August 20, 2014, 08:53 PM

    Sorry for the bad language, eloquent it was not, but I couldn't think of better words than 'fucking hate'.

    I am better than your god......and so are you.

    "Is the man who buys a magic rock, really more gullible than the man who buys an invisible magic rock?.......,...... At least the first guy has a rock!"
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #756 - August 20, 2014, 08:59 PM

    nice posts today Adey


    Thanks Billy, maybe I should slow down eh? that poor old grey matter up there is starting to overheat!

    Will be back to my daft one-liners once I have cooled down.

    I am better than your god......and so are you.

    "Is the man who buys a magic rock, really more gullible than the man who buys an invisible magic rock?.......,...... At least the first guy has a rock!"
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #757 - August 20, 2014, 09:13 PM

    don't slow down mate, life demands all thoughts that call to be expressed must be expressed  Afro

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #758 - August 20, 2014, 09:26 PM

    Also, its all the lovely sweet music, the grand opulent buildings (churches, mosques and religious buildings are beautiful) , the rousing sermons and self-important men in silly hats and frocks that are all part of the glitter and baubles that all add to the illusion of religion and help to suck the mind in.

    But you know what they say....."you can't polish a turd",  no

    I am better than your god......and so are you.

    "Is the man who buys a magic rock, really more gullible than the man who buys an invisible magic rock?.......,...... At least the first guy has a rock!"
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #759 - August 20, 2014, 09:29 PM

    That stark picture is so haunting. I don't want to look at it.

    I hate those zombies that are doing that to those people. I fucking hate them.  Cry

    hello Adey5., if you have  a bit of time., I would love  to read your opinion on this  article The insanity of blaming Islam  
    Quote
    We are still speculating about virtually everything right now, but I feel as though I need to explain why I find the quick and easy conversation about Muslims being radicalized in America to be so illogical and laced with bigotry.

    Of course, there is a global violent jihadist movement, loosely organized, that wants to recruit young men to influence policies at home and abroad and perhaps usher in the global caliphate. That ideology motivates some Muslims to kill innocent people.

    But you're allowed to be a radical Muslim in America. You're allowed to believe that the Qu'ran proscribes the most elegant set of laws. You're allowed to believe that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. And you can say, in America, pretty much anything you want. Not everything, and after 9/11, a little less, but you can still make very unpopular arguments.

    So just for the sake of argument, let's assume that the only factor that motivated these two brothers from Chechnya to set off bombs and kill police officers is their decision to accept some form of radical Islamic teachings as their foundational belief system. (I highly doubt this is the case, but let's just throw it out there.)

    We ask: "We have to look at the whole issue of radicalization. What prompts someone raised as an American to cause such carnage?"

    That's what Peter King, the Republican chair of the Homeland Security committee, asked. So he goes right to the religion; somehow, he slides very quickly past the possibility that something about America is radicalizing people of all sorts.

    He commits the sin of essentialism.

    It's a horrible habit: A Korean-American shoots fellow students at Virginia Tech, and suddenly, we're forced to pretend that it's OK to blame Korean-American family structure and culture for putting him over the edge, ignoring the millions of Korean-Americans who have never considered taking up arms.

    The murderer Andrew Cunanan was, in Tom Brokaw's famous words, a "homicidal homosexual."

    See? The gay made him do it.

    But when a white kid murders dozens of children, we don't ask whether the predominant Christian religion in America somehow radicalized him, or whether his upbringing was somehow less American than anyone else's. Stupid questions! Glad we don't ask them.

    It is far more plausible that American gun culture, the way that Americans are uncomfortable with people who are different, the gaps in the mental heath system, and a hundred other things, some of which cannot ever be controlled, pushed these two men over the edge. If it was Islam, or a hidden network of radical jihadists, then these types of events would not be rare in America. That they are is the answer to whether Islamic radicalization is a problem that Americans can and must contend with by stigmatizing Muslims.

    What is it about America that so alienates young men?

    What is it about their community — Cambridge, lower-middle class, American popular culture — that isolated them and encouraged their pursuit of a different way to add meaning to their lives?

    Here's the thing: We won't really ever know. We rightfully seek closure and answers, but we ought to come to grips with the reality that violence against random others is often a conspiracy of the mind.

    I love American culture, and I also think that something about living in a modern society loosens the moorings that prevent us from acting on our deepest, ugliest thoughts. Maybe in America it's a combination of economic distress, mass media, access to guns, bias and prejudice; maybe elsewhere it's the decline of ordering institutions like the church.

    The two suspects were Cantabrigians before they were Chechens. They were Americans before they Cechens. They were Americans; one was apparently a Muslim who had found a lovely girlfriend and never seemed to find that his religion was incompatible with whatever "normal" America is supposed to be.

    Bias against Muslims is real and it hurts. And the easiest way to radicalize un-radicalized people is to treat them like enemies.

     I agree with some of his points but I wonder whether that guy Marc Ambinder  understands the difference between "criticizing a faith and bias against/discriminating Muslims" Many people have difficulty in differentiating the two.

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #760 - August 20, 2014, 10:39 PM

    Foley Abduction Linked to British Jihadi Kidnapping Ring

    Quote
    Days before Foley was abducted in 2012, alleged members of a jihadi kidnapping network tied to ISIS slipped through the legal system in Britain, and may have started looking for new hostages in Syria.


    American journalist James Foley was captured in Syria in November 2012, just two weeks after the British government was forced to drop charges against and release three British citizens who were alleged members of a group of foreign fighters associated with the Islamic State and were implicated in the prior kidnapping of two Western journalists.

    It remains unclear whether these accused terrorists who slipped through the fingers of the British legal system were part of the same extremist cell that abducted Foley only two weeks later in Syria, but they are part of a growing network of foreign fighters working together and with ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

    The London legal case was viewed among extremist groups in Syria as a call to action to accelerate abductions of Western journalists, because one of the former hostages had testified against the alleged extremists in pre-trial hearings before the case fell apart. The case also highlights the British government’s long struggle with how to combat the growing number of its own citizens who are waging jihad in Syria and fighting alongside ISIS.

    In early November, 2012, the British government released and dropped all charges against Shajul Islam, a British trained doctor who was associated with the NHS. Islam had been arrested a month earlier when he arrived back in London with his wife and child at Heathrow airport and was charged with the false imprisonment of two Western journalists kidnapped in Syria in July, 2012.





    The British government also charged his older brother Najul for helping Shajul prepare for the abductions and his associate Jubayer Chowdhury for participating in false imprisonment. Charges against those two men were also dropped. Shajul’s younger brother Razul is also believed to have gone to Syria to wage jihad.

    The case fell apart because the two Western journalists who had been abducted in Syria in July 2012 and could identify the suspects did not appear to testify at the trial. One of them had testified against Shajul Islam at pre-trial proceedings and said Islam was part of a cell of foreign born extremists in Syria that included 10-15 UK citizens. Islam, through his lawyer, denied being involved in the abductions at the time.

    One U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast that both the U.S. and British counter-terrorism agencies have taken a keen interest in the suspected militants. “There is no official product on this yet for the intelligence community,” this official said. “But people who are out there and collecting on this believe the [Foley] abduction and the [Islam] trial are connected.”

    The connection is difficult to establish, particularly in Syria where the United States still has to rely on allied services for first-hand information on the patchwork of rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    Only 11 days after the charges were dropped in London, Foley was sitting at an internet access meeting spot established by activists in the rebel held Syrian city of Idlib when he was abducted by extremists. The internet access spot was a vulnerable location for Westerners to be hanging out.

    When Foley’s abduction was revealed by his family, executives at GlobalPost, which had worked with him and conducted an extensive investigation into his capture, said they believed Foley was being held by Syrian Air Force Intelligence, the most brutal and shady part of Assad’s secret security apparatus. On Wednesday, Global Post Managing Editor Lizzy Tomei told The Daily Beast that information turned out to be wrong.

    “That is information that changed in the course of our investigation,” she said. “That update reflected our best information at the time. We’ve been aware since earlier this year that Jim was most likely in the hands of Islamic militants, but we withheld that information until yesterday out of concern of his safety.”

    ISIS released a video Tuesday purporting to show Foley’s beheading, narrated by an English speaker who, the British Foreign Secretary has already acknowledged, could be a British citizen. American journalist Steven Sotloff was shown in the video still alive. The White House Wednesday said U.S. intelligence had confirmed the authenticity of the video and President Barack Obama made a statement condemning the murder.

    "We are very concerned by the apparent fact that the murderer in question is British," Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told the Telegraph. “We are urgently investigating.”

    "We've been saying for a very long time that there are a significant number of British nationals both in Syria and Iraq operating with extremist organizations. That is one of the reasons why this organization [Islamic State] represents such a direct threat to the U.K.'s national security,” Hammond told the BBC.

    The Guardian reported Wednesday that, according to a former hostage, the British national who acted as executioner in the Foley murder video was one of three U.K. citizens known among jihadists as the “Beatles,” who are in charge of holding foreign hostages in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

    Shiraz Maher, a senior research fellow at the Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College London, said he estimates that between 500 and 600 British citizens have gone to fight the Jihad in Syria, with the vast majority of these volunteers joining ISIS. He said that in his field research on the Turkish/Syrian border, rebel fighters have said the British foreign fighters are often the most extreme.

    “The fact that a British citizen has been involved in this is saddening, but it’s not surprising,” Maher said. “We’ve seen British suicide bombers and British citizens who participated in the execution of Syrian regime soldiers already.”

    The problem for the U.S. intelligence community is that they still are trying to determine exactly who’s who inside ISIS and how many fighters are under its command. “I would give them a C at this point,” one Congressional staff member who oversees the U.S. intelligence community told The Daily Beast. “But in the last eight weeks they have gotten a lot better and are putting together better information.”

    Counterterrorism experts said the case of the released British terror suspects reflected an unfortunate missed opportunity to learn more about and perhaps disrupt the growing network of ISIS affiliated foreign fighters operating in both Syria and Iraq.

    “We’ve been playing catch-up along with the worst foreign fighter flows that we’ve seen in the modern terrorist era,” said Bush administration counterterrorism official Juan Zarate. “The British government has been sounding the alarm for a long time about the threat of foreign fighters and trying to do their best, but they have had trouble tracking that flow in an environment that is incredibly open.”

    The Obama administration’s reluctance to get more involved in Syria contributed to the vacuum in which ISIS metastasized, he said, and Western absence inside Syria has left Western governments with little insight into what foreign fighters are doing before and after they enter the country.

     “We’ve done very little in Syria itself. We’ve left the playing field vacant with respect of the ability of these groups to operate with ease in Syria,” said Zarate. “It’s the Syria vacuum that has been the greatest draw for foreign fighters to fight on behalf of ISIS and has allowed them to adapt and continue to recruit.”

    In his remarks Wednesday, Obama pledged to respond to Foley’s murder and continue U.S. military action against ISIS in Iraq, but made no commitment vis a vis Syria.

    “The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless,” he said. “When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done. And we act against ISIL [as the White House calls ISIS], standing alongside others.”

    Some experts believe Obama may be playing into ISIS’s hands. Some analysts believe ISIS did not murder Foley to get Obama to stop attacking them, but rather to draw the United States deeper into their regional and potentially worldwide war.

    “It’s not a coincidence that ISIS chose a British Muslim with an accent precisely to make the point to the United States and the west about the risks of being involved in Iraq and Syria," said Emile Hokayem, a Middle East analyst with the International Institute for Strategic Studies. "The big debate is whether this was done to deter or provoke the United States and others to join the fight."


    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #761 - August 20, 2014, 11:27 PM

    Please do, take what you want from it. Change it or add your own pearls of wisdom, or remove any errors. I am sure it can be improved as I wrote it at 3am this morning but had to get it out before I went to bed. I hope it gives the gist of what I  am trying to say.

    If it changes anyone's mind, or at least makes them think about promoting faith as a virtue (along with its 2 other ugly sisters, the fake virtues of self righteousness and piety), it will have done what I intended it to do.


    I think your rant should be published.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #762 - August 20, 2014, 11:51 PM

    I agree with your broad assessment Yeez. It is important to differentiate between the two, people need protecting, ideas do not necessarily, especially bad or absurd ones, or ones that have no evidence or efficacy. To co-opt a religious phrase, "Dislike the belief, love the believer" in a vast majority of cases.

    I can also tell the difference between a situation where a religious person commits a crime, but his religion was incidental to the crime. For example. if you have a nominally Christian or Muslim bank robber, he probably isn't robbing banks cos his religion told him to, that would probably be against his religion (though the claim that religion makes you moral seems weak in such a case), however if you go and burn a witch or kill a gay man, or refuse a blood transfusion for your child, that IS a direct fault of religious faith and respect for it.

    The article seemed to concentrate mainly on America, and American youth is a case all of its own. I think the availability of guns and gun culture in the US is absurd, and I think this 'Right to bear Arms' is a mistake and is a huge problem for American society, no matter how well intentioned or even necessary it may have been at the time. Can I draw a possibly tenuous and simplistic parallel between freedom of gun ownership and religion? And it is NOT an argument to ban religion. What do you think?

    If you make gun ownership an UNQUESTIONABLE constitutional right for citizens and facilitate and encourage it through gun culture, don't be surprised if your civilian murder rate skyrockets

    Similarly, if you make faith in ancient texts from primitive times an UNQUESTIONABLE and protected idea, and encourage it through culture and protect it from criticism, don't be surprised if  religious zealotry and violebce skyrockets.

    Sure, I am generalizing, and there are many exceptions and outliers, but the correlation is too strong to ignore or deny the general trend.


    But I was really addressing the broader consequences to society as a whole. Religiously tainted wars did not begin with America, religion has a history of it, which is integral to the system in many cases. Religions are by definition insular. "Don't follow THOSE customs, don't marry THAT person, Don't wear THAT clothing, Don't go to THAT church with THOSE people" inbuilt orders that nations, language or ethnicity or culture, just do not have. There is no inherent rule in being white that says you cant marry a black person, there is no rule about being French that you can't speak Italian as well, there is no rule for  capitalists that you cant marry a socialist, there is no rule about being straight that you have to hate gay people. You can be multilingual or bi-lingual, you can be of mixed ethnicity, but you cant have two faiths, or follow two religions at once, because religion just wont let you.

    Also religion is unique, unlike some other ideologies, in that it makes wild promises it just cant prove. It dangles the carrot of heaven and the stick of hell, and when you can convince people that their soul is at stake, and that there is the lure of eternal youth and pleasure in front of them and the flames of eternal torment lapping at their heels, you can get people to do ANYTHING, things they wouldn't or shouldn't normally do, like refusing blood transfusions, burning witches, flying planes into buildings,....er.....I dunno............. beheading journalists for example, and then be able to justify it to themselves and others, and hide it all behind a 'respectable' cloak of faith (belief without evidence).

    I think people should be free to believe and say whatever nonsense they want, if they want to offend me, I have no right not to be offended, but neither should they be surprised if dissent from their opinion.


    It is true that there are many ways to encourage extreme behaviour other than religion:  politics, nationalism or racism, Stalinism, Nazism spring to mind, however extreme ideologies in most modern, open free secular democracies do not (or should not) last long precisely because such bad ideas are not 'beyond criticism' they are not automatically 'respected' and they tend to die out or remain on the fringe precisely because, they are open to be challenged publically, criticised and mocked.  Good ones survive and the bad ones (should) die out, in sometimes heated debate and argument.

    Look I was ranting earlier on, because religious texts do have some pearls of wisdom, but they are floating in a sea of absurdity and hate, dressed up as humility.

    My question to religion and faith-defenders is this, and I really don't want to single them out as the only cause for problems in the world by a long shot. Is the "Religion-Lite" fluffy beliefs of going to heaven and sitting on a cloud  with all you loved ones here in Secular Land really worth all the death, violence, ignorance and misery in Theocracy Land? I think the ISIS situation in Iraq and what is going on elsewhere in the Middle East, should be really pushing this question up the agenda.  

    You never know, religion may become a whole lot milder as a result of just asking the question.

    Don't get me wrong, people who are religious have lots to offer society, and do so in many ways, and all voices and reasonable arguments are welcome to any debate, but invoking magic friends, especially bronze age ones from the major religions, and for me the strength of their position falls away sharply, even if they are right.

    OK sorry if I rambled or if I went off topic or down a rabbit hole from what you asked me and the article, so sorry if I did.

    Rant 3 over. Let grey matter cool down. Phew!

    I may come back and read this tomorrow and realise I may have gone off on one a bit, all this ISIS thing and recent news reports have shocked us all, but if I can't discuss these things with you guys, then who else have I got?

    Don't be afraid to tell me what you think or if I have got it all wrong.

    Thanks for listening! Had to get it off my chest I suppose. Will have calmed down by the morning.



    I am better than your god......and so are you.

    "Is the man who buys a magic rock, really more gullible than the man who buys an invisible magic rock?.......,...... At least the first guy has a rock!"
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #763 - August 20, 2014, 11:54 PM

    I think your rant should be published.


    Well thank you, but it already is published........ on the world renowned, well respected and widely read CEMB Forum!!  Afro

    I am better than your god......and so are you.

    "Is the man who buys a magic rock, really more gullible than the man who buys an invisible magic rock?.......,...... At least the first guy has a rock!"
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #764 - August 21, 2014, 12:29 AM

    Basically I resent the accusation of being rude, hostile or disrespectful just by stating my strong dissent to an idea that wants to kill me and then torture me forever.

    I am better than your god......and so are you.

    "Is the man who buys a magic rock, really more gullible than the man who buys an invisible magic rock?.......,...... At least the first guy has a rock!"
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #765 - August 21, 2014, 02:16 AM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxDuENvxw_o

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDM1YvU7QSY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPM7cIHQle8

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #766 - August 21, 2014, 04:13 AM

    That stark picture is so haunting. I don't want to look at it.

    I hate those zombies that are doing that to those people. I fucking hate them.  Cry


    Saying "I f**king hate them" won't do any good.

    Man up, grab a gun and hold the line. If you don't, they will and don't think for once that wouldn't put 2 in your chest, and 1 in your dead if given the chance. The Yazidis and the Kurds have learned that the hard way.
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #767 - August 21, 2014, 05:09 AM

    ^ Mr. Superhero here is obviously already fighting with the Peshmerga.

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #768 - August 21, 2014, 05:13 AM

    Some interesting observations here:

    Why the West needs to fight the Islamic State

    Quote
    Greater US and NATO intervention against the Islamic State is not a perfect solution to the crisis, but it is the best of a poor set of policy options, write George Milad and Adam Lockyer.

    The Islamic State (IS) is the greatest threat to international peace and security since Al Qaeda was at its deadly peak. IS's brutal tactics of mass murder, beheadings, floggings and enslaving young women and girls has even been denounced by Ayman Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's replacement and current leader of Al Qaeda.

    IS now occupies about a third of Iraq. The area under its control closely overlaps with the area known as the "Sunni Triangle" during the US occupation. It also controls a large part of eastern and northern Syria.

    This has effectively merged the two neighbouring civil wars into one vast Middle Eastern conflict.

    This week, British prime minister David Cameron declared that he believed the West was now engaged in a "generational struggle" against IS, which posed a "clear danger to Europe and to our security". Similar sentiments have been heard from Washington, to Berlin, through to Canberra. Indeed, Cameron's view has emerged as the consensus position in the West.

    Over its short life, IS has accumulated many enemies. In addition to Western governments, IS is now actively opposed by most Middle Eastern governments. IS's aim of creating an Islamic caliphate is a direct political challenge to the governments of the Middle East. So there is no shortage of possible actors who could fight IS.

    The question is which one ought to.

    The whole thing is worth a look. Not sure I fully agree with all the conclusions, but it's food for thought.

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #769 - August 21, 2014, 09:11 AM

    Just gained access to this article via my university library in the Sunday Times by Tom Holland in relation to ISIS, Iraq and Syria.

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/newsreview/features/article1447369.ece

    http://search.proquest.com.idpproxy.reading.ac.uk/docview/1553624755/EC0936B622384AFEPQ/1?accountid=13460

    Quote
    Eternal empire of the sword: The ghastly images posted by Isis on social media have shocked the world but to the perpetrators their act is a symbol of conquest practised for millennia across the Middle East -- and one sanctioned by the Koran. The historian Tom Holland explores its originsJihadists: our mission is heaven-sent
    Holland, Tom. Sunday Times [London (UK)] 17 Aug 2014: 1.
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    Lines drawn on a map by the two men divided what at the time were provinces of the Ottoman Empire into rival spheres of interest and ensured, when the Middle East finally won its independence from the British and the French, that the Arab world would remain diced up into separate countries. The ambitions of the Islamic State, unlike the attempt to impose western-style nation states on the Middle East, go with rather than against the grain of the region's history.

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    Posing with severed heads on Twitter has been quite the social media fashion this past week. Last Sunday a seven-year-old Australian boy was photographed in the Syrian city of Raqqa awkwardly holding one up with both hands. "That's my boy!" Dad tweeted proudly. Then, a few days later, it was the turn of a rapper from Maida Vale, west London. Standing in the same square as the Australian boy had done, Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary (or Abu Kalashnikov, as he now prefers to be known) was pictured in combat fatigues, pointing to the sky with one hand and clutching a head in the other. "Chillin' with my homie," he boasted, "or what's left of him."

    The photographs are disconcertingly reminiscent of holiday snaps. The Australian boy is dressed in sho rts and a blue polo-shirt as though for Bondi Beach. Bary, with his talk of "chillin'" and "homies", might have been tweeting from a club in Magaluf. Never before has it been so easy to publicise a beheading. Bary and his fellow fighters are doubly cutting-edge. A click on a smartphone, a short tweet, and the image of a severed head can go viral around the world.

    The atrocities themselves, though, have a primordial pedigree. In the Middle East beheadings have been used by ambitious empirebuilders to terrorise their opponents into submission for millennia. Across the border from Syria, in the Iraqi city of Mosul, fighters such as Bary have been sticking heads on spikes in a manner chillingly reminiscent of kings who ruled there thousands of years ago. Assyria, between the 9th and 7th centuries BC, was the greatest power in the Middle East and the advance of its armies invariably left behind a trail of headless corpses. "I hung heads on trees around the whole city," boasted one king. When the followers of two rebel leaders were paraded through the capital wearing the heads of their masters around their necks, the news of it was assiduously publicised across the whole empire. The kings of Assyria would have been mad for Twitter.

    It is this blurring of the ancient and the modern, the intrusion into a 21st-century war of nightmarish images reminiscent of antiquity, that renders the crisis in Syria and Iraq so disorienting. Clearly the circumstances that have enabled killers such as Bary to pose with severed heads in Raqqa and Mosul reflect very particular circumstances: the civil war in Syria, the sectarianism in Iraq. Rotting states invariably breed young men with guns. Nevertheless, there is more than a simple breakdown of order in play. There are psychopaths aplenty loose in Syria and Iraq at the moment but not every head-hunter ranks as a madman. The truth is altogether more disturbing. By their own lights, what fighters such as Bary are doing is not merely justified but right. They believe themselves to be fighting a darkness bred of many centuries: a darkness that it is their heaven-sent mission to dispel.

    They certainly have long memories. The western intervention that most obsesses them is not the American invasion of Iraq, nor even the establishment of Israel, but a secret agreement signed back in 1916 by the British diplomat Sir Mark Sykes and his French opposite number, Francois Georges-Picot. Lines drawn on a map by the two men divided what at the time were provinces of the Ottoman Empire into rival spheres of interest and ensured, when the Middle East finally won its independence from the British and the French, that the Arab world would remain diced up into separate countries. This is the settlement that the fighters who have crossed from Syria into Iraq have pledged to erase.

    Photographs released last week on Twitter showed them waving swords and guns in celebration as the border between the two countries was ceremonially bulldozed. Even the name of their organisation has been changed to mark what one of their propaganda videos Continued on page 2 uu Continued from page 1 gleefully terms "The End of Sykes-Picot". After all, with the border gone it no longer makes sense for them to pledge loyalty to an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. What was Isis is now simply IS: the Islamic State.

    It may seem startling that a ragtag army of a few thousand should presume to call time on a diplomatic settlement that has lasted almost 100 years. In the Fertile Crescent, though, a century ranks as barely the blinking of an eye. The ambitions of the Islamic State, unlike the attempt to impose western-style nation states on the Middle East, go with rather than against the grain of the region's history. "This is not the first border we will break," one Islamic State fighter vowed. "We will break other borders too." This is the kind of boast that an Assyrian king might easily have made.

    Breaking borders is something that would-be conquerors have been getting up to in Mesopotamia since the first emergence there of urban civilisation. The Islamic State, in that respect, is doing nothing new.

    The exercise of cruelty on its own, though, has never been sufficient to maintain conquests once won. If the Assyrians demonstrated just how effectively terror could be deployed in the cause of building an empire, then subsequent superpowers in the region illustrated a complementary truth: that the surest way to maintain a supremacy was to cut the defeated people some slack.

    First the Persians and then the Romans were able to preside over immense multi-ethnic dominions by providing peace and order to the dutifully submissive. Security in exchange for taxes: that was the bargain. As a result, in antiquity the notion that a people might be entrusted by the heavens with a charge to spare the vanquished and to overthrow the haughty became increasingly taken for granted by successful imperialists. Religions in which a single god held sway over the universe evolved to provide a sanction for the fantasy of global empire. Autocrats laid claim to their thrones by virtue of right as well as might.

    The empire that the Islamic State now dreams of re-establishing was recognisably bred of these cultural presumptions. "Caliph", the rank that its leader awarded himself a month and a half ago, is one redolent of godliness as well as earthly power. The title means "successor": successor to the prophet Muhammad who was himself, in the opinion of Muslims, the mouthpiece for that incomparable revelation of God, the holy Koran. It was under the first four caliphs, so Muslim tradition teaches, that the Arabs, a people hitherto despised by the haughty superpowers of the day, had swept out from their desert fastnesses to conquer the Fertile Crescent and far beyond. Such a feat, coming from nowhere, seemed to the faithful then, as it has done ever since, a palpable miracle. "We went to meet our enemies with small abilities and weak forces," as one medieval scholar put it, "and God made us triumph and gave us possession of their lands."

    Now, after a year in which they have routed forces many times their size, conquered a swathe of territory larger than Britain and grown flush with gold and oil, the fighters of the Islamic State can justifiably make the same boast. They believe themselves the heirs of the first Muslims, charged by God with restoring to the world the pristine Islam that existed back in the days of Muhammad and his immediate successors.

    The conviction is one that has inspired them to win great victories; but it has also brought inordinate pressure. The perceived failure of Muslims to live in a way worthy of the example provided by the early caliphate hangs heavy over the Islamic State. Why, after all, had God permitted the division of Arab lands in the first place, if not as a punishment? "This blessed advance will not stop," so the caliph of the Islamic State declared in a sermon last month, "until we hit the last nail in the coffin of the Sykes-Picot conspiracy."

    Victory, though, cannot be secured on the battlefield alone. Only by living as the first Muslims had done and following God's law to the letter will it be ensured. Obedience to the path followed by Muhammad, to his "deen", is what will enable the Islamic State to unite the faithful everywhere in a single caliphate and ultimately to rule the world.

    None of which, for those unfortunate enough to find themselves in the power of its fighters, is good news. Armed to the teeth with Humvees and smartphones the Islamic State may be; but the literalism with which it interprets the inheritance of Muslim scripture obliges its fighters to live by the moral standards of antiquity. Islam was born into a world that took for granted the right of conquerors to extort tribute from the conquered; to capture and keep slaves; to maim and execute rebels. Scattered throughout the Koran are verses which, read in isolation, might seem to justify all these practices. The implications for those whom the Islamic State condemns as "kuffar", or non-believers, are therefore ominous in the extreme.

    Muslims deemed to be inadequately Islamic have been crucified or shot. Christians, on the say-so of a Koranic verse that grants them tolerance in exchange for acknowledging their own submission and paying a tax, have had their churches stolen and been stripped of their belongings. Yazidis, the adherents of an ancient faith that has no mention in the Koran, have been condemned outright as pagans and targeted for slaughter.

    Nasser Muthana, a former medical student from Cardiff who is now fighting with the Islamic State, spelt out the details in a particularly chilling tweet: "Kuffar are afraid we will slaughter yazidis, our deen is clear we will kill their men, take their women and children as slaves insha Allah." And so it is coming to pass.

    The Yazidis had endured 72 persecutions over the course of their long history until this one and survived them all. The 73rd is liable to prove terminal. It is no exaggeration to speak of attempted genocide. The horror of this, for those Yazidis who have managed to escape the clutches of the Islamic State, goes without saying; but the implications are appalling for the vast majority of peaceable and decent Muslims too.

    The brute literalism of those who would interpret the Koran as a licence to maim, enslave and kill represents a challenge to everyone who prizes it as a revelation from God, supremely compassionate and supremely wise. The more successful the fighters of the Islamic State are on the battlefield, the more urgent it becomes to defeat them in mosques and seminar rooms. Ultimate victory over them cannot be secured militarily. This is a battle that has to be fought and won by theologians.

    Why, for instance, do Islamic militants think a beheading is something to revel in? Not just because it terrifies their enemies; not just because it demonstrates their own martial prowess. Nothing is permissible in the Islamic State, after all, unless it is believed to be divinely licensed -- and beheadings, in the opinion of its fighters, are indeed sanctioned by their deen.

    "I will instil terror into the hearts of the unbelievers," God declares in the Koran. "Strike off their heads, then, and strike off all their fingertips." Muhammad himself is said to have ordered the decapitation of 700 rebellious Jews. His sword -- after which the Iranian battle tank Zulfiqar is named -- translates into English as "cleaver of vertebrae".

    Medieval caliphs were recorded as harvesting heads with an almost Assyrian zeal. The fighters of the Islamic State, self-professed heirs of the early caliphate that they are, know all this perfectly well.

    That there are other, richer, more nuanced interpretations of these various verses and traditions in Islam goes without saying. Indeed, so completely does it go without saying that there is a temptation to take it for granted. This, amid the horrors of what is happening in the Fertile Crescent, would be a mistake. The appeal of the brutal and murderous literalism of the Islamic State is too lethal to permit such complacency.

    Non-Muslims, and particularly those impatient with the very notion of religion, may well find it startling that a debate over Islamic scriptures could possibly have any significance beyond the mosque. We live in an age, though, when antiquity has begun to intrude upon the present more bruisingly than it has done for many centuries. What the various shades of opinion among communists were during the Cold War, the disputes among Muslims are now: a motor driving world events. Already, as the wretched Yazidis and Christians of Iraq can vouch, they have become a matter of life and death.

    In Mosul, fighters have been sticking heads on spikes in a manner chillingly reminiscent of ancient kings

    Victory over the Islamic State cannot be secured militarily. This is a battle that has to be fought and won by theologians

    Credit: Tom Holland

    Illustration
    Caption: Judith With the Head Holofernes by Cristofano Allori. The act of beheading is a potent image in many cultures

    Word count: 2178
    Copyright (c) Times Newspapers Limited 2014

  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #770 - August 21, 2014, 10:22 AM

    Just gained access to this article via my university library in the Sunday Times by Tom Holland in relation to ISIS, Iraq and Syria.

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/newsreview/features/article1447369.ece

    http://search.proquest.com.idpproxy.reading.ac.uk/docview/1553624755/EC0936B622384AFEPQ/1?accountid=13460

    It is OK to write some publication for Academics and students but I question Tom Holland's logic of " This is a battle that has to be fought and won by theologians"

    Those theologians or logicians can only win or loose the battle when "Freedom of Expression" is protected.   Without that Freedom what you have in religious ideologies  specially in Islam is "If you question anything in Islam/Quran/hadith"  you are an apostate and  I kill you.    That doesn't give any winning or loosing option., except loosing head of the theologian who is questioning it.

    Throughout the history of Islam people have questioned Islamic scriptures and lost their heads or became sufis , sing songs and served the rulers .  Frankly speaking the battle has to be fought in all fronts.. "...theologically, physiologically, physically, politically, economically and educationally...."

    Poor School education, too much importance to these religious baboons that preach with pot bellies, rogues ruling Muslim world for generations and generations without allowing any institutions to develop with the support of  religious baboons   and  In the last century  western businesses coupled to that natural resources such as oil and mining exploiting  these third world countries" and   exploitation of few rich buggers in these countries thorough IMF, world bank and build businesses and villas with that money  in west for their kids and that terrible inflation on poor and middle class  ..etc...etc....and many more reasons why we are here in 21st century seeing a  thug who is educated in west  go to places like Syria/Iraq and behead   journalists who are trying their best to show the world the local problems people facing in these war-torn nations..

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #771 - August 21, 2014, 10:32 AM

    Quote
    Islam was born into a world that took for granted the right of conquerors to extort tribute from the conquered; to capture and keep slaves; to maim and execute rebels.

    This is the elephant in the room. Since that's how Islam originated, and makes no attempt to hide it, which interpretation you choose comes down to personal preference. You can choose a "richer, more nuanced interpretation" if it suits you, but you'll still have a hard time arguing against someone who asserts the texts mean exactly what they say. As long as those texts exist and are held to be authoritative, every so often you are likely to get people who will assume said texts mean what they say, and that they should act accordingly. It's not rocket science.

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #772 - August 21, 2014, 10:51 AM

    Exactly Osmanthus and Yeezevee.

    Just decided it needed posting for the debate side of things. Keep the thinking going.
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #773 - August 21, 2014, 11:58 AM

    This is the elephant in the room. Since that's how Islam originated, and makes no attempt to hide it, which interpretation you choose comes down to personal preference. You can choose a "richer, more nuanced interpretation" if it suits you, but you'll still have a hard time arguing against someone who asserts the texts mean exactly what they say. As long as those texts exist and are held to be authoritative, every so often you are likely to get people who will assume said texts mean what they say, and that they should act accordingly. It's not rocket science.

    I remember debating jihadis before leaving Islam, they were the biggest reason for me leaving Islam. The first time I debated left me embarrassed. I did eventually become good at debating jihadis, but thats because they are stupid. There are certain things that you can defend within Islam, like jihad being only for defensive purposes with the only targets being combatants, other things however are much more difficult to defend.

    Many muslims who live in the west have a problem, which is that if they move or want to move interpretation in a liberal direction, they get a beat down with scripture and the writings of the ancient ulama. There should be special focus put on those trying to keep the others in line.
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #774 - August 21, 2014, 12:22 PM

    I know what you mean, Skywalker. The texts and the classical scholars really threw me off too. Sex slavery, child marriage, offensive jihad, the works. It's impossible to argue against a lot of the most repulsive practices from a scriptural perspective. You have to appeal to people's innate morality and humanity (isn't it hilarious that the religious claim a monopoly on morality?) but that goes against Islam. 

    Agree with yezevee 100%. Do you think reformation of the texts is possible? I don't. I think the only way there'll be progress in the Muslim world is secularisation and the development of a culture of openness and discussion. I mean other dogmatic violent religions have done it, why can't Islam, or rather why can't Muslims? You've got countries today that are heavily Catholic but where gay marriage is legal, there's debate about abortion, etc. Why the hell is Islam still so damn rigid? 
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #775 - August 21, 2014, 12:33 PM

    I think there has to come a realisation within Muslim circles generally of the true meanings and inferences of the texts and an approach like Majid Nawaz has where he recognises the flaws but goes with what he sees as the 'spirit' of the things. So basically an acceptance of the good and a chucking of the bad and actually stating this clearly without diverting around things and wanting to explain things away when they intellectually cannot be explained into something cusshy.

    There has also got to develop a culture whereby people can do things like Eids but where the ideas are not taken seriously and whereby therefore even non-Muslims can take part like they do for Holi and Hindus in the UK do for Christmas.
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #776 - August 21, 2014, 12:35 PM

    As my mother says 'I like the Christian Tradition and Culture but no one should actually believe in the Bible as truth incarnate'
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #777 - August 21, 2014, 01:04 PM

    ISIS Demanded Ransom From U.S. Before Killing Reporter says news from US of A

     
    Quote
    Kneeling in the dirt in a desert somewhere in the Middle East, James Foley lost his life this week at the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Before pulling out the knife used to decapitate him, his masked executioner explained that he was killing the 40-year-old American journalist in retaliation for the recent United States’ airstrikes against the terror group in Iraq.

    In fact, until recently, ISIS had a very different list of demands for Mr. Foley: The group pressed the United States to provide a multimillion-dollar ransom for his release, according to a representative of his family and a former hostage held alongside him. The United States — unlike several European countries that have funneled millions to the terror group to spare the lives of their citizens — refused to pay.
     
    The issue of how to deal with ISIS, which like many terror groups now routinely trades captives for large cash payments, is acute for the Obama administration because Mr. Foley was not the lone American in its custody. ISIS is threatening to kill at least three others it holds if its demands remain unmet, The New York Times has confirmed through interviews with recently released prisoners, family members of the victims and mediators attempting to win their freedom. Sensitive to growing criticism that it had not done enough, the White House on Wednesday revealed that a United States Special Operations team tried and failed to rescue Mr. Foley — a New Hampshire native who disappeared in Syria on Nov. 22, 2012 — as well as the other American hostages during a secret mission this summer. Mr. Obama said the United States would not retreat until it had eliminated the “cancer” of ISIS from the Middle East.

    ISIS also appears determined to increase the pressure on Washington. It has now threatened to kill a second hostage, Steven J. Sotloff, a freelance journalist for Time magazine who is being held alongside Mr. Foley.  In a video of the execution of Mr. Foley that was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday, the screen goes dark after he is decapitated. Then the ISIS fighter who killed him is seen holding Mr. Sotloff, wearing an orange jumpsuit and his with his hands cuffed behind his back, in the same landscape of barren dunes. “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision.”

    Along with the three Americans, ISIS is holding citizens of Britain, which like the United States has declined to pay ransoms, former hostages confirmed. The terror group has sent a laundry list of demands for the release of the foreigners, starting with money but also prisoner swaps, including the liberation of Aafia Siddiqui, an M.I.T.-trained Pakistani neuroscientist with ties to Al Qaeda currently incarcerated in Texas. The policy of not making concessions to terrorists and not paying ransoms has put the United States and Britain at odds with other European allies, which have routinely paid significant sums to win the release of their citizens — including four French and three Spanish hostages who were released this year after money was delivered through an intermediary, according to two of the victims and their colleagues.
    Continue reading the main story

    Kidnapping Europeans has become the main source of revenue for Al Qaeda and its affiliates, which have earned at least $125 million in ransom payments in the past five years alone, according to an investigation by The Times. Although ISIS was recently expelled from Al Qaeda and abides by different rules, recently freed prisoners said that their captors were well aware of what ransoms had been paid on behalf of European citizenss held by Qaeda affiliates as far afield as Africa, indicating that they were hoping to abide by the same business plan.

    While government and counterterrorism officials insist that paying ransoms only perpetuates the problem, the policy has meant that captured Americans have little chance of being released. A handful succeeded in running away, and even fewer were rescued in special operations. The rest are either held indefinitely — or else killed.

    In an opinion article for Reuters, David Rohde, a columnist for the news service and a former foreign correspondent for The Times who was kidnapped by the Taliban, said that the uneven approach to ransoms may have cost Mr. Foley his life.

    When he was executed this week, Mr. Foley became the second Western reporter to be killed by Islamic extremists since 2002, when Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was beheaded by a top Qaeda operative. Mr. Pearl’s murder was praised by a leading ideologue in a how-to manual that promoted the tactic of kidnapping foreigners. Since then, the terror network has turned to abducting Westerners to finance itself — seizing more than 50 foreigners in the past five years, almost all of whom were released after their governments paid sizable ransoms, according to a review of the known cases by The Times.


    That is a strange news.. Why these guys are not publishing that  sizable ransom paid by the governments  to these BRUTAL THUGS for the past 14 years or so??  or did I miss it completely   These BRUTAL bastards moved right out of PAKISTAN/ENGLAND in to that ISIS..

    Leaders Express Outrage as Britain Tries to Identify Beheaded Journalist’s Killer   says another  news

    Quote
    Quote
     LONDON — A video released online of the beheading of an American journalist, James Foley, by a masked, English-speaking militant caused outrage on Wednesday, with Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain breaking off a vacation and President Obama vowing to protect Americans everywhere.

    The killer “appears to be a British person,” the British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, said, and British police and security officials were trying to identify him. Experts suggested his accent made him sound like a Londoner.

    The use of a fluent English speaker to deliver a message aimed at the United States and its intervention in Iraq showed a new sophistication in propaganda and the prevalence of British fighters in ISIS and similar groups, a number British officials estimate at 500 or more, though some have returned home.

    ...The Muslim Council of Britain, the country’s largest Muslim umbrella organization, condemned the execution of Mr. Foley. In a statement, it said that “ISIS does not speak for Islam, and has been repudiated by all Muslims.”

     “Their message only appeals to those who are easily duped by their twisted message purporting to be Islam,”  it said. “They seek to glamorize their violence, and unfortunately, the media has a part to play in adding to that glamour.”

    .
    Muslim Council of Britain.. My FOOT....

    Yes but fool you also do not  speak for Islam .,  Well then what are you doing.. CLEAN THE FUCKING MESSAGE SO THAT THESE ROGUES CAN NOT TWIST ISLAMIC MESSAGE

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #778 - August 21, 2014, 01:14 PM

    Oh I knew that European countries paid ransoms whereas the UK and the USA don't. This is why the Britons detained by Somali Pirates a few years ago were not released for ages as the UK would not pay, eventually it was paid by a fundraising effort.

    It does not surprise me to be honest Yeez and countries should not pay these thugs and should ban privately funded payment of these ransoms. All it does is support such organisations to survive longer than they should.
  • ISIS take Mosul
     Reply #779 - August 21, 2014, 01:22 PM

    Oh I knew that European countries paid ransoms whereas the UK and the USA don't. This is why the Britons detained by Somali Pirates a few years ago were not released for ages as the UK would not pay, eventually it was paid by a fundraising effort.

    It does not surprise me to be honest Yeez and countries should not pay these thugs and should ban privately funded payment of these ransoms. All it does is support such organisations to survive longer than they should.

    well US of  A apparently paid the ransom in some cases..  I am curious about the list of people they released and the amount of money these rogues got paid..  is there any such published list? 

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
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