Essay:From the Ottoman Empire to the Islamic State

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Prelude to World War I[edit]

The Germans had been making inroads into the Middle East and Persia since at least the 1890s, particularly the Berlin to Baghdad railwayWikipedia. All the great powers of the second half of the 19th century used the latest technology - the railroad - to spread their influence and expand markets for trade. The American continent was united coast-to-coast by 1869, four short years after the country was nearly divided in half by the American Civil War; the Russian EmpireWikipedia built the Trans Siberian Railroad, bringing European interests to Pacific shores; France undertook an effort to ring the Mediterranean by rail, across the Bosphorus , through the Levant, across Sinai and Suez, through the Maghreb (Northern Africa) to Casablanca and Marrakesh on the Moroccan coast. Under Cecil RhodesWikipedia, British interests were building the Cairo to Cape Town railway uniting the African continent, north to south. The Berlin to Baghdad railway (with spurs to Damascus, Jerusalem and Mecca) would bring German influence to Kuwait, the Persian Gulf[1], and Tehran, threatening to split (in the eyes of Imperialists) the British Empire in half.[2]

The British Empire as represented by shipping routes.

In speaking of the British Empire, it is more illuminating to envision it as shipping lanes, rather than as land masses. The Empire runs a line from Portsmouth to Gibralter[3], to Suez[4], to Aden (site of the USS Cole bombingWikipedia), to Bombay (Mumbai) on the Indian coast[5], around the horn of India to Singapore and the Pacific Ocean, north to Hong Kong. The British Empire is a model of how colonial powers operated. Each of these port cities controlled the surrounding countryside, and the colonial power was able to extend its influence inland through trade. Eventually a European style of administrative justice was set up to settle common commercial disputes which of necessity always follow any type of human interaction. The French Empire used the port city of Beirut to carve out a somewhat non-Islamic enclave in the Levant (Syria), now known as Lebanon.

Arab revolt[edit]

Lawrence of ArabiaWikipedia organized the Arab RevoltWikipedia at the start of World War I in early 1915. The strategy designed by the British Foreign Office and MI5 was to weaken the Central Powers of World War I by taking the Ottoman Empire out of the war and driving German influence out of the region. Lawrence approached Hussein bin AliWikipedia, King of the Arabs headquartered in Damascus, with a proposal to aid the Arabs with British weapons and advisers if the Arabs would supply the manpower and blood. A promise for a single Arab federated state at the post-war peace conference was included.[6]

Almost simultaneously a lesser known figure, St. John "Jack" PhilbyWikipedia, was dispatched to Baghdad to assist in the same mission. In late 1917 Philby was sent to the interior of the Arabian peninsula to see the Wahhabi chieftain Ibn SaudWikipedia. Sa'ud, whose tribal alliances controlled the Nejd (the Arabian peninsula interior), had been the main rival to Hussein bin Ali as King of the Arabs for many years.


Sykes-Picot agreement, 1916.

The Sykes-Picot AgreementWikipedia was a secret agreement signed on May 16 1916 between France and Britain, and to a lesser extent Russia, on how to carve up the Ottoman Empire should they win WWI (spoiler alert; they did). Damascus, Aleppo and Beirut fell on the French side, Baghdad, Mosul[7] and the Shi'a populated areas of Basra, down to the Persian Gulf fell on the British side. The agreement delineated a common border between the French and British Empires. If you look on a map of the Mid-East and see borders with rather arbitrary straight lines, this is why.

The agreement was a partial reneging of the agreements that Britain had made to the Arabs; rather than help establish independent Arab states, they were to become subjugates of the French, British and Russian Empires[8] (though the Russian Empire did not last long enough to grab a piece). When the Bolsheviks overthrew the Tzar, they found the agreement and published it to the world. Needless to say, when the word got out, many Arabs were less than enthused. This became the first of President Woodrow Wilson's famous Fourteen PointsWikipedia, no more secret agreements, which never was adopted.

The eradication of the Sykes-Picot line by Daesh in 2014, the inability and lack of will to repair the breach, the lack of consensus on successor regimes, was the final nail in the coffin of both the French and British Empires, relegating both to the dustbin of history.

Balfour Declaration[edit]

In order to obtain additional support from various Zionists (yes, including the Rothschilds and the New York Times; so what?), Britain made a promise that it would carve out a chunk of the Levant as a Jewish homeland. This was in direct contradiction of promises made to Hussein bin Ali, but the British had no intention of keeping this or any promise anyway.[9] One of the results was a sudden increase of hostility towards Jews throughout the Arab world; while Jews had communities throughout the Mid-East that predate Islam by a millenium, including some in present day Israel, and generally had relatively decent levels of rights (at least compared to other minorities), they became viewed with massive suspicion as being a potential threat.

In 1919 British troops captured Jerusalem. Upon entering the city Gen. Allenby proclaimed "the crusades are now finally over". The Balfour Declaration led to the creation of the Palestinian MandateWikipedia for a designated period of 30 years under British control. Years later Osama bin Laden framed the issue of his grievances against the House of SaudWikipedia and its alliance with the West:[10],

In 1304 A.H (1936 AD) the awakened Muslim nation of Palestine started their great struggle, Jihad, against the British occupying forces. Britain was impotent to stop the Mujahideen and their Jihad, but their devil inspired that there is no way to stop the armed struggle in Palestine unless through their agent King Abd al-Aziz [Saudi King Ibn Saud], who managed to deceives the Mujahideen. King Abd al-Aziz [Ibn Saud] carried out his duty to his British masters. He sent two of his sons to meet the Mujahideen leaders and to inform them that King Abd al-Aziz would guarantee the promises made by the British government in leaving the area and they will also comply with the demands of the Mujahideen if the latter stop their Jihad. And so King Abd al-Aziz caused the loss of the first QiblahWikipedia of the Muslim people. The King joined the crusaders against the Muslims and instead of supporting the Mujahideen in the cause of Allah, to liberate the Al-Aqsa MosqueWikipedia, he disappointed and humiliated them.
Today his son King Fahd tries to deceive the Muslims as well, so they can lose what is left of the two Holy Places. He lied to the scholars, who gave [Fatwa] to allow the Americans to be there, as well as a great number of scholars and Islamic world leaders at al-Rabitah convention in Mecca. After the Islamic world condemned the presence of the crusaders in the land of the two holiest sites, the King said that: “the issue is simple, the Americans and their allied forces will leave in few months”. Today it has been seven years since their arrival...

Hashemite dynasty[edit]

King Abdullah II of Jordan was educated and grew up in Great Britain and the United States. He is considered among the leading contenders for Caliph.[11] He was featured in a 1996 episode of Star Trek.
The Hashemite familyWikipedia ruled the holy city of Mecca from 1201 CE until 1925 CE, although they recognized the sovereignty of the Ottoman sultan in 1517.[12] This makes King HusseinWikipedia[13] the head of the Hashemite family which, in addition to being directly descended from the Prophet MohammadWikipedia, also represents over one thousand years of rule in the area, and almost two thousand years of recorded presence in the holy city of Mecca.

Hashemite Royal Family Facebook page.

Hussein bin Ali, after losing Damascus to France and Baghdad to England, retreated to Mecca and declared himself Caliph. (The Ottoman caliphate was abolished by the Turkish Grand National Assembly in March 1924).[14] Ibn Saud however refused to acquiesce to new Caliph, invaded Mecca, annexed the HejazWikipedia, and united the Arabian peninsula (Yemen excepted) under Saudi tutelage. The Hashemites were awarded the boobey prize of the land of MoabWikipedia (which God has eternally cursed in Hebrew, Christian, and Muslim scripture[15]), renamed Transjordan.[16] The borders were drawn by Sir Winston Churchill.[17]

So the Hashemite family for hundreds of years were Custodians of the Holy PlacesWikipedia until they made the mistake of accepting promises from the British Foreign Office. This has left residual resentment and mistrust throughout the Arab and Muslim world and accusations of Western interference in the affairs of Islam. The common name "Hussein" in the Arab and Muslim world are families whose tribes had at one time sworn allegiance to the Hashemites throughout the Ayyubid, Mamluk, and Ottoman Caliphates.

Ibn Saud[edit]

The Arabian peninsula before Ibn Saud
and Jack Philby's reconstructed borders.

The NejdWikipedia, the interior of the Arabian peninsula, is a vast desert which neither the Ottoman Turks nor the Hashemite Kings could ever control. Here tribal chieftains of the House of Saud ruled the roost since the 18th century.[18] Devout Muslims from Persia, Pakistan, or Indonesia, fulfilling their religious duty as pilgrims to Mecca, wouldn't dare take the shortcut from Kuwait to Mecca across the Nejd for fear of falling into the hands of desert banditos led by Ibn Saud. The Saudis practiced an extreme fundamentalist form of Islam that viewed people of the urban areas on the highway of the HajjWikipedia - Baghdad, Mosul, Aleppo, Damascus and Jerusalem - as corrupted by a cosmopolitan way of life.[19]

The British emissary Jack Philby joined the chorus of protests against the Sykes-Picot arrangement and Balfour Declaration, resigned from the British Foreign Ministry, and "went native". He befriended Ibn Saud and became his chief adviser. The two concocted a scheme to invade Mecca, take it from the Hashemites[20] and get diplomatic recognition from the British Empire. Philby understood that Great Britain's biggest concern was to protect the shipping lanes around the Arabian peninsula, and a treaty with one government that could control the Arabian peninsula - from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf - was how to do it.[21] As an explorer and mapper, Philby later was entrusted by Ibn Saud to award an oil concession to the Arab-American Oil Company in 1936.[22] Everybody involved got filthy rich.

Ibn Saud (center) meets with President Roosevelt (right), February 1945.

After the Sykes-Picot agreement many Arabs in the region favored the Nazis during World War II; Ibn Saud however took the unpopular position of supporting the Allied Powers of Britain and the United States. The oil embargo of Germany and Japan caused a drop in Saudi oil revenues, and the war itself caused a lag in attendance to the Hajj, making tourism and the economy suffer. By 1943 President Franklin Roosevelt was solicited to give Lend LeaseWikipedia aid to the Kingdom. This required an Executive Order declaring the defense of Saudi Arabia vital to the strategic national interests of the United States.

The descendants of Ibn Saud have been viewed with suspicion by many Muslims as stooges of the West, too willing to betray their Wahhabi creed for alliances with the enemies of God and chasing the almighty PetrodollarWikipedia. With the rise of the Saudi state Muslims lost their right of free passage on the Hajj and now are required to carry passports.[23] (Salafis, who view the notion of "nation-state" as a Western invention, consider all Muslims to hold citizenship rights in Dar al-SalamWikipedia - that is, Muslim lands, Muslim dominated lands, and Muslim conquered territories. Islam is considered one country, from the Moroccan coast to the Philippines and Indonesia).

Fall of the First Shah[edit]

As Ibn Saud was extending his rule with the consent of the ulemaWikipedia in Mecca and Medina over most of the Arabian peninsula, Reza Shah PahlaviWikipedia was being declared Shah by the Iranian Majlis.

In the years following World War I the Soviet Union and Britain routinely interfered in the internal affairs and violated the territorial integrity of Iran. To counterbalance British and Soviet influence, Reza Shah encouraged German commercial enterprise in Iran. Reza Shah became increasingly enamored of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Ambassador Fritz Grobba, often called "the German Lawrence of Arabia," promised an Islamic state stretching from Casablanca to Tehran. Edwin Black writes[24],

So intense was the Shah's identification with the Third Reich that in 1935 he renamed his ancient country "Iran," which in Farsi means Aryan and refers to the Proto-Indo-European lineage that Nazi racial theorists and Persian ethnologists cherished.

The idea for the name change was suggested by the Iranian ambassador to Germany, who came under the influence of Hitler's trusted banker, Hjalmar Schacht. From that point, all Iranians were constantly reminded that their country shared a common bond with the Nazi regime.

By the eve of World War II, Germany was Iran's largest trading partner.[25] After the Fall of France and while Hitler was preparing for Operation BarbarossaWikipedia, all was not well in the British zone of the Sykes-Picot (the Palestinian and Mesopotamian Mandates). Black writes,

the Mufti of JerusalemWikipedia crafted a strategic alliance with Hitler to exchange Iraqi oil for active Arab and Islamic participation in the murder of Jews in the Mideast and Eastern Europe. This was predicated on support for a pan-Arab state and Arab control over Palestine.

So tenuous was British control in Mesopotamia (Iraq) as war broke out, the British Consul in Mosul was hacked to death by a mob with an axe[26] and nearly two hundred Jews were murdered in Baghdad.[27] The Luftwaffe took possession of the Mosul airport for a period of weeks. Iran became a haven for Gestapo agents and a plot was formulated in Tehran to overthrow the British supported regime in BaghdadWikipedia.

When Hitler reneged on his alliance with StalinWikipedia and attacked his former ally, Churchill flew to Moscow, assured the Soviet Union of assistance, and the fate of Reza Shah was sealed. The two deposed the Iranian monarchWikipedia in favor of his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who proved to be a loyal ally in the war against Hitler and continued his father's pro-Western reform movement throughout his nearly forty year reign. The British controlled Iraqi zone remained unstable and dangerous.[28] Greater safety, but most of all Iran's geographical benefit of a direct route for supplies into the USSR across their common border, made the Persian CorridorWikipedia an important conduit for Lend-Lease aid to the USSR. The wartime CasablancaWikipedia, TehranWikipedia, and Cairo ConferencesWikipedia were symbolic of failed German designs upon North Africa and the Middle East.

Tehran Conference[edit]

Historical narratives generally tell of a united front among the Big Three embracing a post-World War II Order overseen by the United Nations and the establishment of a governing Security Council along quasi-democratic lines to maintain world peace having the power to deal with "any sudden emergency".[29] Upon closer inspection we see the motives of actors and the divisions among them were somewhat different than what historical accounts suggest.

Churchill and Stalin really were closer in maintaining the existing imperialist world order than Roosevelt, an avowed anti-colonialist.[30] Roosevelt kept pitching a bugaboo of his, "self-determination", which would weaken the very existence of the British Commonwealth and the Union of Soviet Social Republics. But Roosevelt was holding all the cards, financing the war through Lend-Lease aid and with promises of post-war reconstruction credits. Stalin and Churchill agreed to go along with FDR's scheme for a grand alliance.

Indian Volunteers in the German Wehrmacht. [9]

Roosevelt's naivete about how the world works really is a function of the American people's own inherent "hand's off" isolationism. The American people are reactive rather than proactive[31] and instinctively loath meddling in other people's affairs.[32] Roosevelt's ideal of self determination was an answer to domestic critics who charged the United States freed itself from the British Empire yet allowed Great Britain to drag the United States into two global conflicts in order to save it.[33] Stalin of course had no intention of respecting democracy or the "right of self-determination" and was already embarking on a policy of non-democratic expansion. And the British Empire, after it's "finest hour", folded up shop two years later when India and Pakistan bolted from under its rule.

Egyptian Islamic Jihad[edit]

For more background see Muslim Brotherhood

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was founded as a fundamentalist organization in 1928 after the fall of Ottoman Caliphate and the subsequent ban of the caliphate system of government. It was funded in part by oil wealth from ibn Saud, allowing it to grow rapidly to about two million members in 20 years. Today it has become somewhat secularized, allegedly forswearing violent change in favor of democratic participation. Its evolution from a terrorist group to a recognized political party in some Muslim countries has earned it scorn and derision of modern Salafi-jihadists.[34][35]

During its first several decades, however, the MB began to get too aggressive in their attempts to turn Egypt (and the rest of the Mid-East) into a theocracy, and was made illegal for a number of assassination attempts and numerous bombings. Nasser, sort of a member of the MB, through a series of coups managed to maneuver himself into becoming the leader of Egypt. The MB was not happy with him (he was too secular) and tried to assassinate him, after which Nasser once again made the MB illegal.

One of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Sayyid Qutb, created the rhetoric of "Offensive Jihad" that many non-Muslims think of when they hear the term "Jihad". Qutb argued Allah had abandoned Islam, which is why the secular nationalist regimes had lost so many embarrassing wars to infidels. Overthrowing "the near enemy" - secular Islamic tyrants - must be secured first before reconquering Jerusalem from "the far enemy", the Zionists and their global infidel allies. This is the foundation of modern Salafi-jihadismWikipedia. Qutb planted the seeds for the creation of an Islamic state governed by Shariah. He was eventually caught and executed for opposing Nasser's regime, though Qutb 's legacy lives on with the people that would eventually found Al Qaeda, and especially within Daesh.

The Islamic Republic of Iran[edit]

Reza Shah and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi legacies evoke consternation and controversy.[36] Both were pro-Western modernizers, promoted science, Western education, women and minority rights, economic development, a judiciary more on a Western model as opposed to shariah and clerical rule. But the Carter administration viewed the Ayatollah Khomeini as a paragon of human rights, an expression of the will of the Iranian people for self-determination. One of the Ayatollah's first acts was to issue a fatwa promising paradise for children who joined the Iranian military during the Iran-Iraq war. By 1982, with Shi'a clergy in command, the government asked children, age 9 years old and up, to clear minefields so the regular Army could advance against the Iraqi Army. [37][38] About 100,000 died as BasijWikipedia child soldiers building the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran today is 75 million people with a per capita income behind Mexico but ahead of Brazil. Female enrollment and graduation rates in higher education now outnumber males.[39] But if political repression during the monarchy was troublesome, Iran's human rights record and coercive measures against dissidents under its religious rulers has been abysmal.[40] That, and its active sponsorship of terrorism to further its foreign policy objectives abroad. Its non-cooperation with international conventions in pursuit of nuclear power status is particularly worrisome. Iran's Quds ForceWikipedia (Jerusalem Force), as its name implies, carries out external special operations worldwide to further Iran's foreign policy aims.[41]

A symbol of the Iranian superpower's might. Janes Defense Weekly says while the program has ICBMWikipedia[42] capability it still lacks payload capacity. [10]

Iran's revolution in 1979 and the creation of an Islamic state based on Shariah law was a source of pride, inspiration and envy to Sunnis everywhere. The revolutionaries successfully deposed a Western leaning monarch and sent U.S. military personal and technicians packing.[43] Initially Iran sought to export its revolution to the Gulf States and Lebanon. Iran was behind two U.S. Embassy truck bombings in Beirut and the Marine barracks bombing that killed 241 U.S. soldiers. As the Iran-Iraq war progressed, Iran concentrated its efforts to removing Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. After the war Iran began providing assistance to the radical Sunni leader Hassan al Turabi who took power in Sudan in 1989[44], and to Hamas in Gaza. The 1990s marked a period of cooperation between Sunni groups such as al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood and the Shiite revolution of Iran.[45] It organized and created Hezbollah al-HejazWikipedia, based in Saudi Arabia, which in conjunction with al Qaeda staged the 1996 Khobar Towers attack killing 19 Americans and wounding another 372. The 9/11 Commission Report suggested[46] and a U.S. Federal judge ruled in December 2011[47] Iran was a material accomplice with al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks.[48]

Iran benefited greatly when the Sunni walls that had been erected around it - Afghanistan and Iraq - were torn down. Several analysts argue that since about 2005 Iran has evolved rapidly from a theocracy into a garrison state, in which the military dominates political, economic, and cultural life.[49]

Unlike Sunnis who emphasize sectarian differences with minority Shiites, the Iranian regime emphasizes the Israeli bogeyman because they estimate this gains them Arab street cred and diverts attention from the Shia rise to power. They ultimately believe they have earned the right to speak on behalf of the whole Muslim world.[50]

The Sunni Islamic State of Afghanistan[edit]

As the Iranian Revolution inspired the hearts and minds of Sunnis outside Iran, Sheikh Abd al-Aziz ibn BazWikipedia of Saudi Arabia issued the call for the anti-Soviet jihad.Wikipedia Some 15,000 Arab Sunnis in coming years flocked to the high Hindu Kush mountains of Khorasan, flown there at the Saudi government's expense and the personal family fortune of Osama bin Laden. The Shiite revolution in Iran breathed fresh hope into the QutbistWikipedia dream of a modern Sunni Islamic state under Shariah in Afghanistan.[51]

United in a common purpose, the mighty Islamic Warriors of God single-handedly (with the help of Saudia Arabia and the U.S.) defeated the godless, communist Soviet Superpower and fell to fighting among themselves as to who now would lead[52] the jihad and where next[53][54][note 1][55] to liberate oppressed Muslims and spread the message of the Prophet. Mullah OmarWikipedia emerged as the new spirutal leader. The jihadists swore allegiance (bay'at) to him as the universal Amīr al-Mu'minīnWikipedia - Commander of the Faithful. The Taliban, as the regime Mullah Omar headed came to be called, marked the beginning of another dark and traumatic chapter in the lives of the people of Afghanistan. Many Afghan ArabsWikipedia, veterans of the anti-Soviet jihad, considered Mullah Omar a bumpkin and Afghan natives as simple people who didn't know Arabic, the language of the Qur'an, with no ability to grasp modern political realities. Here men like Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and scholars and strategists such as Abu Musab al-SuriWikipedia settled in, not as participants in building a Sunni Islamic paradise on earth, but rather as guests and conspirators plotting to take the jihad to their homelands, and in some cases, worldwide.

It was at this time that the "Salafi-Jihadi"Wikipedia movement came into being; the term is to differentiate these believers - who embrace the doctrines of the 18th century cleric Abd al-WahhabWikipedia - from their elders and teachers of the Saudi religious establishment that lay claim to same name, "Salafi-Wahhabi", and whom the Salafi-jihadis are in rebellion against. Salafism is a Sunni doctrine that emulates the world of Islam in the pre-Christian Crusade and pre-Mongolian invasionWikipedia era, as seen through the prism of the 14th century scholar Ibn TaymiyyahWikipedia and 18th century scholar Abd al-Wahhab.

By the 14th century of the Christian era, scholars such as ibn Taymiyyah viewed Islam as under attack by Christians from the West, and Mongols from the east.Wikipedia[56] Salafists today hold as doctrinaire, based on the teachings of ibn Taymiyyah, a belief that the minority Shi'a cannot be trusted, and historically have been collaborators with the enemies of Islam -- the Crusaders, the Mongols, and today the infidel alliances borne out of the United Nations. Being there is no separation of church and state[57] in Islam, one who professes to be a Muslim and then abandons the faith is not merely an apostate, but rather a traitor to the nation (ummah), punishable by death. The doctrine of takfirismWikipedia in the Salafi creed is not simply excommunication from the community of the faithful, as it is often mistakenly characterized, it is more analogous to a death sentence for treason.

Takfirism has become probably the most controversial component of the Salafi-jihadi creed, often separating Salafi-jihadi scholars from garden variety Salafi , Wahhabists, and Shi'a scholars. Most traditional scholars follow a proscribed process based upon the Qur'an and Hadith, that only the clergy (ulema or scholars) are trusted to perform; Salafi-jihadists have taken to allowing rank-and-file believers to declare scholars (clergy), rulers (tyrants), and other professing Muslims of other sects and schools as traitors to Islam, no better, if not worse than ignorantWikipedia infidelsWikipedia worthy to be put to the sword.

Sayyid Qutb postulated the takfir of the whole of society:

The statement that the UmmahWikipedia of Islam is absent (ghaa‘ibah) necessitates takfir upon every single one of the Islamic states, because it means that there is no Islamic state in existence.[58]

This is what motivated the jihadis to come to Afghanistan, to renew and revive an Islamic state. But since Qutb's death the scholars demonstrated Qutb's error contradicting the words of the Prophet:

A group from my Ummah will always remain victorious. Those who abandon them will not be able to harm them, until the Hour is established.[59]

So Qutb proved himself fallible, and is universally accepted as in error, leading some people astray.[60] Nonetheless he's regarded as one of the first shahids of the modern revival movement. His books and commentaries remain foundational to the modern Salafi renewal.[61] Furthermore, the scholars happened upon the remnant group that shall be victorious[62] -- the Salafi-jihadis of these final days.[63] But the issue of applying infidel status to whole populations still remains unresolved (the Shi'a and the United States, for example).

Ibn Taymiyyah is the scholar who modeled how to declare rulers (or tyrants), professing to be Muslim (the Mongolian Khans), as takfir in order to throw off foreign invaders and domination (such as American presence in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques). The takfir tyrants of today being the House of Saud who invited the infidel occupiers in. On this all the Salafists agree (with the exception of the Salafists of the Saudi Wahhabi religious establishment in the service of their paymasters).

Retaking the Holy Shrines from the apostate Saudis is the prime objective of Global Jihad, renewing the Caliphate, and establishing the Islamic State.

Bin Laden, whose career as an Afghan jihadi began as a loyalist to the Saudi crown, embraced the Salafi doctrine and began issuing his own fatwas condemning the Saudi religious establishment, the Saudi ruling family, and the United States.[64] But bin Laden deviated from several fundamental precepts and strategies of the jihadi movement: he envisioned a unity movement of Muslims including the Shi'a, and rejected the Qutbist orthodoxy of attacking local tyrants - the near enemy - in favor of destroying the far enemy - the United States - as the path to reestablishing the Caliphate, retake Mecca from Saudi apostates, and declaring the Islamic State. For this cause most Salafi-jihadists thought he and his plan were crazy.[65] The man credited as the founder of DAESH, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi disagreed with bin Laden on these points when they met in Kandahar in 2000[66], accepted his money to establish a WMD camp at Herat but refused to swear bay'at. Bin Laden explained his strategy of attacking the far enemy:

First we obliterate America. By that I don’t mean militarily. We can destroy America from within by making it economically weak, until its markets collapse.

Bin Laden's legacy has been summarized thusly:

Islam has become an individual project beyond the restrictions of jurisprudential scholars or of the political authority...A world where Islamic scholars of Muslim regimes are unable to influence ordinary Muslims truly would signal an Islamic reformation as revolutionary and violent as its Protestant counterpart. And, to Western dismay, such reformation is likely to yield the same near-term result: a century of war and destruction that leaves much of the world a charnel house, an economic wreck, or both. At day’s end, bin Laden’s role in generating an Islamic reformation is a more powerful anti-Western tool than any conventional or unconventional weapon al-Qaeda might acquire.[67]

Bin Laden died a tragic figure having been forced to betray his fundamental principals - a Muslim unity alliance of Shia and Sunni - and his original strategic doctrine.


For more information see Islamic State
Map Daesh issued of 16 administrative districts in April 2014. Note the Hejaz is absent.
No one, therefore could be recognized to be the supreme leader of the Muslims who did not have the authority and the means of exercising responsibility for the organization and administration of the Hajj. And this, of course, included freedom and security for the pilgrims and, hence, required control over the Hejaz. As a consequence, even when the seat of the Caliphate was shifted from the Hejaz to KufaWikipedia (Iraq), Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo and even Istanbul, the Khulafa (i.e., Caliphs) always took the greatest care to maintain their authority and control over the Hejaz. This basically continued uninterruptedly until the demise of the Ottoman Islamic Empire in the First World War.[68]

ad-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah fil 'Irāq wa ash-Shām (الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام), more commonly DAESH ([69] داعش), is an accident of history. It's leader[70], Ibrahim ibn Awad al-Badri[71], is not of the Quraysh tribe.[72] His chief deputies on his ascent to power, Abu Muslim al-TurkmaniWikipedia[73], Abu Ayman al-IraqiWikipedia, and Abu Abdulrahman al-BilawiWikipedia, were all Ba'athists and former high level military intelligence officers who were dumped in the de-Baathification process after the fall of Saddam Hussein. With his secular and atheistic Ba'athist supporters, Al-Badri has challenged Mullah Omar for the title of Commander of the Faithful, and demands all Muslims worldwide swear bay'at or allegiance[74] to him.[75] Campaigning for the support of jihadists from Pakistan and Afghanistan, al-Badri referred to the incumbent scholar and religious head of Al Qaeda as a "fool and illiterate warlord." [76] Al-Badri's claims as a religious scholar have been proven to be exaggerated.[77]

Daesh is a racist[78], sexist[79], homophobic[80] organization on a genocidal campaign to exterminate Shi'a, Jews, Christians, Yazidi's, Alawites, Zoroastrians, Westerners and others. Daesh has executed Japanese[81], Russian[82] and American[83] Muslims, as well. They have threatened to behead U.S. President Barack Obama in the White House.[84]

Unlike al Qaeda, whose founder Osama bin Laden and current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri have had long-term cooperation and coordination with the government of Iran, Daesh places Shiites at the top of the list of mortal enemies to be physically eradicated.

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. After nearly 20 years in hiding, the Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar resurfaced in 2017 calling on the Taliban to end the jihad against the Afghan regime.


  2. The Struggle for the Mediterranean, By Frederic C. Howe, Scribner's Magazine Volume 59, May 1916.
  3. The OccidentalWikipedia name is the Pillars of HerculesWikipedia. Modern Europeans and Westerners however use its Arabic appellation, Jabal Ṭāriq (Mount Tarik), named for the man who captured it in 711 CE. [1]
  4. The 1956 Suez Crisis revealed a rift in the Nato alliance. The End of the West?: Crisis and Change in the Atlantic Order, Jeffrey J. Anderson, G. John Ikenberry, Thomas Risse-Kappen, Cornell University Press, 2008, pp. 178-180.
  5. Site of multiple terrorist attacks since 1993.
  6. The proposed Arab state would span a crescent from Aden in Yemen, through the HaramaynWikipedia (the land of Mecca and Medina) through Jerusalem and Damascus, to Aleppo in the north, down to Baghdad and the Persian border in the east. The distance from Damascus to Baghdad, the two major urban areas with a common culture, language, and economic ties pre-dating Islam, is closer than the distance between Dallas and El Paso.
  7. Although Mosul fell on the French side in the original Sykes-Picot agreement, it was occupied by Great Britian in 1918 and later came under the Mesopotamian Mandate. See Wikipedia, Mosul QuestionWikipedia. See also Article Review by George Fujii of Britain, France, and Mesopotamian Oil, 1916–1920, Diplomacy & Statecraft (2015). "What few people know about, however, is the extent to which oil influenced Anglo-French diplomatic and military maneuvering. ...[at the San Remo Conference in 1921]... the line demarcating the British and French spheres of interest left the most promising areas for oil exploration under British control. But even if France had controlled the whole of Mosul, it was still bound to grant the British equal commercial opportunity."
  8. A continuation of the Imperialist Spheres of influenceWikipedia.
  9. The Arab world exists along an axis extending from Cairo to Damascus to Baghdad. Jerusalem, while of primary importance to the Jewish and Christian faiths, is of only tertiary significance to the Muslim faith. Mecca and Medina are the two holy cities of Islam.
  11. Like David and Mohammad, he combines the roles of Warrior King and Spiritual Leader. My Caliph of Islam Worldwide - King Abdullah II of Jordon.
  12. Meaning the Hashemite King swore allegiance (bay'ah) to the Turkish Sultan as Caliph of the Muslims while retaining the title as Custodian, or Sharif of Mecca.
  13. King Abdullah II of Jordan is a total badass, Amanda Macias, Business Insider, 5 February 2015.
  15. Jeremiah Ch. 48
  16. Sovereign Creations: Pan-Arabism and Political Order in Syria and Iraq, Malik Mufti, Cornell University Press, 1996, pp.19-21.
  17. See Wikipedia Emirate of Transjordan § Establishment of British controlWikipedia.
  18. A Short Political Guide to the Arab World, Peter Partner, Frederick A. Praeger, 1960, p. 24.
  19. Saudi Wahhabis have been compared to snake handlersWikipedia of the hills of Appalachia.
  20. It is significant, after the fall of Mecca, Ibn Saud did not claim the title of Caliph. [2]
  21. Yemen however, has always been difficult to control; neither the Hashemites, the Turks, the British, the Saudis, Iran or anyone has been able to unite the tribes. See Wikipedia's entry on Jack Philby: "By 1934, in an effort to safeguard the port of Aden, Britain had no fewer than 1,400 "peace treaties" with the various tribal rulers of the hinterlands of what became Yemen."
  22. Philby's son is the notorious and controversial Soviet agent Kim PhilbyWikipedia. Kim Philby is roundly referred to in both British and American historical narratives as a traitor. British narratives refer to both father and son as traitors, but American texts only condemn the son, Kim. Jack Philby is regarded by many Brits as a traitor because of his decision to award the Saudi oil concession to American oil interests, and not British Petroleum.
  23. The Caliphate, the Hejaz, and the Saudi-Wahhabi Nation-State, Imran N. Hosein, Masjid Darul Qur'an, Long Island New York, 1996, p. 10 pdf.
  28. See IraqforceWikipedia and Tenth Army (United Kingdom)Wikipedia for more on British and Indian forces deployed to Iraq from 1941-43.
  29. The Tehran Conference 1943, Office of the Historian, U.S. State Department.
  30. Warlords: An Extraordinary Re-creation of World War II Through the Eyes and Minds of Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, Simon Berthon & Joanna Potts, Da Capo Press, 2007, p. 175.
  31. See Wikipedia Bush DoctrineWikipedia of preventative war.
  32. See for example Arnold Toynbee, A Study of History, Volume IX, pp. 544-545, " In A.D. 1952 the probability seemed to be that, if and when an effective world government did come into being, it would take shape through a development, not of the U.N.O., but of one or other of two older and tougher political 'going concerns' which, as a result of the outcome of a Second World War, had already partitioned the Oikoumenê between them...The virtues that made the United States incomparably preferable to the Soviet Union as a candidate for this imperial role stood out conspicuously against a Communist Russian foil.
    America's cardinal virtue in the sight of her present and prospective subjects was her transparently sincere reluctance to be drawn into playing this role at all. An appreciable portion of the living generation of American citizens, as well as all the ancestors of all American citizens who were not themselves immigrants, had been moved to pluck up their roots in the Old World and to start life again on the farther side of the Atlantic by a yearning, not to meddle in, but to extricate themselves from, the affairs of a Continent whose dust either they or their forebears had once demonstratively shaken from off their feet;1 and the buoyancy of the hope with which the forebears had made their deliberate withdrawal from the Old World in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries was matched by the poignancy of the regret with which the living generation of Americans was making its compulsory twentieth-century return.
  33. Prior to 1917 Great Britain was viewed as the main enemy of the United States which had tried three times throughout American history to destroy the Union: 1776-82 Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the American Civil War in which it supplied weapons to the Confederacy.
  34. Ayman al Zawahiri, The Bitter Harvest, "taking advantage of the Muslim youths’ fervor by … steer[ing] their onetime passionate, Islamic zeal for jihad to conferences and elections.” [3] Also Abu Musab al-Suri, Notes on the jihadist experience in Syria, 17 "bitter lessons" of the failed 1982 Syrian uprisingWikipedia. See also From Theory to Action: The Rationale behind the Re-establishment of the Caliphate. Terrorism Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: Jamestown Foundation. 15 July 25, 2014.
  35. An Explicit Ultimatum from the Salaf to the Apostates, Dabiq Issue 7, pp. 17-19 pdf. By DAESH Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The article critiques and reprints an open letter by an Al Qaeda cleric to former Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi.
  36. See for example Wikipedia, Human rights in the Imperial State of Iran § PostmortemWikipedia.
  37. Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), Iraqi Retreats, 1982-84,, retrieved 20 March 2007.
  38. Ahmadinejad's Demons: A Child of the Revolution Takes Over, Matthias Küntzel, The New Republic, 24 April 2006 .
  39. 60% of college enrollees are female, as contrasted with the Sunni Pakistan Taliban where Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala YousafzaiWikipedia was shot in the head for advocating education for adolescent girls.
  42. The AL-QA’IDA - QODS FORCE NEXUS, Michael S. Smith II, Kronos, 29 April 2011, p. 9.
  43. By 1970, Iran was the United States largest customer for weapons. Earnings from the oil boom after the 1953 coup were funneled into defense. Huge bases were built in the north to monitor the Soviets and along the southern coast to police the Persian Gulf. Higher paid technicians to operate the oil industry and maintain military hardware were mostly foreigners, leading to an obvious income disparity between the Shah's foreign allies and the indigenous population. This provided an opening for Soviet and Eastern bloc agitation amongst the Shi'a for revolutionary Marxist anti-Imperialist propaganda with a religious fervor. [4][5]
  44. The Sudanese regime harbored Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri in the early 1990s
  45. Bin Laden shared with Iran a desire to depose the House of Saud, and Zawahiri shared with Iran his contempt of the Egyptian regime which made peace with Israel.
  46. 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT at pp. 240-41.
  48. See Wikipedia Iran and state-sponsored terrorism § September 11Wikipedia.
  51. See Islamic State of AfghanistanWikipedia.
  56. See also Mongol invasions of the LevantWikipedia, Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia and Eastern IranWikipedia and other articles relating to the Mongol invasions and conquests.
  57. See Vol. III, pp. 466-472, 'The Political Career of Mohammad' in Arnold Toynbee's, A Study of History. "in Islamic sociology, such dichotomies as ‘religious and secular’, ‘ecclesiastical and civil’, ‘clerical and lay’ have no application. In the Islamic Society, Church and State are identical; and, in this undifferentiated social entity, the secular interest and secular spirit have hitherto predominated over the religious in a fashion which makes even the most thoroughly enslaved of the Christian ‘Established Churches’ appear comparatively ‘un-political’ and ‘other-worldly’ by this Islamic standard of comparison. ¶Thus the political, secular, mundane element has been exceptionally prominent not only in Muhammad’s personal career, but in the subsequent history of the institution which is the monument of Muhammad’s life-work."
  58. See also Revolution Unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to the Present, Gilles Dorronsoro, Columbia University Press, Aug 13, 2013, p. 158 and fn. 33.
  59. The Creed of the Four Imams, p. 31 and fn. 142.,
  60. Yusuf al-Qaradawi: The Takfir of All Societies and Announcement of Destructive Revolutions In the Final Works of Sayyid Qutb, December 29 2009 - by Takfiris.Com
  61. As a final word on the controversy about an alleged "scholar" who led people into sin, Abu Bakr Naji buries deep in a lengthy footnote in The Management of Savagery, the textbook of Global Jihad and the path to establishing the Islamic State, "I previously mentioned that the origin of the study of education was a debate for the Qutbi current in Egypt. This designation has no connection with the formation of the groups which illegitimately call themselves "Qutbis". The origin of this name is a long story that has no importance...", The Management of Savagery, Translated by William McCants for the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University, 2006, fn 14, pp.132-133 pdf.
  62. 73 sect narration - in the light of Quran, Hadees and facts, Khurshid imam.
  63. The text of The Final Jihad (unknown author, c. 2007) carries the desperate, apocryphal, and end times tone of the modern jihadist movement.
  64. Post 9/11 bin Laden issued his Letter to the American People and called upon them to, among other things "stop your oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery", and "be a people of manners." Among a laundry list of sins and grievances bin Laden alleges "AIDS as a Satanic American Invention."
  65. The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al-Qaeda, Ali H. Soufan, W.W. Norton & Company, Sep 12, 2011, p. 65; some "offered only a conditional bayat, agreeing to join al Qaeda and fight America with the proviso that if a jihad effort with a clearer justification existed on another front, they would be free to join that instead."
  66. AL QAEDA IN IRAQ, by M. J. Kirdar, Center for Strategic and International Studies Case Study Number 1, June 2011, p. 3 pdf. "the al Qaeda leader was taken aback by Zarqawi’s unabashed criticism of al Qaeda’s support for the Taliban’s “un-Islamic” fight against the Northern Alliance and disapproved of Zarqawi’s “swagger,” his tattooed hand, and his intense hatred of Shiites. However, Seif al-Adel, al Qa-eda’s security chief and a proponent of “near enemy” centric terrorism,12 empathized with Zarqawi’s efforts against the Hashemite monarchy in Jordan. Adel convinced bin Laden to grant Zarqawi around $5,000 in seed money and space to set up his own training camp."
  67. Osama Bin Laden, Michael Scheuer, Oxford University Press, Jan 20, 2011, pp. 125-130 pdf and Notes to Chapter 6, pp. 252-253 pdf fn. 33.
  68. The Caliphate, the Hejaz, and the Saudi-Wahhabi Nation-State, Imran N. Hosein, Masjid Darul Qur'an, Long Island New York, 1996, pp. 14-16 pdf.
  69. a play on words meaning "under foot".
  71. formerly Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Bou Badri bin Armoush.
  73. Killed c.Nov. 7, 2014.
  74. For an interesting historical treatment on the origin and significance of religion and oaths, see this 1876 article Ordeals and Oaths by Edward Burnett Tylor, Popular Science Monthly, Volume 9 July 1876.
  77. He dropped out of the Islamic University in Baghdad. [6] Beginning in 2005 Al-Badri studied under Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Mansour who wrote a stinging rebuke of his former pupil's understanding of Shariah and claim to hold a PhD from the Ba'athist funded and controlled Islamic University of Baghdad: "he is not the master of a single accredited book in aqeeda [creed] or fiqh [jurisprudence], and our brothers from the Iraqi students of knowledge from all the groups and approaches know this very well, and know that there is no link between him and Islamic knowledge ('ilm), and are aware of the very emaciated level of Shari'a knowledge that the government universities offer." [7] This is an obvious point that shouldn't be overlooked. The Daesh propaganda apparatus created the myth:

    Sheikh Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is a former teacher and educator and a well known preacher, and a graduate from the Islamic University in Baghdad and he studied in it the academic levels (Bachelor, Masters and PhD) he was known as a preacher and erudite in Islamic culture, and Sharia knowledge and Fiqh, and an expert in the sciences of history and noble lineage...

    It is known that Dr. Ibrahim Awad is from the most prominent figures of Al-Salafiya Al-Jihadiya (Salafi-jihadi) and one of its most famous theorists in Diyala and in the city of Samarra in the mosque of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal rahimahullah. He is a man from a religious family. His brothers and uncles include preachers and professors of Arabic language, rhetoric and logic. Their Aqeeda is Salafiya.

    The corruption of schools and universities and the teaching of Shariah under the apostate regimes of the Iraqi Ba'athists and the House of Saud is a cornerstone of the Salafi creed. The forerunner of the modern jihadist movement, Juhayman al-OtaybiWikipedia, whom posthumously has been elevated to shahid status by Salafi-jihadists, stopped attending the Islamic University in Medina and the lectures of the prominent cleric Abd al-Aziz bin Baz precisely for this reason, he and his movement "couldn't find 'pure' Sharia education in the official Sharia school" [8].
  82. Ashimov Sergey Nikolayavich (Ohimov Sircaa Nikolayavić) aka Abdullah Abu Suleiman.