A person who claims to be a Christian that converted to Islam and swore fealty to the Islamic State wrote a column titled “Words of Sincere Advice” for the latest issue of the Islamic State’s nauseating Dabiq online magazine.
The writer strives to reverse the “ISIS isn’t truly Muslim” argument by claiming that “imams” (he puts the word in scare quotes) who speak out against the Islamic State “appear to be ‘Muslims’ and speak the language of ‘Islam,’ but they call to disunity, and to being distant from the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger.”
“Indeed, they call to the worship of false gods, the reverence of the ways of those whom Allah hates, and the abandonment of standing in one rank with the Muslims against the enemies of Islam,” the writer contends, claiming these moderate clerics are trying to replace explicit holy text with “the indirect sayings of fallible men, some honest yet misquoted scholars of old, but mostly contemporary heretics of severe deviance.”
The writer cites Islamic texts which have Allah commanding Muslims to reject “pagans” and form a single nation for themselves, and he claims the legitimate Muslim nation is “the group following the Quran and the Sunnah, with allegiance to one leader, the Caliph of the Muslims,” ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The Sunnah is the body of traditional practices that combines with the Quran and the Hadith, written quotes from Mohammed, to form the basis for sharia law.
Quoting Mohammed to the effect that anyone who dies without swearing allegiance to the Caliph has died an apostate, the Dabiq article drives the point home with a photograph of the grave of Army Captain Humayun Khan, the Muslim U.S. soldier whose parents spoke at the Democratic National Convention. The picture is captioned, “Beware of dying as an apostate.”
“Regardless of where you are, know that pledging allegiance is an obligation upon you, as is listening to your leader, the Caliph, and obeying his command,” the writer instructs. He encourages Muslims to perform hijrah, or emigration, to “the land of Islam, where sharia is in full application,” by which he means the Islamic State.
“But if you are unable to do so, then know that you have been blessed with the opportunity to serve a much greater purpose than dwelling among Muslims and waging jihad on the outer edges of the land of Islam. Indeed, you are behind enemy lines, able to strike them where it hurts most,” declares the advice columnist, swerving into “lone wolf jihad” territory.
This is illustrated with a helpful suggestion for a target: “Crusader citizens” waiting in line to vote or “share in their leaders’ crimes against Muslims,” as Dabiq puts it.
There is a direct slam at the idea that jihad can mean peaceful proselytizing (da’wah) or private efforts at spiritual improvement:
Do not be taken in by claims that the “real jihad” is giving da-wah — rather, the real da’wah is waging jihad! Most of the world is very aware of Islam’s existence and even its tenets, and the time for showing them that actions speak louder than words is ever so present. The blood of the disbelievers is obligatory to spill by default.
A lovely thought from a Baghdadi spokesman is provided along those lines. “If the tawaghit have shut the door of hijrah in your faces, then open the door of jihad in theirs,” he advises. Tawaghit is basically a synonym for “infidel”; Baghdadi’s mouthpiece is saying that if Muslims are thwarted from emigrating to the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, they should carry out terrorist attacks in the countries where they are compelled to remain, “scaring them and terrorizing them, until every neighbor fears his neighbor.”
The Jews are of course name-checked, along with “Crusaders” and “their puppets in the Gulf, and other countries seized by apostate rulers.” A specific list of those puppet and apostate regimes is presented, including “Iraq, the Levant, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Somalia, West Africa, Khurasan, Chechnya, and the Philippines.” Khurasan essentially means Iran in this context.
“All of these open enemies are supported by the Crusader voters and taxpayers in the democratic countries of the West,” the Dabiq columnist thunders. “Indeed, every Crusader nation claiming to be ruled by the ‘Will of the People’ has implicated their own populations in the crimes their militaries commit against the Muslim nation, making the obligation to target them even more obvious for the doubtful.”
“Likewise, as they haphazardly kill Muslims in their war against the mujahadeen, it becomes even more obligatory for you to attack the Crusader nations and their citizens in their homelands, as done by the likes of the Caliphate’s soldiers, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez and Faisal Mohammed, in Chattanooga and Merced respectively,” the article continues, referring to the jihadis who attacked military facilities in Tennessee and the University of California Merced, respectively, in 2015.
The writer pitches part of his article directly at Christians who have converted to Islam:
If your intellect is too stubborn to accept the duty so clearly evidenced to you, then at least look to your heart. Has the love of your Lord, which you happily professed as a Christian, faded once you accepted Islam? Truly, that is impossible, as loving Allah is a condition of having true faith in Him. And, like all things in His religion, Allah has given us a way to prove our love for Him.
That way of proving love for Allah is jihad and the murder of infidels. “If you are sincere, you will not abandon your Muslim brothers, sisters, and their children, who are subjected to death, injury, shock, and the loss of loved ones every day,” the author declares. “They want nothing more than for Allah’s religion to be established, which you profess and to which you claim association. You may be in the lion’s den, but know that the real lion is the mujahid who overcomes all mortal fears and lashes out at the disbelief around him.”
The article closes with advice for lone-wolf jihadis to keep their operations “simple and effective.”
“If you can obtain a weapon, do so and use it, as soon as possible and in a place that will cause the most damage and panic, bringing death and injury to the enemy of Allah, the disbelievers,” the writer encourages. “Just as they terrify the Muslims in the land of Islam, so you should terrify the disbelievers in their homelands. But unlike them, your terror shall be just, an equitable response to their crimes against Islam and the Muslim nation.”