The Islamic State has published a seven-page report on the U.S. presidential election titled, “The Apostate Vote,” in which American Muslims are advised not to participate in the election, and the Koran is quoted to “demonstrate why democracy is antithetical to Islam.”
That summary comes from Vocativ, which found the document from the Islamic State’s al-Hayat Media Center posted on various social media platforms:
It is a screed against American politics and democracy, which it refers to as “paganism.” One of the main arguments it puts forward is that American Muslims who participate in elections are apostates because they have directly contributed to other Muslims being killed in America’s numerous wars.
“And after almost thirty years of history proving to the entire world that there is no difference between the American Republican and Democratic parties in their policies against Islam and Muslims, the murtadd imams of the so-called ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ and its sister sects continue to advocate voting in the pagan festivals of U.S. democracy,” the article reads.
Additionally, the piece says that any manmade laws and democratic institutions amount to idolatry (in Arabic, taghut, or its plural, tawaghit) and should therefore be shunned by Muslims.
“Accordingly, human legislators, manmade laws, modern constitutions, judges who rule thereby, and rulers who enforce such upon others are all tawaghit whom the Muslim must disassociate from and disbelieve in,” it reads.
Note: Murtadd means “apostate.” The ISIS writers are, in essence, accusing even Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood of apostasy because they believe in spreading the influence of Islam by participating in the democratic process.
The document portrays voting as an act of apostasy that Muslims should be killed for, unless they repent. ISIS is particularly upset at Muslims who helped George W. Bush win the 2000 presidential election, slapping sarcastic scare quotes around the words “Muslims” and “mosques” when it refers to them.
The Islamic State’s condemnation of democracy is so strong that they believe voting justifies violence, because infidel and apostate voters are “directly involved in the decision making process by choosing delegates to represent them and their whims executively, judicially, and legislatively.”
This makes them accessories to whatever anti-Islamic crimes their elected leaders perpetrate. In fact, ISIS argues the blood of these voters is “even more deserving of being spilled than the blood of Crusader combatants.”
The Islamic State is quite progressive in these threats, as it explains American women are “no longer mere wives serving Crusader husbands and raising cross-worshiping children,” so it is acceptable to murder them, too.
In discussing the current presidential candidates, the group wrote: “The only differences between Trump and Clinton are that Clinton is more skilled in ‘political correctness’, that she is a female feminist – and the Prophet said ‘Never shall a people who give their leadership to a woman be successful’ – and that Trump is impulsive and unpredictable.”
They said Mr Trump was “yet to learn that what he refers to as ‘radical Islamic terrorist’ is nothing but the teachings of Islam, plain and simple”.
The Observer adds that “in one passage, the ISIS article slammed Clinton for viewing American Islam as ‘a project that can be projected to other countries, thereby leading more Muslims astray towards apostasy.'”
One of the photographs included in the pamphlet is a picture of Tim Kaine with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, captioned “Hillary Clinton’s running mate courting a Jewish taghut.” Taghut means someone who worships false gods or idols, particularly tyrants who oppress Muslims.
Similarly, a photo of Trump is captioned, “Donald Trump courting Jews at the AIPAC convention.”
There is even a picture of Khizr Khan, the Muslim Gold Star father who spoke at the Democratic convention, holding up his pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution. The caption reads, “A murtadd supporting Hillary Clinton and the taghut constitution.”
The document ends with what might be either a terrorist threat or a bit of gruesome wishful thinking: “May Allah make this year’s U.S. presidential election a dreadful calamity like no other to have struck America throughout its pathetic history.”
USA Today reports the ISIS document also includes a promise that jihadis “have come to slaughter you and smash your ballot boxes.” The overall tone of “The Murtadd Vote” is taken as an incitement to violence, possibly related to the U.S. government’s warning of a potential terror threat in New York, Texas, and Virginia on Election Day.