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Thursday, August 28, 2014

ISIS, ISIL, Friends of the Caliphate, Caliphatians, whatever.....

Link:  Questions about the Caliphate you were too embarrassed to ask

The media has yet to decide exactly what to call the latest boogeyman on the Islamic Extremist scene.  And this one is a doozy.  At first they were known as ISIS, then Islamic State of the Caliphate (sorta rhymes), and now I'm hearing ISIL (thanks General Dempsey and Bagel Hagel).  The link provided answers some of the more pressing questions, and I have added some simple facts myself.  As far as extremist groups go, they are neophytes.  No Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Egyptian Brotherhood (EIJ) from the 1950s or Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from the 60s and 70s. But they are leaving a mighty big footprint for a newcomer.  This group is dedicated to creating a new Caliphate, something akin to the old Ottoman Empire.  The difference being, the Ottoman Empire was usually run by a besotted, sometimes pedophilic, other times syphilitic Sultan who had no interest in Islam whatsoever.  The Sultan of old also held the title of Caliph, which historically is the religious leader for all Muslims.  ISIL (my choice) is not interested in a Sultan but they do want a Caliph, and they want a Caliphate, a geographic area that their religious leader can rule over.  ISIL has repeatedly avowed to conquer Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Jordan and parts of Iraq to form their ideal Caliphate.  Of course, this will include Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capitol.  Make no mistake; these guys are for real, and they do not believe in compromise (otherwise I'd say lets just give them Syria and be done with it).

I strongly recommend that anyone seriously interested in the motivations and believes of this group to educate yourself on the Ottoman Empire.  The Ottomans were a Muslim

bunch who happened to have the most powerful military in the world in the 15th and 16th centuries.  They had a history of getting along with Christians within their borders, which is markedly different from ISIL.  But the leaders of ISIL seem to bask in the memory of Ottoman glory, recalling the days when twice Ottoman troops laid siege to Vienna (only to be defeated by the unluckiest of circumstances).  Please read The Ottoman Centuries by Lord Kinross, one of the greatest historic books I have read.
We have also heard another less-than common term being bandied about.  I have been asked more than once, "What is the Levant?"  Well, ladies and gentleman, the Levant is the geographic area that borders the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.  The French, who used to run Lebanon and Syria, were very fond of the term.  The Levant refers to Syria, Lebanon and Israel/Palestine.

Just so that no one misunderstands the motivations and intentions of ISIL, they may talk about only occupying enough countries to constitute their "dream" Caliphate, but I can assure you the battle will not end there.  There was a time when you could gather up 25 Islamic Extremists and you would be lucky to find 2 who were prepared to give their lives for Allah.  ISIL is different.  It seems that every one of these folks are obsessed with reaching the Pearly Gates.  This group is a Trident of tremendous danger, with three dangerous prongs.  The first is the absolute extreme attitude of the members of ISIL, the second is ISIL's ready access to loads of money, and the third prong is the vacillation of the West.  The Devil holds this Trident, and its only a matter of time before we feel the tips.

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