The internet has been awashed with a hackneyed platitude amid the horrific Paris terror attacks last week. It's basically become the mother of all clichés. Almost no one can resist it. It's employed by everyone from President Obama to social media bloggers. It crops up everywhere from Qatar's Al Jazeera to propagandist, Putin - funded Russia Today, to the keyboard revolutionary Russel Brand's YouTube Channel.
ISIS, we're told, "has nothing to do with Islam."
Even a cursory examination of the history and literature of Islam, Quran and Hadith could easily debunk this above claim as preposterous and could irrefutably establish the fact that not only is ISIS inspired from the Islamic concept of the Caliphate but is also heavily influenced by the radical Islamic jurisprudence of the 13th century Scholar Sheikh Taqi ibn Taymiyyah and later the 18th century scholar Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab.
ISIS or any other terror group e.g. Al Qaeda are not relentlessly fighting against the West because of some plethora of "legitimate grievances of Muslims due to blunders of American foreign policy" as Robert Fisk, Stop the War Coalition and Noam Chomsky would like many to believe. If grievances and atrocities are considered to be the "reasons" behind ISIS attacks, then by this logic all Indians living in the United Kingdom would be retaliating to avenge the sufferings of their ancestors faced during the British Colonialism. Bangladeshis would carry out attacks against Pakistan since they were once ruthlessly persecuted by them. Jews would be retaliating against Austria, Germany, Hungary and Romania as these countries were among the main perpetrators of the Holocaust. Vietnam would attack the United States for the disaster caused by Agent Orange and Japanese would retaliate against the U.S for the colossal humanitarian tragedy caused by the Hiroshima bombings and Chinese against Japanese for the dreadful 1937 Nanking Massacre.
It's beyond absurd that many commentators in the Western media have used these "grievances" and "foreign policy" theories to define and explain ISIS which has ultimately served as a red herring and has caused further bewilderment and obfuscation about them.
The fact is that ISIS has got at least something to do with Islam and the only way to counter them is to repudiate and excoriate the Caliphate concept of Islam. To say that there is nothing Islamic about ISIS is tantamount to taking an ostrich approach. The concept and prophecy of the Caliphate is the key element of ISIS's ideology and it does not come from the books of Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. It emanates from the Hadiths of Islamic prophet Mohammad. Even the modus operandi of ISIS such as that of Convert, pay tax, or die also originates from hadith literature.
To outrightly deny this despite the indisputable caliphate literature in hadith is blissful ignorance which culminates into apologism which then facilitates radical Islam. This is because this denial gives credence to the untenable and fallacious aforementioned theory of "legitimate grievances" that diverts the necessary attention from ISIS's barbarism and Islamist expansionism and indirectly paints a sympathetic picture of these savages and offers only one solution which is that the "West is Evil and responsible for terrorism due to its foreign policy".
There is absolutely no doubt in the notion that majority of Muslims are peaceful and are vehemently opposed to ISIS. But unfortunately, they have been profoundly oblivious to the bellicose and hateful texts in the Quran and hadiths of the prophet Mohammad.
This is because, as Fathima Imra Nazeer puts it, not being native Arabic speakers, Muslims recite the Quran in Arabic without understanding the violent verses. When they do hear them in their native language, it has to be said that the majority of Muslims are uncomfortable with the message so they tend to either lay the blame on a faulty translation or interpret it according to their own moral principles.
"A minority of Muslims do treat the Quran as the ultimate moral authority and believe in acting upon the literal interpretation of these violent and hateful Quranic passages. As we've seen in the case of ISIS, a significant minority is all that is needed to create mayhem and destroy entire communities.".
Whenever Muslims are confronted with the link between ISIS with Islam, they usually respond with the verse 5:32 of the Quran, which states that Islam forbids killing of innocents. But this verse has an evident loophole which is easily manipulated by ISIS and similar Islamic extremists to justify terror attacks.
Unfortunately, criticism of Islam is not an accepted practice in the Muslim world and even in the West, the legitimate critics are branded as Islamophobes by moderate Muslims, New Atheists by Western leftists and racists by liberals.
Another reason why ISIS propaganda has worked effectively in recruiting many western Muslims is because Muslims mostly have not condemned and castigated them with the same fervour and intensity with which they condemn Israel when it comes to the issue of Palestine. In 2014, millions of Muslims came out on the streets of London, New York, Paris, and Chicago etc. against Israeli action in Gaza. Social media was pretty much dominated by the vociferous outrage against Zionism and Israel. Just as they zealously protested outside Israeli Embassies when Gaza was attacked, why don't Muslims in the West take the same initiative and unequivocally lambaste Saudi Arabia and Qatar Embassies (who have funded ISIS) and condemn the barbaric ISIS?
Why we never see any substantial demonstrations against ISIS reminiscent of protests against Israel?
Why we don't see any campaigns similar to the BDS movement against Qatar and Saudia Arabia attempting to increase economic and political pressure on them to jettison their support for Islamic extremism?
Unless Muslims acknowledge the violent elements in their Islamic literature and reform it according to norms of the 21st century, groups like ISIS with their idea of revival of Caliphate will continue to rise. They will continue attacking and realizing the mission outlined by the former head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Zarqawi in his 7 point agenda which was heavily inspired by the caliphate concept of Islam.
It is important to understand that Islamic terrorism is an ideological phenomenon which is why military/counter terror operations, drone attacks, reconnaissance missions and other combat operations are only short term solutions and mostly results in eliminating the enemies' top strategists, operational commanders, ideological mentors and recruiters. But such operations don't attack and denounce the ideology espoused by such groups because of which killing of one terrorist leads to springing up of many others.
We are not fighting people who are influenced by nationalism and where peace will be achieved once the territorial issues are resolved, neither are we fighting against a bunch of scallywags and thugs. We are fighting against those who are ideologically inclined to establish their Islamic caliphate and puritanical Shariah across the globe by means of violent measures.