The desperate dream of the Islamic Caliphate

Like all Muslim terrorists, the new "Caliph" has a new "war name". He is no longer called Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. His real name is Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai, who was born in Samarra in 1971. His full name of war is: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husseini al-Qurashi.

Jul 17, 2014

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husseini al-Qurashi

Like all Muslim terrorists, the new "Caliph" has a new "war name". He is no longer called Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. His real name is Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai, who was born in Samarra in 1971. His full name of war is: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husseini al-Qurashi.

This name, for any educated Muslim, is already a program in itself. Abu Bakr is the name (or more precisely the kunyah) of the first caliph, that is, of Muhammad's first successor. Al-Baghdadi evokes the period's most famous Islamic caliphate, the Abbasid, whose capital was Baghdad (750-1258). Al-Husseini refers to Hussein, son of Ali and Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad, the most revered figures in Shiite Islam. Finally, al-Qurashi, refers to the tribe of Mohammed, originally from Quraysh. According to a hadith the legitimate caliph must be a descendant of Muhammad. The latter two names (two nisbah) mean that he is the rightful caliph par excellence, which satisfies both Sunnis and Shiites.

The Caliphate, the dream in the midst of a Muslim world in turmoil
The caliphate is a dream, and refers to the Caliphate of Baghdad, the Abbasid caliphate. It is no coincidence that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is Iraqi. He has tried to implement this project before with al-Qaida, but had to break away from it. The other fundamentalist groups have broken away from him and fought him in Syria. Indeed, almost all governments have decided to fight him: Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Iraq ... his only remaining allies are the oil nations - Qatar and others - because they share his idea of the caliphate, but to create diversions, distractions in the Arab world .

In any case, the caliphate no longer responds to what the Arab Muslims seek. Even Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood - the majority of which is by no means terrorist despite being quashed by the new Al Sissi government - have disavowed him.

Those familiar with al Baghdadi say he is not capable of leading a great movement and is unable to get along with anyone. With the little support he receives, it is very possible that his ambitious plan to conquer the world will end in nothing. The only thing that the Islamic Army (IA) possesses is strength: its militants would be nothing without the weapons that the oil countries and the West have given them. But these weapons cannot withstand an army. The IA looks like the victor because it attacks easy targets, regions weakened by the last three years of war and terrorism. They also dreamed of taking Libya, but nobody followed them.

The decline of the Arab world
In any case, the proclamation of the Caliphate shows where the Islamic world is heading. Three conclusions emerge from al-Baghdadi's proclamation: first, "We want to restore the greatness of Islam"; Second, "the West has reduced the Islamic world to nothing, killing people, making widows ..."; third, "we will forcibly take back our leadership".

This is the typical mythical discourse of the fundamentalists: first we were very good, then we were depleted, now we will regain power by force.

Here's how Abu Bakr depicts the decline of the Islamic world in his tirade:

"The Islamic Ummah seeks your jihad with hope. Your brothers in many parts of the world are being inflicted with the worst forms of torture. Their honor is violated and their blood is shed. Prisoners are moaning and screaming for help. The orphans and widows lament their fate. Women who have lost their babies cry. Mosques are desecrated and shrines are violated. The Islamic nation awaits your jihad with hope. You have brothers in all the corners of the earth who are suffering: in China, India, Palestine, Somalia, Arabian Peninsula, Caucasus, the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Philippines, Ahwaz, Iran, Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco, both in the East and in the West ... ".

He began with a very acceptable observation: the decline of the Arab and Islamic world, recognized by intellectuals and people from all walks of life. It is enough to compare any given Muslim nation and a Western counterpart in the arena of economics, politics, human rights, justice, social life, care for the weak and the poor, to see that the Islamic world is in the midst of a period of decline. Even where we have billions and are richer than anyone (think of the Arabian oil), the educational level is very low and the contribution to world civilization is null!

This is where the seeds of the dream are born. This dream of rebirth, however, finds no support in wealthy Muslim nations, the oil countries, uninterested in any integral human development. Reflecting on this, the Arab world must recognize the following: we have money, but it is the hands of a few; we have the numbers, with hundreds of millions of people, but we only know how to make war.

From a dream of a caliphate towards a culture of openness

In fact, the only way to regain our dignity is to culturally reconstruct our concept of the Arab and Muslim person, to rethink the laws we apply to human rights, to strengthen them and move in the direction of an open culture, which sympathizes with the whole world. Instead we see the spread of a culture of division, which is a step backwards.

The Arab people should look at the Abbasid Caliphate and ask ourselves: where did its greatness stem from? It came from the union of all parts of the ancient Muslim empire. From the cultural point of view more than the Arabs, the Iranians, Afghans, Balkh, Syriac-speaking Christians have contributed to its greatness... It was an open vision that gave space to all, all the while giving priority to the Arab Islamic world.

Today's culture is based on the human rights of the people and solidarity between peoples. And what do we do? We try to justify and regress to a way of life from the past (seventh century), typical of a Bedouin desert region: this cannot be a solution for the twenty-first century.

The Arab people seek solutions to basic needs; equality between men and women; between Muslims and non-Muslims; rich and poor (the poor in the Arab world have never had a voice!).

Instead of taking the best of modern civilization and assimilating it, we try to find the solution by going backwards.

The cause of this error is ideological, but the West is also partly responsible: it must improve relations with the Arab world. We see the West as an immoral place, without values??. It is partly true. The West is seen as the global leader, but it uses weapons and the law of the fittest to impose its dominion. Looking at these elements, the Muslim world rejects the Western project, as too "human", and hopes in a "divine plan" that is sharia.

In reality, Sharia law has nothing "divine" about it: it is the sedimentation of Bedouin tribal rules from the ninth and tenth centuries, and has nothing to do with the Koran, which dates to the seventh century, or with the Prophet Muhammad.

Unfortunately, although this idea is shared by most of the population, the political leaders, especially the richer ones, continue to keep alive the idea of Sharia law as something "holy", defending the Bedouin and the desert culture, in so far as they are descendants of that era. But they are not and will never be a model for the Muslim world.

Israel, Islam and the "conspiracy" theory

The crisis in the Islamic world was exacerbated with the establishment of the State of Israel, an unfair creation because born in the territory of another State that bore absolutely no responsibility for the Holocaust. The defeat of 1948 and then in 1967 showed the extent to which the Arab world (and the Islamic world) was late, and sparked all the Arab revolutions and the animosity towards the West, as well as the hatred for Israel (and for some against Jews and Christians).

But this creation is now a historical fact and there is no turning back. To usher in any hope of increased international cooperation, we have to work for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. This entails, for both Israelis and Palestinians, the decision to seek a just - though never perfect - solution, because both have been wronged, but both have also inflicted injury.

Faced with this military-political situation, many of us see the hand of Israel (and the U.S.) in everything that happens in the Middle East. Even in the creation of the IA, which many suspect is an attempt to divide the Arab world and reshuffle the cards in the region.

I do not support this "conspiracy" theory because it weakens us even more by removing all responsibility for our misfortune from our shoulders. And if this theory is true, then we are nothing more than stupid Arabs: in the end who wages the wars in the region, in the Arab world? We do. And even if we let ourselves be duped so easily, our responsibility would remain.

The fact that this division of the Arab and Islamic world strengthens to those who are enemies of the Arab world, is evident. But fostering division and war is bad politics because it eliminates peace for all, even for Israel. Israel will continue to expropriate territories from the Palestinians, but in doing so it will soon mean that Israelis and Palestinians will eventually be swallowed up within the one state, thus the warring factions will end up becoming a domestic problem. The only way forward is collaboration.

The adherents to the "conspiracy" theory accuse the United States and some European countries of facilitating this genocide inside the Islamic world. Again, the fault is ours. The problem began among ourselves in Syria because the government of Damascus, as well as dictatorial, is a government of the Alawite minority. A political and social problem internal to Syria, has turned into a religious war between Sunnis and Shiites, a war that dates back to the seventh century!

However, the solution proposed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi also dates back to the seventh century, when Muhammad set about fighting all the Arab tribes who did not believe in God (and his mission), organizing more than sixty raids (= Ghazwa) in a ten years (622-632) according to the oldest biography of the Prophet of 'Islam, Kitab al-Maghazi ("Book of History and Campaigns"), by al-Waqidi.--By Prof Fr Samir Khalil Samir,AsiaNews

--Abu Bakr al Baghdadi's announcement of the creation of an Islamic Caliphate reveals a sense of hopelessness. His proclamation was strongly ideological, but to usher in this new era of a worldwide caliphate, he had to overturn an entire area: not in Syria, where ISIS will probably be wiped out by Bashar Assad's army, but in Iraq's weak underbelly, the Sunni area where the government did not have a strong army. And there he drew a halt and issued this presumptuous statement.

The very fact they no longer refer to themselves as "ISIS" in which the words "Iraq and Syria" were present, but simply "Islamic State", as if it were a global entity, is ridiculous from the practical point of view. At the same time, it reveals the ideological dimension of the project to restore the caliphate of Baghdad, regarded as the most brilliant period of Islam.

But the majority of Muslims no longer dream of the caliphate, nor an empire without borders.

Most are simply attempting to live in a nation, so much so, that for years now the Kurds have been attempting to give birth to their own independent nation writes PROF FR SAMIR KHALIL SAMIR SJ.

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