Some nice nuggets of information about ISIS from the Atlantic:
Denying the holiness of the Koran or the prophecies of Muhammad is straightforward apostasy. But Zarqawi and the state he spawned take the position that many other acts can remove a Muslim from Islam. These include, in certain cases, selling alcohol or drugs, wearing Western clothes or shaving one’s beard, voting in an election—even for a Muslim candidate—and being lax about calling other people apostates. Being a Shiite, as most Iraqi Arabs are, meets the standard as well, because the Islamic State regards Shiism as innovation, and to innovate on the Koran is to deny its initial perfection. (The Islamic State claims that common Shiite practices, such as worship at the graves of imams and public self-flagellation, have no basis in the Koran or in the example of the Prophet.) That means roughly 200 million Shia are marked for death.
The theologians of ISIS, basing their ideas on the Koran itself regard all departures from the words of the Koran and the prophet as ‘innovations’ and unislamic, including Shiism. That sort of turns on its head the bullcrap you hear from the newspapers everytime a Muslim kills someone – the constant cries of ‘they’re not real Muslims’ – because, actually, it seems that ISIS are the real Muslims and all those who live in the countries of the Kaffir, who follow the laws of man, or who believe in the innovations of some later interpretation of Islam are, strictly speaking, not real Muslims. They’re just Muslim-apologists.
ISIS scraping the ‘innovations’ that have built up around Islam over the centuries is a bit like the Protestants breaking from Catholicism and all the garish ‘innovations’ it had added to the bible. The main difference is that the Protestants were returning to the words of a hippyish figure who liked to turn the other cheek and stand around talking in parables whereas ISIS are returning to the words of a genocidal child-raping nut-job.
Many mainstream Muslim organizations have gone so far as to say the Islamic State is, in fact, un-Islamic. It is, of course, reassuring to know that the vast majority of Muslims have zero interest in replacing Hollywood movies with public executions as evening entertainment. But Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.”
…According to Haykel, the ranks of the Islamic State are deeply infused with religious vigor. Koranic quotations are ubiquitous. “Even the foot soldiers spout this stuff constantly,” Haykel said. “They mug for their cameras and repeat their basic doctrines in formulaic fashion, and they do it all the time.” He regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous, sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts.” Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. “And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else.”
Well how about that? It turns out that a bunch of guys beheading and burning people in the desert are interpreting the texts of Islam is a perfectly legitimate way. I guess this is only a surprise to those who’ve swallowed the ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ nonsense.
Before the caliphate, “maybe 85 percent of the Sharia was absent from our lives,” Choudary told me. “These laws are in abeyance until we have khilafa”—a caliphate—“and now we have one.” Without a caliphate, for example, individual vigilantes are not obliged to amputate the hands of thieves they catch in the act. But create a caliphate, and this law, along with a huge body of other jurisprudence, suddenly awakens. In theory, all Muslims are obliged to immigrate to the territory where the caliph is applying these laws.
All Muslims are obliged to emigrate to the territory where the caliph is? Why are we not encouraging this? Instead our doofus police are confiscating passports. Give them their passports! Let them go! (Perhaps send the Kurds some serious weaponry at the same time). Everybody wins!
A few “lone wolf” supporters of the Islamic State have attacked Western targets, and more attacks will come. But most of the attackers have been frustrated amateurs, unable to immigrate to the caliphate because of confiscated passports or other problems.
Give them their passports.
Muslims can say that slavery is not legitimate now, and that crucifixion is wrong at this historical juncture. Many say precisely this. But they cannot condemn slavery or crucifixion outright without contradicting the Koran and the example of the Prophet. “The only principled ground that the Islamic State’s opponents could take is to say that certain core texts and traditional teachings of Islam are no longer valid,” Bernard Haykel says. That really would be an act of apostasy.
So that’s that then.