In yet another attempt to absolve Islam of any responsibility for the crimes of the Islamic State, the hard-Left publication Think Progress has published this piece centered on the wit and wisdom of Will McCants, the puerile and silly counter-terror “expert” who is involved with the State Department’s laughable Think Again Turn Away social media initiative to try to convince jihadis not to wage jihad.
In this piece, McCants is identified as the director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution. Now that’s interesting: a recent New York Times expose revealed that the Brookings Institution receives significant funding from Qatar, and in return, makes Qatar look good. Researcher Kathy Gorka noted at Breitbart: “It is a matter of public record that Qatar is a key funder and supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and, indeed, that supporting Muslim Brotherhood parties has been a cornerstone of Qatar’s foreign policy.”
And whitewashing the jihad doctrine so as to keep Americans complacent about the jihad threat is a cornerstone of the Brotherhood’s activity in the U.S. Lo and behold, that is just what McCants does in this piece. Its author, Jack Jenkins, apparently working from information McCants gave him, says that the Islamic State ignores “Islamic rules of engagement, such as refraining from violence against women or children. Among other horrors, reports abound of ISIS regularly using rape and sexual slavery as a weapon.” Then he quotes McCants: “The Islamic State stands apart from other [extremist] organizations. They are not bound by the structures of traditional Islamic warfare.” (Jenkins added the “extremist” in brackets.)
Interestingly, Obama made some of these same points in his address last night. In any case, both he and McCants ignore the fact that there is support in Islamic law for such behavior:
“Violence against women or children”: “It is reported on the authority of Sa’b b. Jaththama that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: They are from them.” (Sahih Muslim 4321)
“Then the Messenger of Allah commanded that ditches should be dug, so they were dug in the earth, and they were brought tied by their shoulders, and were beheaded. There were between seven hundred and eight hundred of them. The children who had not yet reached adolescence and the women were taken prisoner, and their wealth was seized.” (Ibn Kathir, commentary on Qur’an 33:26)
“Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi: I was among the captives of Banu Qurayza. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair. (Sunan Abu Dawood 38:4390) Pubescent boys were thus killed, whether they had been combatants or not.
“Using rape and sexual slavery as a weapon”: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (Qur’an 33:50)
“Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive, and they who turn away from ill speech, and they who are observant of zakah, and they who guard their private parts except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed” (Qur’an 23:1-6).
Does Will McCants really not know that this material exists, and that it provides the Islamic State with Islamic justification for what it is doing? The glib dismissals of the Islamic State’s Islamic bona fides fail to explain why the group has a significant following among Muslims, with hundreds of young Muslims from the West traveling from Iraq and Syria to join it. How did this band of misunderstanders of Islam come to rule a territory the size of a nation? Why are there other Muslims nowhere near the Islamic State who misunderstand Islam in the same way that it does? Will Professor McCants explain all this? Or just dismiss it as a line of questioning that is, in his words, “crazy pants”?
“The Book That Really Explains ISIS (Hint: It’s Not The Qur’an),” by Jack Jenkins, Think Progress, September 10, 2014:
…In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that ISIS’s overarching strategy is especially influenced by one book in particular — and no, it’s not the Qur’an.
In 2004, a PDF of a book entitled “The Management Of Savagery” was posted online and circulated among Sunni jihadist circles. Scholars soon noticed that the book, which was published by an unknown author writing under the pseudonym “Abu Bakr Naji,” had become popular among many extremist groups such as al-Shabaab in Somalia, and was eventually translated into English for study in 2006 by William McCants, now the director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution. The book, McCants told ThinkProgress, was written as an alternative to the decentralized, “leaderless” approach to jihadism popular in the mid-2000s. Instead of using isolated attacks on super powers all over the globe, “The Management Of Savagery” offered an expansive plan for how a group of Muslim militants could violently seize land and establish their own self-governing Islamic state — much like ISIS is trying to do today.
“[The book] provides a roadmap for how to establish a caliphate,” McCants said. “It lays out how to create small pockets of territorial control … and how to move from there to a caliphate. It would not surprise me if the book were popular among the crew in Iraq [ISIS].”
“It would not surprise me if the book were popular among the crew in Iraq” — in other words, McCants has no evidence that it is, and this entire article is based on hunches and wishful thinking — of course, that is something it has in common with American foreign policy.
McCants was quick to note that while “The Management of Savagery” is “the only text out there that really addresses the question of how [jihadists] can capture and hold territory,” the black-clad troopers in Iraq and Syria haven’t taken all of Naji’s advice to heart. ISIS has clearly ignored the author’s recommendation that fighters abide by traditional Islamic rules of engagement, such as refraining from violence against women or children. Among other horrors, reports abound of ISIS regularly using rape and sexual slavery as a weapon.
“The Islamic State stands apart from other [extremist] organizations,” McCants said. “They are not bound by the structures of traditional Islamic warfare.”…