Monday, July 6, 2015
THE END IS NEAR!
Weekly Opinion Editorial
ESCHATOLOGY DRIVES ISIS!
by Steve Fair
Eschatology is the study of ‘end times,’or the final events of human history. It is normally associated with theology. In Christianity, eschatology is debated from three general viewpoints, but in Islam there is primarily one major view- Qiyâmah- which means "Day of the Resurrection". Belief in Qiyâmah is a fundamental tenet of faith in Islam.
Islam teaches three major figures will appear in the final days of human history; (1) The Mahdi, which means ‘guided one,’ a descendent of Muhammed who will appear, will rule the world and kill all the enemies of Islam, (2) Isa, which is the Arabic name for Jesus, but not the same Jesus in the Christian Bible. This Jesus didn’t die for sinful man and rise from the grave. According to Islam, he was a prophet like Elijah, caught up in a chariot of fire, and therefore didn’t experience death. This Jesus is sent to help the Mahdi establish Islamic rule and Sharia law throughout the world, (3) Al-Dajjal or the False Messiah will attempt to convert Muslims to a false religion apart from Islam. So what does this have to do with politics? Everything if you are Muslim.
ISIS, which is an acronym for the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria" operates in both Iraq and Syria. Like many jihadist groups, its goal is to establish an Islamic state that is true to the teachings of Mohammed. Led by Abu Kakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS is said to be more organized and more powerful than Al-Qaeda. They have taken over several major cities in Iraq, killing Christians and Muslims in the process. Their goal is to establish an Islamic state in Iraq. But ISIS’s goal is more involved than just Iraq. Graeme Wood, an editor at Atlantic magazine writes, “ISIS is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse.” Wood’s article- available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/- points out that ISIS is driven by prophetic methodology that uses violence to caliphate the necessary environment for the coming of the Mahdi. He points out that ISIS’s capture of the small town of Dabiq was heralded as a great victory, not because the town is strategically important, but because it is the place prophesied in the Quran as where the final battle of all time will be fought.
So what is the Obama administration’s strategy on dealing with ISIS? During his concluding remarks at the G7 summit in Germany in June, President Obama said, "We don't yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis." After being criticized for not having a strategy, the President two weeks later, he said he would begin airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria. "I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are," he said. "That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIS in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven."Bear in mind, ISIS is more than just an army or a radical religious organization- it is an organization with a cause! For radical Islam, it is the fight to end all fights- the last battle of humanity. In Woods’ article, he says, “One way to un-cast the Islamic State’s spell over its adherents would be to overpower it militarily and occupy the parts of Syria and Iraq now under ISIS rule. Al‑Qaeda is ineradicable because it can survive, cockroach-like, by going underground. The Islamic State cannot. If it loses its grip on its territory in Syria and Iraq, it will cease to be.” But overpowering ISIS will not end the cause. U.S. Senator James Lankford, speaking on CNN said, "They're(ISIS) reaching out on social media — telling people, 'It's a holiday. We ought to kill people. Here are ideas on how to do it. Here are places to go.' They're not looking to send people. They're looking to inspire people living in our midst. They're looking for the same radical jihadi-type mindset and tell them, 'Join us in the worldwide fight and engage.' This is not just about territory- it’s about a cause. Federal elected officials need to be study up on their eschatology and understand the enemy.