The Dongola Times

(Anachronistic) Dispatches from the Kingdom of Makuria.
05th of July, 2014

On the ISIS Caliphate, and its Implications for Global Jihad

Recently, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham declared that it would simply be called “the Islamic State.” Now, over time, it has been changing names, and the Western media has been following along, even when the acronyms became inconsistent. AQI to ISI to ISIS or ISIL, depending. But now they have, at press time, refused to follow the militant group when it simplified things.

I will tell you why this is important, but first let us fix the name issue. I shall be calling them the ISIS Caliphate. It indicates the three things that are important about them now: caliphism, “Islamic State”, “Iraq, al-Sham”.

Previously, radio and other old school media allowed for phenomena like Al Qaeda: jihadist groups that had international allegiance, and could loosely control adherents. Now, instead, terrorist groups are nearly the first true human spammers on the Internet. Social media has resulted in 21st-century jihad being a truly global call to arms. Now German fathers and British mothers wake up to find their sons and daughters taken by Islam, off to al-Sham to give everything for the Caliphate.

Therefore for reasons that are observable in any pair of headlines today, it is not unreasonable to say that the Caliphate is here. It is no longer a prediction based on trends. Consider this:
After the collapse of the former caliphate, the Ottoman empire, the Muslim Brotherhood was founded with the goal of re-establishing it. The man who was caliph before was neither a better nor a worse caliph than al-Baghdadi of ISI would be. Neither more-fitting nor less-fitting: just another successful contender for the title, and who for now happens to be al-Baghdadi of ISIS.

But as we speak, the Muslim Brotherhood, which essentially had the flag of the caliphate, is being smashed ver hard in Egypt, where it all began. They handed mass death sentences to basically all significant members of the Musilm Brotherhood.
And Hamas, which is the self-confessed Muslim Brotherhood wing among the Falastin, is being done to death by the Israelis for murdering three Jewish teenagers. In countries where the Arab Spring happened, the compromise hard-line Islamists who insist on shari’a and the rest of it, but who still think in terms of the West’s nation-state (Al-Nour, Ennahda, and all the other MB-like parties) are clearly being threatened—and, quite often, defeated—by the more-global caliphate minded Ansar al-Sharia, Ansar es-Sunna, and the like. So where the MB is not being killed off, it is being defeated.

Yet the caliphate ambition still seems alive and well, even legitimate, in spite of its apocalyptic implications.
And for now, it seems to have been taken over by the ISIS Caliphate. I caught images of a funeral among the Falastin, and I notice the absence of the hard green of Hamas, which is apparently receiving a death-blow. Instead, black jihadi flags waved about everywhere. We live in the time where events in last week’s Iraq are influencing the thoughts of the most-important youths in delicate Middle-Eastern geopolitics today. That time is today.

ISIS is properly International. It is born, bred, and fed on the Internet. It is particularly because it is aware that the war is supposed to be apocalyptic. These guys are fighting to make the big fight happen. Just as they make suicidal fighting the most-pious of things, they also fight in a self-destructive cycle. Imagine what the Khoi-khoi did, in South Africa, when their religion had to “immanentise the eschaton.” They ran their entire community into death by starvation, in the apocalyptic frenzy that expressed their delusion. Imagine, however: how would that phenomenon express itself in a religion as dark and murderous as Islam? Of course: start a non-stop war in the Levant.

So the ISIS Caliphate has officially positioned itself as the caliphate that fights in the end of days. Whether the West refuses to recognise the caliphate, it matters to us all that those who matter to the caliphate do recognise it. Already, these guys have the fighting strength and qualities of a state. If the fighters and recruits believe in the caliphate, then it is an unfortunate reality for all of us. Islam has a tendency to burst forth from the deserts in time to spook ageing empires to death with a ghoulish scream of “Allahu akbar!”

And no amount of marketplace advantages can help a society against these people, because they work better than the free market. They go to all lengths in propaganda, marketing, and accounting, just so that they can advertise opportunities for death—to give it or receive it.
Did I say accounting? Al Qaeda must have pioneered the legendary documentation of everything, apparently including even a receipts for broom bought somewhere in the Malian desert.

Now, I was already unconvinced by democracy and the modern nation-state in general. However, now I see that the trend is powerful, and that ultimately we are all going to have to choose. You see, if we have a caliphate on our hands, born and bred International—with fighters from all over the World—then we also have the implications of global jihadist terror.
And if we have global jihadist terror, then we have to choose either for or against the caliphate. We choose against, of course, since we are a Christian state. But essentially, I am saying that the choice is now of which theocracy you want, not of whether you want one or not.