Below is the first of two-part series about the Islamic State by Hartmut Krauss, as translated by JLH. The translator remarks: “The author thoroughly probes IS and its demonstrable roots; the example of Tamerlane is especially striking.”
Pure, Unadulterated Islam
On the “Islamic State” — The Basis for its Impetus and Legitimization and for its Anti-Civilization Reign of Terror
By Hartmut Krauss
August 29, 2014
Pictures and reports about the vicious and disgusting acts of violence of the terrorist militia “Islamic State” (IS), which has proclaimed a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq, have become familiar through the mass media, but thus far not adequately classified, evaluated and commented upon. Instead, the familiar discourse of denial and dissociation dominates, stereotypically rejecting every logically founded correlation and claiming with glaring duplicity: “All that has nothing to do with Islam.” It is not certain yet whether this defensiveness — as outrageous as it is notorious — will hold, or whether the annoyance it causes will bring the pot to a boil. It is certain that death is making the rounds — for a long time now, a master out of the East
And so we hear of bestial mass executions of “infidels,” triumphalist beheading scenes and corpses obscenely violated for the camera, rape and enslavement of women and girls, small children maimed and killed before their mothers’ eyes by being cut in half, massacres of the most animalistic and perverse kind, up to feeding the violated corpses to the dogs (which in Islam are unclean animals).
Almost everyone seeing these pictures agrees that this is a breach of civilization which must be stopped. But there is an almost universal lack of recognition that the actions of IS merely represent the cumulative and concentrated impact of horrifying actions long exhibited by various Islamic perpetrators at various places, and still continuing. Remember, for instance, the beheading of the kidnapped reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan (2002), the murder of Theo van Gogh (2004) in a public street in Holland, the filmed killing of the kidnapped American businessman Nicholas Berg by Iraqi jihadists (2004), the terrorist attacks in Madrid (2004) and London (2005) or the dismemberment of an English soldier in public by two African converts (2013) who shouted, “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.” Add to that the whole terrorist agenda of violence in numerous regional and national Islamist movements and groups from Al Qaida in the Maghreb, through Boko Haram (Nigeria), Al Shabaab (Somalia) the jihadist militias in Libya, the Islamists in the Sinai, from Hamas to the Pakistani and Afghani Taliban, as well as Islamic forces in the former southern republics of the Soviet Union, in India, in Indonesia, in the Philippines (Abu Sayyaf) and in China (Uighur separatists) and the Islamic movement of East Turkistan.
What at first glance appears to be the phenomenology of an irrational, psychopathic blood-lust can on second glance be recognized as an articulate and normative procedure systematically derived from the sources of Islam and the historical matrix of Islamic conquests. That is to say, the barbaric and disgusting actions of IS do indeed have to do with Islam. They are a logical consequence and precise implementation of the instructional system embedded in Islam.
Leon de Winter correctly states: “Someone possessed by jihad has remarkable power. In an orgiastic fever, he can rape, kill and plunder. The brainwashing he has undergone assures him that this behavior is legitimized by his religion.” It is precisely this reference to a supposed “divine will” — the psychologically sustainable effect of an Islamic God delusion — which generates the systematic excision of all scruples. Unlike a serial perpetrator, who is “driven” to act by an endogenous defect, the jihadist’s actions are based on the internalization of a way of thinking in the form of a religious ideology. It is about “translating” objective (in this case, Islamic) ideological content into subjective convictions, as a justification for actions.
The uniqueness of IS is that — in contrast to the Nazis — they glory in their heinous acts and advertise them, using the modern media, while they simultaneously establish a primitive moral terrorism in accordance with their Salafist ideology. (A combination specific to Islam, of the technological modern with the barbaric pre-modern as the basis of a totalitarian movement.)  In this, the IS and the other Islamist groups are completely consistent: living out the basic characteristic of Islam, i.e., establishing a religious, early medieval, ruling and social order and supplying it with a universal claim to validity.
I. Koran and Sunna as Guiding Principle of Anti-Humanistic Jihadism
Considered apart from the present IS reign of terror shown in the media, this estimate still applies: “Hardly a day goes by when some particular, violent Muslim criminal does not kill ‘infidels’ in the name of and for the pleasure of Allah. Naturally, not all Muslims are terrorists, but on the other hand, most terrorists at this time are believing Muslims. Contrary to the standard media claim that violent jihadists are misusing Islam to accomplish their own goals, Islamist terrorists and suicide bombers are by no means consciously and strategically distorting and co-opting their religion, i.e., purposefully deceiving. Rather, these are people of deep religious conviction, who are convinced that their faith is ‘ the one true one.’ What is fateful here is that ‘role models’ can be ‘retrieved’ from the sayings of the Koran and the Sunna, to explain and justify their acts.” (Krauss, 2007, p. 201)
The Koran, which is considered by devout Muslims to be the direct word of God, and therefore may not be changed indiscriminately or re-interpreted arbitrarily, states unmistakably that infidels must be beheaded and carnage must be brought upon them:
“And when you encounter the infidels, then off with their heads until you have brought carnage among them.” (Sura 47: 4)
“…They want you to become unbelievers as they are, so that you are like them. But take none of them as friend until they have taken Allah’s path. And when they turn and run, seize them and strike them dead wherever you find them and take none of them for friend or helper.” (Sura 4: 89)
“…And kill them (the pagan opponents) where you can seize them and drive them out of the place they drove you out of!” (Sura 2: 191)
“When the holy months have passed, kill the idolaters wherever you find them, seize them and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every place of ambush” (Sura 9: 5 ).
“Oh you, who are believers, fight against the infidels at your borders and verily let them feel the steel within you. And know that Allah is with the devout.” (Sura 9: 123)
“…Fight against those to whom the scriptures were given, who do not believe in Allah and the Day of Judgment and do not forbid what Allah and his Messenger have forbidden and do not affirm the creed of truth until — humiliated — they offer tribute from their hands. And [then] the Jews say: ‘Ezra is Allah’s son.’ And the Nazarenes say: ‘The Messiah is Allah’s son.’ Such is the speech of their mouths. They speak as the infidels of aforetime. Allah strike them dead! How without understanding they are! (Sura 9: 29-30)
Since non-submission and resistance to Islamic claims of sovereignty are out of the question as actions against Allah/God, and indeed the mere existence of infidels is against Allah’s law, it is not just allowed but — in accordance with Islamic sources — commanded, on the presumption of dominance and superiority of force, to kill, enslave, rob, torture, deceive, mock, etc. “infidels.” In short, to treat them as inferior.
“Therefore do not tire and offer (them) peace when you have the upper hand; for Allah is with you and will never deceive you about your works.” (Sura 47: 35)
“And do not flag in the pursuit of the people (of the infidels).” (Sura 4: 104)
Basically, Islam contains a dualist set of ethics on the basis of religious-philosophical affiliation, which elevates its own group and systematically degrades the “infidels.” This precludes equal treatment or equal rights:
“Mohammed is God’s messenger. Those who believe in him are fierce toward the infidels, but sympathetic among themselves.” (“Mohammed is God’s messenger and his believers are stern against the infidels, merciful to one another.”) (Sura 48: 29)
On closer examination, “infidels” in Islamic discourse have the status of sub-humans, and this is close to what is common practice. Thus, in Sura 8: 5:
“Behold, worse than the beasts before Allah are those who do not believe.” From there, it is but a short step to legitimizing the extinction of infidels and to declaring the following in the Koran: “But those who declared our signs to be lies and did not believe, them we eradicated.” (S 7:72)
Consequently, the Koran urgently exhorts the Muslim community to a perennial arming and battle readiness against the infidels. “And let the infidels not believe that they can run from us (or — win the race?) They cannot escape (our grasp). Prepare as much as you are able of war might and warhorses (?), to intimidate your and God’s enemies, and others besides them, of whom you have no knowledge — but God does!” (Sura 8: 59-60)
There are also numerous verses in which the torments of the infidels in the next world are described in sadistic detail. “Fire will burn their faces and bare their teeth within them.” (Sura 23: 106) “Take him and shackle him! Lay him in a chain of 70 ells length! Behold, he does not believe in Allah, the Great and does not care about the feeding of the poor. Therefore he has no friends here today and no nourishment except pus [corruption], which only sinners consume.” (Sura 69: 30-37)
Communicated systematically and centrally in the Koran, the disposition against “infidels” as a basic attitude of devout Muslims is directly related to the following Islamic core dogmas.
1. First is the claim of Islam to absolute superiority and dominance:
“God recognizes Islam as the (only true) religion.” (Sura 3: 19) Whoever belongs to this “religion” — according to this primitively hubristic but crystal-clear assumption — is entitled to unlimited/total exercise of dominance: “You (believers) are the best community that has arisen among human beings (has been brought forth among human beings). You command what is right, forbid what is reprehensible and believe in God.” (Sura 3: 10)
2. Therefore it falls to the Muslims as the “community of true believers” to establish the absolute dominance of Islam, i.e., the total dominance of the laws of Allah. “And fight against them until…only God is worshipped (or religion belongs to Allah [H.K.]).” (Sura 2: 193) They carry out the prayers and fight against them until there is no more civil war (that is, any temptation to abandon Islam, [H.K.]) and everyone believes in Allah” (Sura 8: 39) “I have been commanded to fight against people until they say, There is no God but the (one) God and Mohammed is his messenger. They do the prayers and pay the zakat. If they do this, their lives and property will be spared…”
3. Establishing the Islamic claim to sovereignty requires the normalization and/or legitimization as well as honoring of warlike-pugnacious behavior. Accordingly, the principle of military jihad as an Islam-specific form of sovereign use of force achieves a central significance. And thus, the moral prominence of the militant warriors for the faith as “Muslims First Class.”
“Those believers who sit at home — not hard-pressed — are not the same as those who battle with their blood and treasure on Allah’s path. These Allah has raised above those who sit at home. Allah has promised Good to all, but to those who strive (those in armed combat, H. K.) he has promised greater reward than to those who sit at home.” (Sura 4: 95)
In line with the universal claim of sovereignty is a militaristic emphasis on the jihad principle, which logically includes the moral superiority of activist holy warriors. As a kind of psychic motivation, to reward as martyrs those who sacrifice their earthly lives for the instituting of Allah’s laws, Islam has cultivated a highly developed belief in paradise.
There is not, as is sometimes claimed, just one sura in which the figure of the martyr is idealized (cf., e.g., Meddeb 2002, p. 202): “And those who have fallen following Allah’s plan, do not think of them as dead. No, they are taken care of — living with their Lord.” (Sura 3: 169) Thus, for example in Sura 4: 76) “And so whoever gives up the earthly life for the afterlife shall fight on Allah’s path. And whoever fights there on Allah’s path — whether he falls or triumphs — verily to him we give great rewards.”
The following statements of Mohammed — passed on in tradition — are unequivocal, and a seductive win-win constellation held ready for the Islamic warrior for the faith: “God supports him who fights on behalf of God’s path. If he survives, he returns laden with honors and booty. If he is killed, he will achieve paradise.”
“Guarding the borders of Islam for a single day is worth more than the whole world and everything in it.”
“In the Last Days, the wounds of the warriors for God’s way will become manifest and blood will stream from them, but it will have a fragrance like musk.”
“Being killed in the battle for God’s path extinguishes all sins.”
“He who dies without ever having fought for the religion of Islam and has never said in his heart: ‘Would to God that I were a hero and could die for the path of God,’ he is like to a hypocrite.”
“To battle for God’s way or be determined to do that is a divine duty. If your imam commands you to go to battle, then obey him.” (Hughes 1995, p. 132)
“No one in paradise except the martyr who has fallen in battle for God’s cause would like to return. He would like to return to earth to kill ten times as many, because of all the demonstrations of honor accorded him in paradise.” (al-Buhari 1991, p. 304)
The following statement too is significant, approving actions to support God’s warriors and thereby encouraging a socially malleable culture of religious camaraderie with “devout” thugs:
“Anyone who supports with weapons another who is battling for God’s way is as the warrior himself and shares the rewards. And he who remains behind to care for the warrior’s family is equal to the war hero.” (ibid., p. 132 f.)
Next: Mohammed the Model
|2.||Those who wish may see pertinent photographic material here: www.pi-news.net/2014/08/kabinett-des-grauens-der-brutalitaet-und-der-abartigkeit-der-islamische-staat-irak/|
|4.||Concerning the USA functioning as the supporter and opponent of Islamist movements for global-strategic reasons (cf. the Taliban disaster), it could also be posited that the CIA — with the help of the Gülen movement — is guiding the Islamic movement of East Turkistan to weaken or even destabilize its competitor China. In this process the Islam-specific hatred of “infidels” is utilized. Including any “infidels” standing in the way of American global interests. The fact that in the process US citizens may fall victim to Islamic terror is accepted as part of doing business. Cf.: info.kopp-verlag.de/hintergruende/geostrategie/f-william-engdahl/uigurischer-terroranschlag-in-kunming-islamistische-gruppe-nimmt-china-ins-visier.html|
|6.||Seen objectively, the rationale of this religious ideology, in the form of an arbitrary, conjured-up “divine will,” is extremely irrational. But once socialized within the framework of this basic presumption, then the actions which proceed from it are logically consistent and subjectively functional, because it not only guarantees heavenly reward but also a share in all booty from the conquest of alien territories as well as in the plundering, suppression and enslavement of “infidels.” In addition, there is also the possibility of the uninhibited satisfaction of sadistic desires. On the subject of the contradictory relationship of subjective functionality and objective inappropriate irrationality, cf. www.glasnost.de/autoren/krauss/wid3.html|
|7.||Cf. Krauss, 2003.|
|8.||The often employed defensive and diversionary thesis that the Bible too contains statements legitimizing violence is a false argument, since it overlooks the fact that the Koran — in contrast to the Bible — is directly (verbally) inspired by God/Allah and therefore exerts a considerably greater degree of obligation. Concerning the following Koran quotations, therefore, it must be recognized clearly that these are direct (and not narrated) divine commands, which cannot be “thought or interpreted away” upon confrontation with uncomfortable, non-Muslim criticism. All the more horrifying, how minor Muslim children are urged to bend their torsos in the memorizing of this violence-condoning book, and all the more scandalous that this text could be established as religious teaching in the German school system. For a critique of the “interpretation legend” cf. Krauss, 2013a, pp. 30 ff.|
|9.||As Raddatz (2002, P. 101) pertinently emphasizes: because of Islam’s universal granting of power through Allah, there is no “legal apparatus which could channel, structure and ultimately civilize the process of taking power. Allah’s universal licensing of the battle against unbelief and the institution of his laws normally activates the maximum in violence, because realization of divine law is at the center of the faith. It is not the striving for a realization of the moral code and the task of shaping the world which stands at the forefront of the Islamic dynamic, but the Darwinian eradication of all that is not Islamic, in the name of Allah.”|
|10.||On the misidentification of Islam as “pure religion,” cf. Krauss 2013a, pp. 19 f.|
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