Over the last year, there has been intense debate regarding whether or not the Islamic State, or IS, was Islamic. In August of 2014, when ISIS released a video in which they beheaded american Journalist James Foley, and an ISIS fighter dressed in black said “Any attempt by you, Obama, to deny Muslims liberty and safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people,” the administration briefly flirted with the idea that the Islamic state may be Islamic, but they didn’t want to rush to judgment.
Then in September, when alleged leader of the Islamic State Abu Muhammad al-Adnani released a statement saying “If you can kill a disbelieving American or European–especially the spiteful and filthy French–or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be,” there was increased speculation that ISIS might be driven by some kind of Islamic element, but the White House wanted to make certain to look at all the evidence before they made the final call.
Last week, at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Sec. of State John Kerry made sure that everyone in attendance knew that the United States wouldn’t rush to judgement regarding the nature of the Islamic State:
“We have to keep our heads…the biggest error that we could make would be to blame Muslims collectively for crimes not committed by Muslims alone. Crimes that the overwhelming majority of Muslims oppose… Religions don’t require adherence to be raze villages and blow up people, it’s individuals with a distorted and an even ignorant interpretation of religion who do that.”
Just in case anyone thought that the Obama administration wasn’t being clear enough in their refusal to make hurtful labels, White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz made it clear Wednesday that even the Taliban isn’t a terrorist organization. When pressed by ABC’s Jonathan Karl regarding the issue, Schultz stuttered: “I don’t think that the Taliban, uh – the Taliban is an armed insurgency.”
After careful consideration, however, the administration is finally ready to make an affirmative call regarding whether or not the Islamic State is Islamic. This week, the Islamic State released a video in which a fighter ominously proclaims “Know, oh Obama, that we will reach America. Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House and transform America into a Muslim province,” then proceeds to decapitate a Kurdish soldier.
It was this video that finally confirmed to President Obama, and his administration, that the Islamic State isn’t Islamic at all, but merely an organization held together by an ideology of anger, and hate, which has attachments to no religion.
As President Obama himself said: “ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents…”
Well, I suppose it’s back to the drawing board. What ideology could possibly be driving the Islamic State?