Supporters will say: “This isn’t the time to write about ISIS “mistakes”. Western Bombs are falling on them and this is a time to support them because they are Muslims”, some have said to me. “Do you support US bombing of ISIS?”, many have asked me. I think it is important for people to understand the state of affairs. People have short memories and with new and sometimes catastrophic events happening all the time, it is very easy to distract people’s attention from the issues at hand. After all, when was the last time anyone saw an article written about the atrocities committed by Bashar Assad? Does anyone still talk about him anymore? With the emergence of ISIS many people around the world, if given a choice, prefer Assad and his government rather than ISIS.
Much of what Bashar has done is being forgotten in the flood of media attention that ISIS gets these days, or at least outside of the Syrian territories it is being forgotten. Some accuse those groups who refuse the idea of a power sharing deal with Assad, if he even agreed to it, as being unreasonable, stubborn, and looking out for their own interests at the expense of the Syrian people. Why are such things outside of the Syrian territories said? Largely due to the fact that the crimes of Bashar don’t really affect them so therefore they have much more access to a reservoir of forgetfulness than those who have lost their homes and families. Those who’ve suffered loses know that should Bashar regain control of the territories he lost there will be major massacres of civilians who will all be labeled as “collaborators” simply because they did not (or could not) flee when rebels controlled the area, these state sponsored massacres will be called “cleansing the areas of terrorists” operations.
The killing of the Syrian people by Assad was not a “mistake”. Early on Assad supporters tried to make excuses for him. The civilian massacres that showed up on the evening news were labeled as misfired shells, accidents. However after a steady stream of such killings over the course of nearly four years it can no longer be called a mistake, it’s a policy. Those who choose to support Bashar should be clear who they are supporting and should not fall into the trap of supporting him simply because ISIS is on a rampage. Neither option is acceptable.
After all of the murders, beheadings, and derailment of the Syrian Jihad that has taken place over the past 6 months many will not believe that there are still some who support this group. However it must be understood where this support is truly coming from. Islam has been under fire and marginalized for quite some time and thus the desire to support ISIS, or any other group for that matter, is a viable option as long as ISIS is carrying the fight to their perceived enemies. Some will overlook the numerous actions that violate the Qur’an and Sunnah and choose to focus on issues of little import.
Below are some of their reasoning for supporting ISIS:
1. “Abu Bakr Baghdadi is the Leader of all the Muslims and we should Support him”
This excuse is usually given when their supporters cannot explain away blatant and clear crimes committed by the group. They leave alone the very notion that it was an unknown committee comprising of unknown members who allegedly appointed Baghdadi the position of khaleefa in the first place. Yet they were ready and willing to accept it as they were so in need of having central leadership that they were willing to accept almost anyone who had a beard. Bear in mind that the US drone program has a committee who decides who gets bombed and who doesn’t. This committee is made up of unknown members, who meet in undisclosed locations and therefore there is no scrutiny of their judgement. Do you see the similarities? The oppressed are taking on the characteristics of their oppressors.
I speak in absolute terms because Abu Bakr Baghdadi is unknown to most of his own group members, let alone other Muslims around the world. No one can versify who he is, where he comes from, or his background. While I don’t believe in conspiracy theories nor do I believe what is rampant on the internet in that he is really an Israeli agent posing as a Muslim, I do believe that I honestly cannot say who Abu Bakr Baghdadi is nor can anyone else around the world either including people of influence in the Muslim world. Regardless as to who you deem to be people of influence outside of Iraq, they don’t know him either. The vast majority of Muslims didn’t fall for that, unfortunately some don’t care who they are led by so long as they are able to strike who they perceive to be their enemies. It is criminally naive to give the oath of allegiance to someone you don’t know.
2. “Yes I know they have made mistakes, every group makes mistakes”
While it is true every group, organization, or individual makes mistakes. While reporting from territories controlled by ISIS, there were reports of killings at checkpoints, property of other Mujahideen groups confiscated at gunpoint, torture, and murder. In those early days when ISIS wasn’t ISIS it was just another group controlling some territories like any other group this statement of “mistakes” was what both group members and supporters used to say on a consistent basis. Or they would say: “Those were the actions of an individual”. However it is clear to see that Muslims being tortured wasn’t an isolated incident, killing was not limited to enemies on the battlefields as it included the same Muslims they said they went to save, nor was theft of property of those who refuse to join their group a one off either. At some point we can no longer call these mistakes; we can only call them policies.
3. “Muslims should stand together against the aggression of non Muslim attacks (The Alliance)”
When Muslim lands are attacked, it is true that Muslims should stand against the oppressor. However, it must be borne in mind WHO lured these attackers to Syria in the first place. The jihad in Syria against Assad had been going on for several years and no country was planning to enter the Syrian conflict. The international community didn’t want to help militarily. Fine, however they were not helping Bashar either. As the conflict became eclipsed with the rise of ISIS and their bloodthirsty tactics, the mind of the international community to join in with their war planes and missiles was made up. However with one catch, they were coming not to bomb Bashar but to bomb the resistance. Now their supporters want to use the alliance attacks as some sort of validation that they are on the truth, when in actuality it was through their own actions that attracted the alliance to attack in the first place.
4. “Look how much territory they are taking, they must be on the truth!”
Taking territory is in no way a proof that they are on the truth. In Afghanistan in the wake of 2001 the US and her allies took control of huge chunks of Afghanistan, is anyone ready to say that George Bush was on the truth when he controlled large parts of the country? Hosni Mubarak controlled all of Egypt and it’s territories for 30 years. If he alluded that his extra long tenure as president was a proof that he was on the truth, what would you say to him? Someone always controls territory and then someone inevitably comes along and wrests control of that territory from that individual. Can you legitimately say that is a proof someone is on the truth?
“Do you want to see ISIS defeated?”
This is a question that is asked of me by some of their supporters. The answer is that I do want to see ISIS defeated, but defeated by WHO is the true question. Do I want to see the alliance defeat ISIS? Whoever defeats another opponent will inevitably try to impose their way of life upon the people in the territories the conquered once controlled. History has made it clear that those in Muslim lands have a different set of values than those who live in the west. Those in rural China, for example, have different values than people who live in Brooklyn, New York. If Brooklyn-like values are imposed on the Chinese population, they will resist and an insurgency will ensue. We’ve all seen what happens when America and her allies try to impose their will on Muslims, they cause chaos, death, and destruction because Muslim lands and their inhabitants are not like the people of Washington DC or London, nor are those in London like them. In the name of peace, stability, and public welfare I believe that ISIS should be defeated by an Islamic force that has absolutely no connection whatsoever to the west, it’s military, or political forces.