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Opinion: A Frightening Reading in the Caliph’s Speech

When we speak of Baghdadi, we speak of every charlatan in our region who succeeds in deceiving a great number of people with medieval discourse focusing on the benefits of jihad, and adorns death for his followers by considering it the easiest path to reach an eternal life of joy
Opinion: A Frightening Reading in the Caliph’s Speech

Finally, after an absence of nearly two years, the caliph and commander of the faithful, Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi decided to address a message to his flock in the East and West.

I won’t go into the details of the speech, but rather I will try to focus on its implications and I will try to conclude from its contents the schizophrenic state which in which Baghdadi lives, and those like him which have plagued our people in this region, after they became the weapon that every greedy leader uses to destroy it, as in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Somalia.

In terms of form, Baghdadi still preaches in a way in which he tries to assume the persona of a real caliph who has lived for over 1,400 years, using the same words focusing on the assonance in phrases we have long read in the history books on the tongues of the four Rightly Guided Caliphs. Or even the Umayyad or Abbasid commanders or many of the Mameluk commanders or Ottoman sultans, who wanted to turn the caliphate into a hereditary monarchy, remained clinging to the title of caliph to suggest to the generality of Muslims that they are not more than successors of the prophet, peace be upon him, and to add a sort of sanctity to their rule after they spilled rivers of Muslim blood over whom they claim to rule in the name of God almighty.

The biggest problem is not the state of schizophrenia which Baghdadi and those like him are living in, when he assumes the personality of the caliphate or emir, but rather in that there are many in our region who are still ready to listen to this sort of speech, and many support what is said by Baghdadi or his ilk, those who behave like him and assume the role of caliph or emir or claim to have descended from Ali Ibn Abi Talib and call themselves lords, such as Mr. Ali Khamenei, Wilayat al-Faqih (the main doctrine for Shiite political thought) for many Muslims and some Arabs, and Mr. Hassan Nasrallah and many of those with black hearts and turbans, exploiting religion to deceive the repressed youth of our nation searching for identity.

When we speak about Baghdadi, the aim here is not Baghdadi the person himself, but rather every charlatan in our region who succeeds in deceiving a great number of people with medieval religious discourse focusing on the benefits of jihad, each in his own way, and adorns death for his followers by considering it the easiest path to reach an eternal life filled with joy and the many pleasures from which they were deprived of as a result of their life of ignorance and poverty.

Baghdadi — and before him Zarqawi, bin Laden and Zawahiri, and before them Khomeini and Hassan Nasrallah — was able to send thousands of young Arab and Muslim men to their death in hope for this eternal life which cannot be accessed except through a death carrying out the orders of these caliphs or the commanders and leaders with black turbans. What was even odder than all of that was that Baghdadi was able, for instance, to convince a young Saudi man that killing other Saudis in a mosque could get him into heaven and deliver him the 70 companions — of whom if one put a finger in the sea it would turn it sweet as honey, as our mullah Muhaysini put it not too long ago. Or a charlatan like Hassan Nasrallah can convince thousands of poor Lebanese men that their deaths in supporting a tyrant whose hands are dripping with blood like Bashar al-Assad or their participation in the killing of their Syrian brethren in Qusair, Zabadani and Aleppo might please Hussein, peace be upon him, and that he will be waiting for them at the gates of heaven after they die, their wives are widowed and their children are orphaned.

The phenomenon of Baghdadi, Zawahiri, Nasrallah, Khazali and many many other charlatans, mentally ill, or traffickers in religion who govern the fate of our children, is another indication of the extent of hatred which our society is enduring and the extent of doubt which young men are enduring as a result of the repression and the greed of rulers and the lack of hope, which turn them into easy prey to be exploited in the game of nations for a little money and a lot of sectarian charge and shallow religious discourse.

I want to call on every Syrian, Arab and Muslim to imagine our region and our people without Khomeini and his revolution and his Wilayat al-Faqih being infallible for some Muslims, and without bin Laden and the Taliban and their Islamic emirates which they established with the help of the CIA in Afghanistan. I want every Iraqi to imagine Iraq without Baghdadi and Zarqawi and Khazali and Khamenei’s boys. I want every Lebanese to try to imagine Lebanon without Nasrallah and his statelet and his weapons and the crimes which have affected the finest men of Lebanon, and which sent the best of its young men to their death to carry out Iran’s regional agenda instead of sending them to schools of academies or universities. I want every Syrian rebelling against the tyranny of Assad’s family mafia to imagine their revolution and nation without Baghdadi and Adnani and Joulani and dozens of emirs every one of whom want to establish a caliphate or Islamic emirate specifically for themselves.

The oppression will not end in our region until the end of ignorance. Ignorance is always the steed of the despot. We will not put out feet on the path of freedom, civilization and happiness in this world before putting an end to the gangs which govern our fate in all their forms — military-nationalist like the Assad mafia and those of his ilk among the region’s government, or religious-terrorist like the militias of Hezbollah, Zawahiri and Baghdadi.

Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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