How Islamic is the Islamic State?

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In choosing burning as the execution method of the Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, a devout Muslim, ISIS once again directly violated Islamic principles.

Just how ‘Islamic’ is the Islamic State?

The barbaric burning video of the Jordanian pilot was accompanied by a list of justifications to offset the inevitable “backlash” ISIS expected to receive from the Muslim world.
“Just ten minutes after the video was released, the jihadist group published a checklist of justifications, in a bid to encourage ISIS supporters to defend the barbaric actions,” reports the Daily Mail.

“The post, uploaded onto pro-ISIS jihadi forum Al-Platform, offered guidance to ISIS sympathisers over what they should say if questioned about the merits of the brutal murder.”

According to both the Quran and the Hadith, a compilation of commentaries by the Prophet Muhammad, it is strictly forbidden in Islam to burn a human being.

“It is Islamically forbidden to burn a human, whether dead or alive,” writes Dr. Wael Shihab, PhD in Islamic Studies, Al-Azhar University. “Allah Most High says, {Truly We have honored human beings} (Al-Isra’ 17: 70); burning a human being is a blatant disregard of the honor owed him or her as per the Divine will. In one of his hadiths, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “No one is entitled to punish with fire except the Creator (God) of the fire”. (Abu Dawud, Sunan, No. 2673)

Given the myriad of other grisly execution methods available to them, why would ISIS specifically choose a method that completely violates Islamic principles, risking a huge backlash from the Muslim world? Why would supposed ISIS supporters vote on Twitter for this method to be used?

Didier François, a French journalist who was held captive by ISIS for 10 months, told CNN that none of the ISIS militants he came into contact with even had a copy of the Quran.

In addition, François said that his captors never mentioned religion when discussing their violent ideology, and only ever discussed politics.

ISIS also violated the Islamic faith when they beheaded American journalist James Foley despite the fact that he had converted to Islam. It is forbidden under Islam to kill a convert.

The execution of U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig, another Muslim convert, also caused confusion even amongst ISIS supporters.

“Even for some Muslims who might be inclined to support ISIS’ broader goal — establishing a caliphate in the Middle East — killing a person who has converted to Islam is a bridge too far,” reported Vocativ.

Although ISIS openly plans to establish an Islamic caliphate across the entire region, its methods for doing so are beginning to drastically deviate from even an extremist interpretation of the Islamic faith.

Despite ISIS repeatedly killing Muslims and now apparently violating basic tenets of the Muslim faith, it remains an unfortunate fact that vastly greater numbers of Muslims around the world protested against cartoons printed by Charlie Hebdo than those who were involved in what have proven to be sparse and sporadic demonstrations against ISIS.

Perhaps if more Muslims understood that ISIS is now brazenly desecrating the Islamic faith, there would be a groundswell of greater ideological opposition.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of and Prison

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