Despite its heartfelt sentiment and angst, Shaun King’s recent column about ISIS is wrong. ISIS is indeed Islamic, and the members are indeed Muslim. It is at best naïve to think that these people are not Muslim. The ISIS leader (whose intentionally chosen name is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi), was born 28 July 1971 as Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badr.
Why did he choose that name? Let’s see: The original Abu Bakr, aka Al-Siddiq was a senior companion and the father in law of the prophet Muhammad (through his daughter Aisha, yes the one who was 6 or 7 at the time of the marriage, though it is insisted that the prophet did not have sex with her until she was 9 or 10)
He was the prophet’s closest companion and adviser, and he succeeded to the Prophet’s political and administrative functions, thereby initiating the office of the caliphate. Yes there’s that word ‘Caliphate.’ So this Abu bakr considers himself the next in line and the one to establish the Caliphate.
This man al-Baghdadi, (according to both American and Iraqi intelligence analysts) has a doctorate in Islamic studies from a university in Baghdad. According to a biography that circulated on jihadist internet forums in July 2013, he obtained a BA, MA, and PhD in Islamic studies from the Islamic University of Baghdad.
If these assertions are true, (and we have no reason to believe that they are not), who should we believe about Islam, its nature and practices? Former Christian preacher Shaun King, or Dr. Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badr, PhD?
Can we truly and honestly say that these bloodthirsty, lustful, murdering men, who are followers of a bloodthirsty, lustful, murdering man are not legitimate followers? No we cannot. Why? Because what they are doing is by the book. Literally.
(and no i am not making any kind pejorative statement about the prophet, I am merely making a comment based on his life and practices…)
What must happen here (here meaning, in this country, and in this discourse), is honest evaluation and discussion. Meaning that it (the examination and discussion) must move past the epidermal ‘All Muslims are bad’, to a more meaningful review and evaluation of the ideology and the impact thereof. it must move past ‘Well, there are Christian terrorists, too.’ to an honest unbiased assessment.
The fact is that Muslims are not monolithic or monochromatic, however, at its base, Islam is…
Is the peaceful Meccan verses spouting Muslim just as legitimately Muslim as the warring, Medinan verses spouting Muslim? Is the Muslim who says (and means) that they must live as the Qu’ran commands peaceably with all men, just as Muslim as the man who says that Sharia must be the law of every land, and those who will not submit have 2 options: 1) Pay the Jizya, 2) Die… ?
It depends on who you ask, but…
The fact is, that we cannot legitimately say that those who are members of Islam are not Muslim, without being aware of the source text, and in more than just a cursory, just enough to sound like you have a researched opinion for conversation sake, manner. (and no, that it is not a knock on Mr. King at all, it is a general statement about the average person)
We have to know what they believe, and from whence it came. Understand dear reader, ‘they’ (The members of ISIS) are following their Holy writ to the letter, and, many would argue, are more sincerely Muslim than those who are seeking to live in/at peace.
So, when Mr. King says ‘These men aren’t Muslims. They have no regard for Islam.’ He is wrong, and until the politicians, media, pundits, and others look honestly at this religion, its adherents and the various shadings involved, there will be no real understanding gained, and no real action taken. – pastor.ctj