Monday, September 22, 2014

  • Monday, September 22, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Israel's Mako has a stunning story of the first Israeli citizen to be killed after joining ISIS.
"P", an Israeli Bedouin physician, joined the ranks of ISIS and was killed three weeks ago by an US Air Force bombing raid on the Iraq/Syrian border 26 and single, he traveled to Jordan and studied medicine at the University of Amman, where he was considered an outstanding student. Upon his return to Israel he worked in a hospital.

Ten months ago, he and his cousin "O." decided to join ISIS due to its ideology to establish a Muslim state in the Middle East. With the assistance of another family member, they made contact with the organization and soon found themselves on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria. "He was an outstanding student in medicine," said a person familiar with the family. "We are shocked at all he enlisted in ISIS. He did not tell us anything about his intentions, perhaps we could have prevented , there were no early signs. He was religious but never showed extremist tendencies." he said.

P and his cousin took with them several thousand dollars, flew to Turkey last year and then crossed the border into Syria and joined ISIS. Sources close to the family say he served as a hospital's director of field organization on the Syria-Iraq border, tending to the wounded of the organization and responsible for the regional medical system. "He was in daily contact with us via Whatsapp. He sent us a message that he feels fine and there is nothing to worry about," said a source close to the family who added, "He was a good boy who was influenced by the ideology of the organization."

Three weeks ago, as mentioned, P. was killed along with dozens more of the organization's fighters. His cousin, who is in Syria, heard of the death and informed the family. Since then, the family is making efforts to retrieve his body to retrieve and bring it to Israel.

"When he did not answer the phone we realized something had happened to him," said the same source. "The family still can not believe he was killed. They find it difficult to believe that a person with a bright future in the medical world was killed in such tragic circumstances."

It should be noted that Israeli intelligence estimates some twenty Israeli Arab Bedouin have left to join the fighting.
So what attracted a bright young man to throw his lot with vicious Muslim extremists?

The reason is clear. While Westerners try to claim that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, obviously many Muslims disagree.

The fundamental problem, I believe, is that there is no generally accepted theology-based interpretation of Islam that convincingly shows that the beliefs of extremist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda are not Islamic. I'm not an expert, but I am not seeing any debates on actual Islamic theology going on, with the "moderates" putting on a convincing show that the "extremists" are flat-out wrong.

It isn't surprising that young Muslims who wholeheartedly believe in the religion will always seek the purest form of it. Some Muslims may be more moderate in practice, but Islamic theology does not seem to have kept pace with pragmatism. When idealistic, extremist Muslims who appear to be winning in their quest for a caliphate - something that most religious Muslims really do want but do not believe it is practical - then it is easy to see why they would be considered attractive.

Pride is a huge part of the Muslim psyche, and there is simply more honor in pursuing this pure Islamic agenda than in accommodating the desires of the non-believers. Add in the cult of martyrdom that Islam also encourages and the truly impressive PR job that ISIS is doing and you have the ingredients for a major, extremist, Islamic movement.

To ignore the Islamic elements of ISIS is extraordinarily naive. There are only two ways to fight it: defeating it decisively on the battlefield, which will take off the sheen of its power, and - more importantly - to have an alternate interpretation of Islam that soundly defeats that of ISIS.

I don't pretend to be an expert in Islam, but the impression I get is that if there was a theological debate between ISIS leaders and moderate Muslim leaders, ISIS would win hands-down. Young, smart and ideological Muslims seem to know this.

And no one is countering it.

The big question is - is there any theologically sound flavor of Islam that could win the ideological battle with ISIS fundamentalism that would convince young Muslims that ISIS is completely wrong?

Because if not, then the enemy really may be Islamic theology itself.

(h/t k)

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