From an interesting overview-interview with Alastair Crooke:
What deficiencies does the West have in its understanding of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant [ISIL]?
First, the West is trying to assert that there is a "true" Islam, and that ISIL is a heretical deviation from this "true" Islam. This assertion is really a projection of the Christian experience: In fact, Islam wears many faces, and there is no authority -- unlike Christianity -- that can bestow on any one orientation the mantle of being the true Islam. Only one orientation makes the bold claim to be true Islam, and that is Wahhabism. When Western policymakers say that the ideology of ISIL is a "heresy" and must be de-legitimized, in this respect, they do not understand ISIL.
ISIL follows precisely the teachings of Mohammad Abd-al Wahhab. They model themselves on the first two caliphs -- particularly in their conduct of the wars against apostasy-- almost identically. If you are saying that ISIL is not Islamic or non-Muslim, then you are saying that Saudi Arabia and King Abdullah and other Wahhabist Gulf States are not Muslim, either. The leaders of the West have to accept that if you say ISIL is not Islamic or is non-Muslim, then they have to answer the question: Was King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia Muslim? ISIL is a neo-Wahhabist emergence, precisely following the works of Mohammed Abd-al Wahhab. It is true Islam, in this sense, and most Muslims know this.
You were critical of the words of Secretary of State John Kerry, who said that “we are fighting an ideology not a regime” in regards to ISIL.
Because what he was saying was that ISIL does not follow Islam. And then the Americans are surprised when Saudi Arabia does not send troops to fight it. But he is not understanding the principles on which Saudi Arabia is based. It was founded jointly by Mohammed Abd-al Wahhab and Ibn Saud in the 18th century, and these same practices were first emulated by King Abdulaziz in the 1920s -- and are now being emulated by ISIL.
The principles are the same, but the West simply calls ISIL terrorists.
A "terrorist" labeling is one that intentionally "shuts down" further thought; it polarizes into good and evil, and of course by definition it is not possible to "negotiate" with evil. So "terrorism" as a term simply precludes the bother of having to think or understand. So ISIL become just "terrorists" and Westerners cannot understand their allure, and yes, they have allure for many young Muslims.
All I am saying is that one needs to understand them more deeply. ISIL use terror as a deliberate military strategy, but that is not the end of it: They are deeply embedded in one orientation of Islam: Their doctrines are pure Wahhabism, original Wahhabism. And their methodology is derived from the wars of the Ridda [A.D. 632 and 633].
Crooke is the director and founder of Conflicts Forum based in Beirut. He was formerly an adviser on Middle East issues to Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief. He also was a staff member of Senator George Mitchell's Fact Finding Committee that inquired into the causes of the Intifada (2000-2001) and was adviser to the International Quartet. He facilitated various cease-fires in the Occupied Territories and the withdrawal of occupying forces on two occasions. He has had 20 years' experience working with Islamist movements and extensive experience working with movements such as Hamas, Hezbollah and other Islamist movements in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East. He was a ranking figure in the British intelligence, MI6. He is a member of the UN's Alliance of Civilization's Global Experts. His book, "Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution," was published in 2009.
That article shows what we meant when we said the following in our immediately previous post, "If the US Were as Israel, Only the Insane Would Call it a Modern Democracy. Here's Why," which you really should also read in it's entirety:
As packed as that article is, it only gives an overview. It doesn't even hit every highlight because there are so many. It does cite enough sources that if one checks into them and then studies the issues raised, one will obtain a very deep understanding of what's been going on, on the political and secular levels. For a religious, financial, and economic understanding, one must deliberately study the religions involved (in addition to finance and economics; especially banking and monetary reform) and do a great deal of thinking for oneself.
However, I disagree with Alastair Crooke concerning his statement:
...Islam wears many faces, and there is no authority -- unlike Christianity -- that can bestow on any one orientation the mantle of being the true Islam. Only one orientation makes the bold claim to be true Islam, and that is Wahhabism.
First, the only authority in Christianity that can do what Alastair says is Jesus Christ. The closest human beings can come to it is via the words and deeds of Jesus as stated in the Gospels.
Secondly, despite claims to the contrary in what claims to be Islam, the same holds true for Islam. Rather than Jesus being the figure, it's Mohammed. Rather than the Gospels being the text, it's the Qur'an.
I make this argument in the following linked posts (in reverse chronological order; newest on top):