Here’s me with day 2 of Head out of Sand. I’m very tempted to pop it back in with this lot I tell you…
THE ISLAMIC STATE GETS HIGH, MIGHTY AND VERY BLOODY SCARY
This is the stuff of my nightmares – religion of the the extreme and brain washy kind leading people to think atrocities are warranted and that it’s them against the world. I don’t understand religion. I respect the beliefs of others, but for me it’s up there with ghosties and goblins and mind reading and Father Christmas. So to feel the need to kill people over it seems like madness on madness.
But what’s especially scary about this is that these people aren’t actually mad, their beliefs are as much a part of them as their arms and legs, and to them just as real. You can’t medicate evil that is rooted in belief, unless it’s with very strong sedatives. Anyway, facts…
What is The Islamic State/ISIS/QISIS or whatever the hell those fuckwits call themselves?
They are a jihadist (which roughly translates to being evil and scary in the name of Allah) who have assumed the status of a ‘caliphate‘. This is an Islamic State lead by a supreme religious and political leader known as a caliph (a successor to Muhammad). They were previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and are now (for the moment at least) simply IS.
When did IS form?
In April 2013 by a group of extreme Islamic terrorists, some of whom were leaders squashed during the war in Iraq, so well connected and with piles of left over weapons. IS has been described by some as Al Quaeda rebranded. They have since grown to become one of the most powerful jihadist groups fighting the Governments of Iraq and Syria. There are thought to have recruited thousands of people – many of them foreign.
Who is their leader?
They are apparently lead by the creepily mysterious Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who wears a mask even when addressing his own
army. There are a myriad of theories about him – some say he is dead, others say he is the creation of some CIA conspiracy Under him, the organisation has recruited thousands from all over the world and formed one of the most cohesive and well organised militias in the Middle East.
What are their goals?
To create a single politically and religiously united Islamic empire and to erradicate any non Arab, non Sunni-Muslim ethnic minorities. This ethnic cleansing is the same goal as other Islamic Terrorist groups, but IS displays frighteningly astute strategic planning, organisation and direction.
In early 2013 they took control of the Syrian capital of Raqqa. In January this year they seized the Iraqi city of Fallujah near Baghdad and in June they took Mosul. It is in Mosul where, buffeted by civilians, the IS leadership is based. They are reportedly running religious schools, bakeries and power plants, as well as continuing their overseas outreach operations and fighting their opponents on various fronts.
They apparently rule their occupied territories with extreme brutality and train their recruits with terrifying efficiency. And just to add to the general violence, other rebel Jihadist groups are getting pissed off by them and rebel in-fighting has resulted in thousands of deaths.
What happened with the Yazidis?
One of the more recent (and ongoing) IS horrors was the targeted attacks on the Yazidis. They are a secretive Kurdish ethno-religious community based in Northern Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Their religion is ancient and a birthright (meaning you can’t convert to it), It involves the worship of a “Peacock Angel” who is capable of both right and wrong and has been likened to Satan by Islamic communities. This perceived Satan worship has lead to centuries of Yazidi persecution.
In August this year, IS took it upon themselves – as part of their ‘purification’ regime – to invade the regions occupied by Yazidis and threaten them with execution if they refused to convert. Around 200,000 Iraqis – including 40,000 to 50,000 Yazidis – fled into the mountains, bound for Iraqi Kurdistan. On Mt Sinjar, they were surrounded by IS forces and faced dehydration if they stayed, execution if they left.
Many Yazidis escaped with assistance from US air strikes and Kurdish fighters, but hundreds – perhaps thousands of Yazidis are believed to have been killed, many more – up to 5,000 not strong enough to escape – are evidently still on the mountain.
How is IS funded?
During their rampages, IS have taken control of oil fields and have robbed banks and as a result have an alleged stock pile of $2 billion. Fark, those cockheads could get seriously nuclear with that kind of dough.
What is being done?
When the Yazidi plight hit the public conscience, Barrack Obama ordered targeted air strikes designed – so he said – to protect US forces as they brought in humanitarian aid (food and water) to those poor people under siege. These air strikes, along with help on the ground from Iraqi and Syrian Kurds – allowed the majority of refugees to escape. On the 14th of August, Obama declared the siege broken, but many were not saved.
Meanwhile, IS took a blatant swing at the US by releasing a video of American journalist James Foley being beheaded by an IS terrorist with an English accent. More recently they have released pictures of what they claim to be the execution of 200 or so Syrian soldiers following the capture of a key military air base.
The UN is making calls of war crimes (no kidding) and every western country is on high alert for IS recruits coming and going. Reports say there are up to 60 Australians identified as fighting for IS in Iraq and Syria. Anti-terrorist enforcement will increase, particularly in our airports.
The US has commenced air strikes on IS fighters near the Shiite town of Amerli where the besieged population is mostly minority ethnic Turkmen. Obama has authorised further, broader strikes while France, Britain and Australia have sent in planes delivering aid to civilians and weapons to Kurdish fighters.
At this stage, Tony Abbott says we will not be sending ground troops but there is the possibility we will send some elite SAS (Special Air Service) forces, as well as further humanitarian aid.
It’s the overseas recruitment factor that makes this whole bloody mess extra unsettling. And the religious schools run by IS – they are educating people with their same horrible beliefs and methodologies. We should be running schools too – for young Muslims who might otherwise be on the path of extremism, jihadism or terrorism.
We can blow the bejesus out of these dickheads and involve the whole world in war (and I sort of think we should give this a red hot crack too) but ultimately it will not stop them. They will only stop when the brainwashing stops. For as long as these jihadists believe that Jihad is something and virgins are awaiting them if they kill people and wipe out other religions, their evil will not be stopped. Jihad and evil-extreme Islamic beliefs need to be rendered uncool to young Muslims – we HAVE to get in early and teach teach teach, preferably using teachers who are normal, nice, peace loving Muslims who understand and love Allah without feeling the need to kill for him.
In the meantime, where’s James Bond when you need him? This shadowy Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi fella has $10 million on his head. Imagine what you could do with $10 million? Ready set go.
NB (whatever that stands for): Here’s some stuff about Islam (in case you need to brush up) and some more stuff about Civil Liberty.
Tags: Iraq, IS, ISIL, ISIS, Islam, Islamic State, Jihad, syria, terrorism, War
Thanks for this Meg, I really enjoy reading all your articles and it helps me feel connected to what is happening in the big wide world, they (the articles) give me a bit more knowledge. The best way to often solving problems is greater understanding and I think you give us that, thanks again, Em.
Thanks Em. x