told him:i told
him;we told him
(he didn’t believe it,no
a nipponized bit of
the old sixth
el;in the top of his head:to tell
-- e. e. cummings, [plato told]
Back in October of 2014, there was a heated discussion on Real Time with Bill Maher between Sam Harris, Ben Affleck and Maher, regarding the issue of Islam and whether militants operating in its name were truly Islamic or using it as a front for their own purposes. That conversation fomented a variety of reactions from apologists for Islam, claiming though not horribly effectively that Harris and Maher were somehow racists to those espousing extremely hostile attitudes toward Islam and Muslims. From that day to this, the verbal war continues to be waged. I cannot help but notice that Harris has maintained his position throughout, and defends it remarkably well.
And now, not quite two years later, Sam Harris has what may be the ultimate smoking gun as regards exactly what ISIS wants, straight from the source itself. This evidence comes with astonishing convenience, from Dabiq, their own online magazine. This publication, available through multiple conventional sources as well as the deep web, is well conceived and written and, according to The Clarion Project, is a “glossy propaganda magazine … sophisticated, slick, beautifully produced.” In one particular issue is an article: “Why We Hate You and Why We Fight You.” This specific bit of journalism spells out the motivations and reasoning behind their thrust to establish their own caliphate, said writing done clearly and expressed unambiguously.
It is this specific piece which Sam Harris deals with in the following podcast and which I strongly recommend you give ear to, start to finish:
So … it seems as though George W. Bush was right when he asserted, “They hate us for our freedoms.” ISIS doesn’t subscribe to freedom of any sort. Their overriding focus, first and foremost, universal submission to Allah, the definition of Islam itself. Regarding this goal, there are no other conditions, no negotiation, and no long-term alternative.
I suppose it could be argued that ISIS is producing articles of this sort as a goad to western powers to engage them and further their desire to be put in the position of the underdog. Still, their behavior for all appearances is consistent with that article’s contents and thus it may serve a dual purpose: both to convey their intentions and act as an incitement to military confrontation. In any case, if we are to take ISIS at their word, any attempts by apologists to disassociate ISIS or DAESH or the Islamic State from Islam are rendered foolish and not worthy of any credence.
Sam Harris has repeatedly said that the existence of such organizations derives from a credible reading of the quran. I think it is well past time we took both Sam and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at their respective words, rather than needing an encounter with a modern-day chunk of the Sixth Avenue El to teach us the hard way.