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The Title of the ISIS Coptic Christian Beheading Video is One Needing to Be Widely Reported

Posted on the 17 February 2015 by Brutallyhonest @Ricksteroni

That title is "A Message Signed With Blood To The Nation Of The Cross."

It's a message the White House dared not acknowledge as evidenced by their rather weak statement of condemnation.

The lead executioner in the video minced no words:

“Oh, people, recently you have seen us on the hills of as-Sham and Dabiq’s plain, chopping off the heads that have been carrying the cross for a long time,” he said, using Arabic terms for places in and around Syria. “Today, we are on the south of Rome, on the land of Islam, Libya, sending another ISISCopticChristiansmessage.”

He implies that they are taking revenge for the killing of Osama bin Laden by American commandos and his burial at sea, saying, “The sea you’ve hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood.”

One subtitle adds that the killing is also retaliation for a sectarian dispute that flared in Egypt five years ago over a Coptic Christian woman, Camilia Shehata, the wife of a Coptic Christian priest. She disappeared for a time, and many Muslims believe she tried to convert to Islam, only to be kidnapped by her husband and members of the church.

Ms. Shehata briefly became a cause célèbre among Islamist militants, before the Arab Spring eclipsed such skirmishes.

“This filthy blood is just some of what awaits you, in revenge for Camelia and her sisters,” a caption declares, as blood from the prisoners darkens the waves.

Analysts said the video challenged the presumptions of many Western analysts that militants in places like Libya might be adopting the banner of the Islamic State for its notoriety without signing on to its bloodthirsty and messianic ideology.

While on the subject of challenging Western presumptions, Graeme Wood has posted this related must read Atlantic piece:

We have misunderstood the nature of the Islamic State in at least two ways. First, we tend to see jihadism as monolithic, and to apply the logic of al‑Qaeda to an organization that has decisively eclipsed it. The Islamic State supporters I spoke with still refer to Osama bin Laden as “Sheikh Osama,” a title of honor. But jihadism has evolved since al-Qaeda’s heyday, from about 1998 to 2003, and many jihadists disdain the group’s priorities and current leadership.

Bin Laden viewed his terrorism as a prologue to a caliphate he did not expect to see in his lifetime. His organization was flexible, operating as a geographically diffuse network of autonomous cells. The Islamic State, by contrast, requires territory to remain legitimate, and a top-down structure to rule it. (Its bureaucracy is divided into civil and military arms, and its territory into provinces.)

We are misled in a second way, by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature. Peter Bergen, who produced the first interview with bin Laden in 1997, titled his first book Holy War, Inc. in part to acknowledge bin Laden as a creature of the modern secular world. Bin Laden corporatized terror and franchised it out. He requested specific political concessions, such as the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Saudi Arabia. His foot soldiers navigated the modern world confidently. On Mohamd Atta’s last full day of life, he shopped at Walmart and ate dinner at Pizza Hut.


The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.

So what do we do about it?

Fr. Longenecker has a clear-headed answer:

As Christians we should step back from conflict and always (from a religious perspective) be opposed to war and resist war as long as possible and always resist the temptation to wade into war for religious reasons. Our weapons should never be military, but spiritual.

However, what the civil authorities do is something else.

The civilized nations of the world should begin equipping themselves for whatever it takes to overcome the ISIS threat. They should do so purely from a military and political standpoint. From our side religion should be taken out of the equation. This should enable us to make alliances with countries with Muslim majorities who also wish to extirpate the foe.

We should consider the ISIS threat the same way we considered the Nazi threat. Nazism may have been driven by a pseudo religious ideology of racial superiority, but we didn’t go in with an equally absurd ideology. We confronted the evil because it was evil. It was destroying innocent lives. It threatened our own way of life. We saw the evil for what it was, didn’t bother debating the stupid ideologies and simply rolled up our sleeves, put up our dukes and went into battle.

We should confront the pseudo religious, barbaric ideology if jihadism in the same way. Let’s not get caught up in religious arguments, racial arguments and ethnic arguments. Let’s just see the demonic, cruel and barbaric evil for what it is, get ready to fight it and not hold back until it is utterly destroyed.

Can Fr. Longenecker get an amen?

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