UNDERSTANDING the ISIS/ISIL PUZZLE By Dr. Gary Frazier As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. Mark 13:1-8 (NIV) If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. John 15:19-21 (NIV) A Spiritual war with an ultimate goal: The annihilation of Israel and the Jews! A Brief Timeline of Israel Romans- 70-325 Byzantine Period-325-614 Persian: 614-634 Arab: 634-1072 Seljuk: 1072-1099 Crusaders: 1099-1291 Mameluke: 1291-1517 Ottoman: 1517-1917 British: 1917-1948 Israel: 1948-present The First 2 Covers of the Slick Recruiting Magazine of the Islamic State Who Are They Muslims who feel they have a command from allah to continue the centuries old fight for world domination and the reestablishment of the Caliphate that had stalled due to regional dictators who had fallen prey to western ideas and abandoned the Koran. What Do They Want • To kill any and all who will not submit to their understanding of the Koran and Hadith. • To merge the religion of Islam with political control and take the world back to the 7th century and the rule of Sharia law A map of the world at the Caliphate's height This is a rough political map of the world in 750 AD, at the height of the Omayyad Caliphate ("caliph" means the ruler of the global Islamic community). This is to give you a sense of how vast and powerful the Muslim empire had become, barely one century after the founding of the religion that propelled its expansion. It was a center of wealth, arts, and learning at a time when only China was so rich and powerful. This was the height of Arab power. 750 AD The Ottoman Empire is named for Osman, its first ruler, who in the early 1300s expanded it from a tiny part of northwest Turkey to a slightly less tiny part. It continued expanding for about 500 years — longer than the entire history of the Roman Empire — ruling over most of the Middle East, North Africa, and southeastern Europe for centuries. The empire, officially an Islamic state, was spread by violence and forced conversions. It was the last great nonEuropean empire until it began declining in the mid1800s, collapsed after World War I, and had its former territory in the Middle East divided up by Britain and France. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Father of the Turks 1923 What the Middle East looked like in 1914 This is a pivotal year, during the Middle East's gradual transfer from 500 years of Ottoman rule to 50 to 100 years of European rule. Western Europe was getting richer and more powerful as it carved up Africa, including the Arab states of North Africa, into colonial possessions. Virtually the entire region was ruled outright by Europeans or Ottomans, save some parts of Iran and the Arabian peninsula divided into European "zones of influence." When World War I ended a few years later, the rest of the defeated Ottoman Empire would be carved up among the Europeans. The lines between French, Italian, Spanish, and British rule are crucial for understanding the region today – not just because they ruled differently and imposed different policies, but because the boundaries between European empires later became the official borders of independence, whether they made sense or not. Enter T.E. Lawrence: Lawrence of Arabia, a British archeologist and military office who spoke Arabic, was commissioned to enlist the aid of the Bedouin tribal leaders and their clans to do 2 things: 1. provide intelligence and logistics Thomas Edward 2. fight against the Germans and Turks in the Sinai/Palestine campaign Lawrence (remember Turks are Muslims but not Arabs) The Sykes-Picot treaty that carved up the Middle East You hear a lot today about this treaty, in which the UK and French (and Russian) Empires secretly agreed to divide up the Ottoman Empire's last Mid-Eastern regions among themselves. Crucially, the borders between the French and British "zones" later became the borders between Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. Because those later-independent states had largely arbitrary borders that forced disparate ethnic and religious groups together, and because those groups are still in terrible conflict with one another, Sykes-Picot is often cited as a cause of warfare and violence and extremism in the Middle East. The plan was to keep the ethnicities fighting and killing each other. You'll notice that, for much of the last 500 years, most or all of the region has been under some combination of Turkish, Persian, and European control. For so much of the Arab Middle East to be under self-rule is relatively new. Two big exceptions that you can see on this map are Morocco and Egypt, which have spent more of the last 500 years as self-ruling empires than other Arab states. That's part of why these two countries have sometimes seen themselves as a degree apart from the rest of the Arab world. The 2011 Arab Spring It is still amazing, looking back at early and mid-2011, how dramatically and quickly the Arab Spring uprisings challenged and in many cases toppled the dictatorships of the Middle East. What's depressing is how little the movements have advanced beyond those first months. Syria's civil war is still going. Egypt's fling with democracy appeared to end with a military coup in mid-2013. Yemen is still mired in slow-boil violence and political instability. The war in Libya toppled Moammar Qaddafi, with US and European support, but left the country without basic security or a functioning government. The Plan then and now is to bring down local rulers in order to form the new Caliphate (Muslim Super State) led by the ones with the Nukes, i.e., IRAN! Law of Unintended Consequences When America, U.K. and France have assisted in the overthrow of despotic dictators in Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Syria (in process) the result has been the targeted killings of thousands of Christians! Either the leaders didn’t foresee this or they didn’t care! The Sunni-Shia Divide The story of Islam's division between Sunni and Shia started with the Prophet Mohammed's death in 632. There was a power struggle over who would succeed him in ruling the Islamic Caliphate, with most Muslims wanting to elect the next leader but some arguing that power should go by divine birthright to Mohammed's son-in-law, Ali. That pro-Ali faction was known as the "Partisans of Ali," or "Shi'atu Ali" in Arabic, hence "Shia." Ali's eventual ascension to the throne sparked a civil war, which he and his partisans lost. The Shia held on to the idea that Ali was the rightful successor, and grew into an entirely separate branch of Islam. Today about 10 to 15 percent of Muslims worldwide are Shia — they are the majority group in Iran and Iraq only — while most Muslims are Sunni. "Sunni" roughly means "tradition." Today, that religious division is again a political one as well: it's a struggle for regional influence between Shia political powers, led by Iran, versus Sunni political powers, led by Saudi Arabia. This struggle looks an awful lot like a regional cold war, with proxy battles in Syria and elsewhere. An Observation America has been fighting Saudi backed Islamic terrorists for more than 13 years. During that time, tens of thousands of Americans have been maimed and killed, and we’ve spent Trillions of dollars only to see Islamic terrorists grow in number and strength. How is this possible? The only rational conclusion is that perpetual war is the goal. Why? Tyrants need chaos and war in order to convince citizens to give up liberty for security. This is not just a conspiracy theory. For example, Saudi Arabia is a US “ally” in the War, but Saudi Arabia funds ten thousand Islamic schools in Pakistan that produce graduates “perfectly prepared for a career in jihad”. What should our response be? Remember: God has a Plan for the Ages! Remember: the Plan revolves around Israel! Remember: it is a Spiritual battle! Remember: Jesus died for all and wants all to be saved! 2 Peter 3:9 Be informed, Pray intelligently and Engage!