ISIL is an acronym. It means ‘The Islamic State for Iraq and the Levant’. It’s a name that is used synonymously with two other names: IS (‘The Islamic State’) and ISIS (‘The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’).
All three names refer to a single organization. The easiest form of the name is, simply, IS: The Islamic State.
Although both US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister have stated that IS isn’t Islamic, it’s pretty hard to ignore IS’s Islamic connection when the word, ‘Islamic’ shows up in its name. It’s pretty hard to ignore the Islamic nature of IS when it declares as often as it can that it’s going to establish an Islamic Caliphate wherever it goes. It’s pretty hard to ignore its Islamic character when we hear that IS groups have told hundreds of victims, ‘convert to our form of Islam or die’.
The IS is unusual. Judged by Western standards, it isn’t a large organization. Current Western estimates suggest that the IS has less than 32,000 fighters (“CIA Says IS Has Up to 31,500 Fighters”, Arutz Sheva, September 12, 2014). For the West, IS seems to be a relatively small group of ‘extreme’ terrorists who know how to frighten an awful lot of people.
For example, in a matter of weeks, the IS has driven close to two million Iraqis and Syrians out of their homes, to become wandering refugees (“Fundamentalist onslaught in Iraq: made in USA”, The Freedom Socialist, August 2014).
It seems surprising that such a small group can create such chaos so quickly. But then, when Western leaders tell us that IS isn’t even Islamic, that might be a clue to their understanding of IS. Such pronouncements might just be the West’s way of telling us they don’t have clue who these fighters are, why they’re so barbaric or why they’re so open to IS recruitment.
The proof of such an observation comes not from the West but from the Middle East. According to Al Jazeera, there aren’t ‘up to 31,500’ IS fighters, as the CIA estimates (above). Instead, Al Jazeera reports there are perhaps 50,000 IS fighters in Syria alone—and another 30,000 in Iraq. In addition, IS is recruiting up to 6,000 new fighters a month (“Islamic State 'has 50,000 fighters in Syria'”, August 19, 2014).
Yes, Al Jazeera could support IS. Al Jazeera is owned by the ruling family of Qatar which, you might note, has been called by some the ‘godfather to terrorists’ (“Qatar’s Support of Islamists Alienates Allies Near and Far”, New York Times, September 7, 2014).
But even if Al Jazeera inflates IS numbers because it supports IS, their estimates seem far closer to reality than the West’s estimates. The IS isn’t a small terror group. It’s a monster in the making. It grows at a voracious rate. It carves a path through Syria, has taken over vast portions of Iraq (ibid), and is creating thousands of refugees a day (“Some 130,000 Syrians reach Turkey, fleeing Islamic State”, Times of Israel, September 22, 2014).
The West still doesn’t get it. They’ve never seen such a human plague before. The West cannot believe people can be this murderous. The West cannot believe that IS is so linked into ‘the religion of peace’ (Islam).
Besides, most Western states aren’t highly motivated to strike against Muslims. Many have large and growing Muslim populations. With some Western nations already facing a growing threat of home-grown Muslim terror, the fear of a “backlash from Muslim populations [is] part of the reason why European countries do not want to get involved in what is now a regional Middle Eastern war” (“5 Reasons Why the US Coalition Against ISIS is an Empty Shell”, The Clarion Project, September 18, 2014).
The West looks to its leaders for leadership in troubled times. But in the face of this Islamic attack, the only substantive declaration those leaders can make is, ‘IS isn’t Islamic’.
As recently as August 29, 2014, US President Obama didn’t have a clue what to do about IS (“Obama: ‘No strategy yet’ on Islamic State”, Times of Israel). When he finally did create a ‘strategy’, he couldn’t form a coalition that was actually ready to fight (“The Obama Administration's Member-less Coalition Against The Islamic State: What Good Are Allies Anyway?”, Forbes, September 16, 2014): Obama called for help, but no one seemed interested in joining him (ibid).
The West doesn’t get it. A plague threatens to wash over the Middle East. That plague threatens Europe and America (“ISIS, in Magazine, Warns of 'Armageddon' Against US, West”, Newsmax, September 16, 2014). Millions run for their lives. Thousands are murdered.
But no one will act. The US will run air strikes against this plague. The US will be as successful against this plague as doctors of old were successful against the plagues of the Middle Ages.
The G-d of Israel has a Jewish Story He wants you to see. The IS is part of that Story. The West’s reactions to both Israel and IS are also part of that Story.
If you want to see how all the dots connect, stay tuned. The G-d of Israel will not disappoint you.