Caliph and the 'Islamic State' - Lessons of History


  • Karim Douglas Crow International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia



The declaration of a so-called ‘Islamic State’ in parts of Syria and Iraq on 27 June 2014/1 Ramadan 1435 by Sunni Jihadist renegades led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (a.k.a. Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri, or Abu Du’a, born 1971)2 claimed a universal authority throughout the Muslim ummah in the manner of the caliphs of old. The veteran Iraq observer Patrick Cockburn objectively describes IS to be “the most powerful and effective extreme jihadi group in the world… violent and sectarian… highly fanatical.” Abu Bakr sends a powerful message resonating in the minds of militants across the Islamic world, by denying the legitimacy of the political and religious leaders of 1.6 billion Muslims. “I do not promise you, as the kings and rulers promise their followers and congregation, luxury, security and relaxation,” he said in his Khutbah in Mosul; “instead I promise you what Allah promised his faithful followers” [i.e. Paradise through martyrdom]. In his audio message posted online on 1 July 2014, Ibrahim stated it was the duty of all Muslims to immigrate to his self-styled ‘Islamic State’, and he named a list of countries from the Central African Republic to Myanmar and Xinjiang (in Chinese Turkistan) where violations are being committed against Muslims. “Your brothers on every piece of this earth are waiting for you to rescue them,” he declared; “By Allah, we will take revenge! by Allah we will take revenge! even if after a while.”


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How to Cite

Crow, Karim Douglas. 2014. “Caliph and the ’Islamic State’ - Lessons of History”. ICR Journal 5 (4):586-90.




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