Islamic State’s Latest Magazine Includes an Apostate Hit-List
‘Dabiq’ calls for the deaths of Western Muslim leaders
by KEVIN KNODELL
The latest issue of Islamic State’s slick propaganda magazine Dabiq reaffirms the group’s desire to take on, well, pretty much the entire world in apocalyptic warfare.
The issue opens by praising the attacks in Belgium … and promising worse. “Paris was a warning,” the rag proclaims. “Brussels was a reminder. What is yet to come will be more devastating and more bitter, by the permission of Allah.”
While many have latched onto these chilling — if vague — words, less has been made of the specific threat that Islamic State made in the same issue. This issue of Dabiq contains a hit list. The names on the list include prominent Islamic scholars and Muslim politicians in the United States and Europe.
Islamic State has long made clear its disdain for Muslims who don’t submit to its hardline brand of Islam. While the group has killed countless Christians and Yazidis, ISIS still kills far more Muslims than it does people from any other religious group.
And in the ground war against ISIS, Muslim soldiers and militiamen of various factions still make up the vast majority of those fighting and dying.
ISIS has denounced refugees fleeing the wars in Syria and Iraq as cowards and openly expressed its goal to turn Westerners against refugees and longtime immigrants in a strategy it calls “destroying the gray zone.”
“The immigrants sought comfort in this worldly life by residing peacefully in the lands of Islam’s oldest enemies,” the latest Dabiq states. “As a result of their negligence towards their obligations and their exposure to Western kufr, their identity was altered.”
“[Western Muslims] became even more ardent and blatant defenders of the crusaders after the [caliphate] was reestablished, uniting with their cross-bearing allies in the global war against the Islamic State, the only true bastion of Sharī’ah rule on Earth.”
Islamic State categorically despises multiculturalism as well as any Muslim who associates with non-Muslims. But this singling out of individual Muslims is new.
“How can Muslims living in the West who claim to have surrendered themselves to Allah, completely accepting his rule alone, stand idly as these imams of kufr continue to spread their poison from atop their pulpits?” the magazine’s writers ask hypothetically in their call for a campaign of killings. “Make an example of them, as all of them are valid — rather, obligatory — targets according to the Sharī’ah.”
Number one on the hit list is Hamza Yusuf, an American-born Islamic scholar whom Dabiq called “perhaps the pinnacle of apostasy.” Yusuf is the founder of Zaytuna College — a small Muslim liberal arts college in Berkley, California — and an outspoken critic of Islamist terror groups.
In particular, Dabiq cites Yusuf’s praise of the U.S. constitution and his belief in free speech as reasons he should die. “It is not surprising then that he was invited to the White House after the September 11th attacks, becoming an advisor to Bush on the war against Muslims, thus becoming a crusader himself.”
Yusuf is just one of several American and European scholars and imams on the list. Some of the targets are controversial among both Muslims and Western critics.
Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is depicted in cross-hairs in this issue of Dabiq.
ISIS is also calling for the death of “politically active” Muslims who’ve held office or worked in Western governments. Among those the group names is Keith Ellison, the Minnesota Congressman who took his oath of office on Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Koran.
“As millions of faithful Muslims flee Daesh’s imposed nightmare they call a ‘caliphate,’ Daesh takes the time to threaten Muslim public servants in the West,” Ellison wrote in a press release. “Daesh is a collection of liars, murderers, torturers and rapists. The fact that I’m on Daesh’s bad side means I am fighting for things like justice, tolerance and a more inclusive world.”
In addition, the hit list includes Arif Alikhan, a senior U.S. Department of Homeland Security official who was formerly a counterterrorism professor at National Defense University. Also on the list — Hillary Clinton staffer Huma Abedin, British Conservative Party ministers Sajid Javid and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and Bangladesh-born British physicist Muhammad Abdul Bari.
Later in the issue, there’s a feature condemning the Muslim Brotherhood as a “cancer” and an enemy of Islam. “Its religion was a hodgepodge of deviance bequeathed by the Ottomans combined with the various tenets and rites of democracy, liberalism, pacifism and socialism borrowed from the pagans of the West and the East.”
As Islamic State tries to rally supporters to its cause, it further demonstrates how narrow it considers its pool of true believers to be — as well as how long its list of enemies is.
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