[ by Charles Cameron — Mullah Omar, the Prophet’s cloak in Kandahar, & the title “Amir al-Mu’minin” ]
My latest for LapidoMedia begins:
ON THE FIRST anniversary of the death of US journalist James Wright Foley, the first US citizen to be killed by ISIS, it is timely to examine the credientials of the man who ordered it – the ‘caliph’ of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Baghdadi’s claim not just to the title of caliph but to that of Amir al-Mu’minin or Commander of the Faithful, underpins obedience of all Muslims to his will.
To understand this, we need also to understand the impact of the recently announced death of Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban.
The cloak of responsibility
For jihadists and those who aspire to be jihadists, Mullah Omar’s death put to an end one of the two claims to the title of Amir al-Mu’minin.
This title is one normally accorded to a caliph, but while Mullah Mohammed Omar Mujahid did not proclaim himself caliph or attempt to establish a global caliphate, he did indeed lay the foundations of one by creating the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in 1996.
Read the whole thing..
Fabrizio Foschini & Bette Dam, Under the Cloak of History: The Kherqa-ye Sharif from Faizabad to Kandahar JM Berger, Mullah Omar and the AQ-ISIS War Aaron Y Zelin (podcast), The Death of Mullah Omar and its Implications with J.M. Berger Barnett Rubin, What could Mullah Omar’s Death Mean for the Taliban Talks? Barnett Rubin, Turmoil in the Taliban Joanna Paraszczuk, Why Zawahri’s Pledge to Taliban could be a boon for IS Leah Farrall, Mullah Omar’s death and the Haqqani factor
For more on the cloak, see also:
Charles Cameron, The cloak, mantle and authority of the Prophet