Dabiq issue 3 part 1- Hijrah

[ by Charles Cameron -- a pilgrimage with no return -- IS as the victorious group, the saved sect, the strangers ] . ** Hijrah is emigration for religious purposes, pilgrimage on a one-way ticket, and the archetypal Hijrah, that which was made by the Prophet and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622, […] Read more »

The curious case of the unheard word “apocalyptic”

[ by Charles Cameron -- so now at least the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs hears it and speaks it ] . ** I’m reminded of “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time” to which Sherlock Holmes refers in Silver Blazea, a story in Conan Doyle‘s collection, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes’ […] Read more »

Black Banners in the Washington Post

[ by Charles Cameron -- the one point missing IMO in an otherwise fine piece ] . ** In WaPo, under the header How the violent Islamic State extremists got their signature flag, Abby Phillip tackles what I believe is a very significant question, that of the black banners, but doesn’t mention their “end times” […] Read more »

The Cockroaches of War. And of Jihad

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a "zen"] John Robb had a cool post on the ultra-radical takfiri insurgency ISIS/ISIL and their self-proclaimed Sunni “Caliphate“, the Islamic State, whom he gave as an example of “the cockroaches of war”: ISIS Opens The World’s Biggest Bazaar of Violence ISIS is a marketplace — a freewheeling bazaar of violence – and it is [...] Read more »

Wearing their t-shirts like football uniforms

[ by Charles Cameron -- preliminary thoughts about an Indian group photograph, Tamils & the calphate ] . I talked about “caliphate” merchandise just the other day, and pointed specifically to t-shirts. I’m sorry to say those tees have now cropped up in my news feed a second time, this time under less auspicious circumstances: [...] Read more »

The Caliphate, Hamas, and the Gharqad Tree hadith

[ by Charles Cameron -- The second issue of the caliphate's Dabiq magazine leads with another "end times" reference ] . ** The second issue of the caliphate’s digital magazine Dabiq is now out, and once again, it contains a clear “end times” reference in the Foreword, p. 4: As for the massacres taking place [...] Read more »

Jabhat and IS “caliphate” by the numbers

[ by Charles Cameron -- large numbers don't fit well into small skulls, but we do what we can ] . Charles Lister tweeted today: The numbers are, for my humble self, staggering. And you can’t lose $1.5 billion if you didn’t have $1.5 billion at some point to lose. ** How about the “caliphate”? [...] Read more »

Dabiq magazine: an end-times reference from the IS “Caliphate”

[ by Charles Cameron -- the new caliphate has a new magazine hot off the presses, and it's bookended with apocalyptic hadith ] . ** A new caliphate’s new magazine demands a new name — and on this occasion the name chosen carries a very specific end-times connotation: As for the name of the magazine, [...] Read more »

The end of the world in footnote 35, page 18

[ by Charles Cameron -- how the "end times" aspect of the new "caliphate" gets buried somewhere under all the books, papers, and old burrito wrappings on my desk ] . ** Richard Barrett‘s report for The Soufan Group in June 2014, Foreign Fighters in Syria, runs 33 pages, but you’d have to get to [...] Read more »

Recommended Readings, hipbone version

[ by Charles Cameron -- two superb pieces this week on Iraq and ISIS, deserving of a slow and grateful reading -- and a third on IS, the "caliphate" into which ISIS renamed itself just today ] . Peter J. Munson leads off my list with a wide-angle piece titled Iraq and the City of [...] Read more »