What is ISIL?

What is ISIL?

A few hundred people supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) gathered on a Bayram day in Istanbul’s distant Ömerli district, held prayers behind their special imams and they prayed to god that “all the mujahedeen engaged in the jihad hit their targets.”

It is a small, isolated, unimportant incident… But when we consider its massacres in Syria and Iraq, the $2 billion it has seized in banks, the Shiite mosques it has knocked down, it is possible to ignore ISIL? On the contrary, we should ponder and ponder again on why these things are happening in this era?

Here is a question that would make a good reference point to begin pondering: The terror organization ISIL, or with its new name the Islamic State (IS), is it an “issue” reflecting social diseases? Or is it a “project” staged by imperialists to denigrate Islam?

Issue or project?

If we regard ISIL as an “issue,” then we will need to research with scientific methods to understand why these bigoted, savage movements emerge in Muslim societies from the Middle East to Afghanistan, to Pakistan.

If we regard ISIL as a “project” the thing to do is fight “imperialism.” In several Islamic websites and in some newspaper columns, while ISIL’s brutality is condemned, it is written that ISIL is a “project.”

“ISIL is a project developed and grown so ‘Islam and the IS are hated.’ Global powers are staging and supporting this so that Islam is seen as terror. It is serving their dirty ideals … The imperialists are using Muslims as tools to break up the Islamic geography.” (Faruk Köse, Yeni Akit, July 6, 2014)

It is good that such a determined stance is adopted against ISIL, but…

Medieval issue

Should we not be thinking, why the Muslims are so easily tricked into the games of imperialism? Why those social disorders that the imperialists can so easily make a tool of are still present in Muslim societies in such abundance?

The answer to this is in the concept of “Medieval Age of Islam.”

President Abdullah Gül, two years ago, in a speech he delivered on Aug. 16, 2012 in a summit in Mecca said the sectarian fighting and violence would take Muslims to the darkness of the mediaeval ages, making a historic warning. This is what is being experienced now.

I have seen ISIL’s propaganda film on televisions. People being killed after being led down on the ground with their hands and feet tied, graves and mosques being knocked down… They only omit the poor girls they rape after declaring them concubines…

The only difference they have from the mediaeval ages is their weapons and their bulldozers…

Thinking again

The stoning to death, the concubines, the second-class status given to Christians, declaring someone an unbeliever and murdering them… Where do Taliban and ISIL get these from? They take them out of the old Islamic law books… In the Western Medieval ages, there are even more violent acts as burning people alive… Today, it is only read in mediaeval-age books and moved on… In the Middle East, though, it is being experienced! Well, this is the essential issue…

As the great thinker and poet from Pakistan, Muhammad Iqbal said in his “Reorganizing the religious thinking in Islam” that because the Islamic intellectuals could not develop a major breakthrough, the Taliban and ISIL are still being educated in old madrasas of the medieval ages. The views of those who have declared Ibn Sina and al-Farabi as unbelievers are being taught.

When one mentions the re-organization of Islamic thinking, I strongly recommend all of the books of the biggest living scholar of hadith, Professor Mehmet Hatiboğlu. (Otto Publications.)

Turkey has a two-century-old background of modernization; it has come a long way on this road, but we also suffer from the Middle Eastern culture. There is an enormous spiritual responsibility falling on Islamic writers in the field of “renewing thoughts” for us to overcome all these. Isn’t it too much, this much of a political fight? Don’t we need to think and research on the “issue” and develop ideas?