Islamic State Editorial: "Why Do We Wage Jihad?"
The publication of the weekly al-Naba’ newsletter of the Islamic State continues unabated, though is noticeable that the number of pages in some of the recent issues has only amounted to eight as opposed to the more usual twelve, compared with the earliest issues of al-Naba’ that spanned sixteen pages. While most of the pages of al-Naba’ feature military reports of the group’s activities around the world, the newsletter nonetheless feels obliged to produce a weekly editorial too. Essentially, these editorials are of two types: (i) an editorial seizing on some recent news development pertaining or not pertaining directly to the Islamic State (e.g. the Islamic State’s expansion in Africa, or the World Cup in Qatar respectively), or (ii) a generic editorial reaffirming (yet again) some aspect of the Islamic State’s general worldview- a general worldview that is so simple it can probably be taught in an hour or so to an outsider unfamiliar with the subject. A couple of these latter editorials could definitely be used in an undergraduate course on the Islamic State and jihadism, for example.
This week’s editorial- entitled “Why do we wage jihad?”- is of the latter type. It makes clear that jihad is a realisation of servitude to God and rejection of idolatry/disbelief. Thus, the purpose of jihad is to impose God’s religion and the rule of His law on the earth, and the removal of idolatry, which should mean that either the disbelievers convert to Islam or (in the case of ‘People of the Book’, pay the jizya poll tax and live in subjugation under the Islamic State). This posits an eternal conflict with the disbelievers until the Day of Judgement. This explicit statement of the expansionist and cosmic nature of jihad is contrasted with supposed ‘deviants’ (i.e. other groups claiming to be Islamic or jihadist) who shy away from being so frank about the nature and purpose of jihad.
Below is the editorial fully translated by me. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.