In these several intervening weeks a coalition of forces has emerged, led by the U.S., and on September 22nd air attacks were launched against the ISIL capital Raqqa inside Syria in an attempt to contain and neutralize ISIS (ISIL). Air strikes were also conducted in Syria against an offshoot of Al Qaeda – Khorasan. We are reminded of the ancient Islamic prophecy – “armies carrying black flags will come from Khorasan. No power will be able to stop them, and they will finally reach Eela [the Temple Mount in Jerusalem] where they will erect their flags…. The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims will kill them.”
In all of this, I want to sound the note again, that even if this one ISIL head of the Islamic hydra is cut off, two more heads will grow up in its place. Radical Islam is a clear and present danger to the entire world, and like the Hydra of Greek mythology it is “a many-headed serpent… a diverse evil not to be overcome by a single effort.”
An insightful look into ISIL by a pastor and friend for many years, Jim Croft, has given us a good understanding of ISIL. The following excerpts are taken from his article, Tricky PC Semantics available at https://www.facebook.com/jim.croft.31/posts/701567619928848
ISIL stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. What is the Levant? At minimum, it is the land mass on the eastside of the Mediterranean stretching from the northern edge of Saudi Arabia and north and east through Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria up to Iraq. However, historically it also includes Egypt, Cyprus, Turkey and Iraq.
Islam lays claim to the entire region as they took it by Jihad from Christians during the period from approximately 700-1,100AD. The general Islamic mindset is: once Islamic, always Islamic. To the fundamentalist Muslims, it is unthinkable that the entire Levant region can ever be permanently relinquished from Islamic control.
This is why Israel must be eradicated as a nation. It is why the Christian Arabs dwelling in Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have been systematically persecuted with the goal of making them flee these nations for their lives. We can be sure that if the ISIL has its way that the Christians of Egypt, Cyprus and Turkey will be coerced to follow close on their heels. Historically, Islam does not sense any obligation to think in the limitations of national boundaries. Its term is Caliphates. What is a Caliphate? It is governance totally by Islam’s Shariah Law over a nation and/or large regions of the earth of which the Levant is an example. What does it take to define a Caliphate? A standing army that has the manpower, armaments, funding, and the determination to wipeout all who are unwilling to submit to Islam’s Shariah Law.
The ISIL has the manpower as its army has grown from 6,000 to over 31,500 in a matter of weeks. Its funding at this moment is over $3 million per day. Its will to overcome all obstacles with no qualms about brutality is without question. If free nations with Christian roots truly want to defeat the ISIL our leaders need to declare war on ISIL’s attempt to establish a huge Caliphate in the Levant.
Dating back to the demise of the Ottoman Empire, the plan is that Turkey will be the seat of government for the Levant Caliphate. It will be the springboard to spread the Caliphate’s tentacles throughout Europe, Scandinavia, and the UK; and across the Atlantic into North and South America. If you think that it could not happen, think again! The Levant nations that were once Christian have been for the most part under Radical Islamic for a very long time. Once the foothold was realized, nothing has proved powerful enough to shake it loose in the past 500 years.
THE HORRORS OF RADICAL ISLAM
Shira Harrington, a former member of Immanuel’s, forwarded this cry for help as she recently returned
from Israel —
A friend just got a text message from her brother asking her to shower him and his parish in prayer. He is part of a mission and ISIS has taken over the town they are in today. He said ISIS is systematically going house to house to all the Christians and asking the children to denounce Jesus. He said so far not one child has. And so far all have consequently been killed. But not the parents. The UN has withdrawn and the missionaries are on their own. They are determined to stick it out for the sake of these families – even if it means their own deaths. He is very afraid and has no idea how to even begin ministering to these families who have seen their children martyred. Yet he says he knows God has called him for some reason to be His voice and hands at this place at this time. Even so, he is begging prayers for courage to live out his vocation in such dire circumstances, and like the children, accept martyrdom if he is called to do so. Please pray for them.
THERE ARE MUSLIMS AND THERE ARE MUSLIMS
Muhammad outlined in the Quran the very strategies we are seeing implemented in Iraq and Syria by ISIL. These are his words —
“The penalty of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle – they will face being killed or crucified, or having their heads and feet cut off from opposite sides, or they shall be banished from the land…” (Surah 5:33). “And when you meet those who misbelieve, non-Muslims, while fighting in Jihad, cut off their heads until you have massacred them…” (Surah 47:4). “I will put terror in the hearts of non-Muslims. So cut off their necks and cut off every finger tip. Do that because they opposed Allah and His Apostle. And Allah is intent on punishing anyone who opposes Him and His Apostle.” (Surah 8:12-14).
Not all present day Muslims, however, are aligned with these brutal ISIL strategies. I recently heard King Abdullah of Jordan disavow these very practices declaring that ISIL by their actions were “heretics”. I also recently heard a progressive Imam from the U.S. disavow these ISIL practices as draconian and that modern day Islam needs to come out of its dark ages into present day moderation. Also, we need to note that multiplied millions of Muslims have also come to the knowledge of Jesus and received Him as their very own Savior and Lord. Consequently, we need to pray in faith for Muslims everywhere, that there will continue to be a rich harvest for the Kingdom of God from among them!