Saturday, October 08, 2016

A Town Called Dabiq

"Central to [ISIL's] world view is a hadith, a saying by the Prophet Muhammad, that a town called Dabiq in northern Syria would be the scene of an apocalyptic showdown between Muslims and Christians."
"The U.S. being on the outskirts of Dabiq will clearly resonate throughout the ranks of [Islamic State], This to them is the prophecy being realized, it will be used to rally people to battle, to lift morale and to reaffirm that what they believe is truly taking place."
Martin Chulov, author, Australian Jihad

"We are not talking about a fall of Aleppo within days or even two to three weeks; [rather] a level of violence against citizens that is reaching genocidal proportions."
"A large city like this [Aleppo] cannot fall easily."
Bassma Kodmani, High Negotiations Committee
Jihadist carrying Isil flag in Syria
Credit: Dabiq
Islamic State named their propaganda magazine Dabiq, the name of the legendary town where 1,400 years ago the Prophet Muhammad was said to have foretold a battle of apocalyptic proportions taking place where "the last hour will not come" unless the defeat of the Crusaders by an Islamic army takes place. It is that place and that event where the Islamic State believes they will succeed in facing off against and defeating American troops, to bring themselves the triumphant conquest foretold by the Prophet.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain, the Islamist jihadists have been planting mines and explosives, forwarding their most seasoned fighters to the defence of Dabiq. This is where the attention and the defined aspirations of Islamic State takes place, not merely symbolically, but as a direct and potent belief that the need to conquer the American 'Crusaders' takes central place in the plans of ISIL to achieve their dominant role in the region.

Dabiq battleGETTY
Dabiq is of great religious significance to ISIS as it is named in Islamic mythology
The reality on the ground for Syrians, for the Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad, the world's latest butcher-extraordinaire, however, remains Syria's largest and once most-prosperous city, Aleppo, where its Sunni population in eastern Aleppo has been under siege, targeted by Russian and Syrian fighter jets with no compunction whatever over purposefully hitting schools, medical facilities, homes and humanitarian aid workers' compounds.

The battle is in Aleppo where politics and religious antipathy of a purely sectarian nature relates the background. The ideological core battle of Islamic State against all those who would oppose their caliphate and their conquesting Islamist regime, is Dabiq. There it is that the cataclysmic clash of civilization and barbarity is to take place. Though it may not, seen as inconsequential by the forces battling Islamic State.

Why give them the satisfaction, after all? There will be little satisfaction in either scenario; facing them as opponents or neglecting to recognize the symbolic importance to them of a Crusader-versus-holy warriors of Islam battle. As for Aleppo, the most newly released satellite images by the United Nations demonstrate "an awful lot of new damage" by airstrikes in east Aleppo where 450 civilians were killed last week alone, by Syrian and Russian airstrikes.

So perhaps in civilized minds the question should be, which of the two entities, the Islamic State or the state of Syria represents the greatest level of barbarity? Some might conclude, accurately, based on the evidence at hand, that the Alawite regime of Bashar al Assad is equally repulsive, deadly and conscienceless as the Islamic State terrorists, since both rank as consummate terrorist entities.

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