The Islamic State has supposedly been established as a model of Islamic religious practice based on Sharia Law. They want to go back to the pure form of Islam as supposedly revealed by God to Mohammed in the 7th century. But, instead of evoking a religion of peace and tolerance, theirs is a religion of war and oppression.
Last week the fighters of the Kurdish opposition captured the town of Al Shadadi from IS in Syria. This is a strategic conquest since this town is the key point on the main road that links the two main IS centers of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq. What the fighters found in this town only confirms the truly evil nature of this religious culture.. There were very few civilians left in the town since the IS had forced most of them to leave with them as a civilian shield. Those who were left told stories of terrible mistreatment.
The IS fighters took women and girls as young as 8 to a building in the town called “the rape center,” where they were kept and repeatedly raped. No-one was exempt from this treatment who did not actively join the IS. Another building was a torture center, much like a Gestapo or KGB center. In another building they found an underground bunker filled with bombs of all kinds, mainly IEDs and also suicide vests. They also found numerous documents, since each IS fighter is required to fill out a form with his particulars. One was a foreign Muslim who had 8 wives and one female slave and was learning Arabic in order to translate documents for IS. He was paid $125 a month for his services.
The capture of Al Shadadi would not have been possible without the fierce bombardment of the town by allied air forces, including the USAF, that has reduced most of the town to rubble. But, this was a necessary prelude to the capture by Syrian opposition ground forces. Now the Syrian forces are focusing on capturing Raqqa itself, which is less than 100 miles away, while concurrently the Iraqi Army and militias are preparing for the battle for Mosul. This will be a new Armageddon in the Middle East, where the forces of the evil IS empire will have to be utterly destroyed. The term Armageddon comes from the Greek name of the Biblical city of Megiddo that was destroyed in the 7th century bce by the Egyptians (you can visit the archaeological site of Megiddo at the southern end of the Carmel Mountain). There is no possibility of compromise or negotiation with IS.
This reminds me of the Palestinian movement. Like IS it started fairly recently, there were no Arab Palestinians before 1967. Like IS they claim some kind of prior existence to justify their continued conflict. Like IS they are fundamentally anti-western and anti-democratic. Hamas in Gaza is an Islamist terrorist organization and Fatah in the PA has not had an election since 2006 and has had only two leaders/dictators Arafat and Abbas. While Israel defeated the Arab States that attacked and tried to destroy it, the Palestinians themselves have never been directly defeated by Israel. They have no interest in negotiating or compromising with Israel. Unless they undergo a fundamental about-face, a “paradigm shift,” only in another war in which the forces of the Palestinian movement are utterly defeated in another Armageddon will there be the possibility of ultimate peace.