Published at The Wall Street Journal
Why did Prohibition in America fail? The Pakistani Islamic scholar Abul Ala Mawdudi argued that it was because the law “required people to accept human rather divine reasoning.” What was needed was a harsh and absolute divine mandate to root out evils like alcohol. As the Ottoman empire was being swept away and national-independence movements were about to overrun the Muslim world, men like Mawdudi began articulating a new ideology that would meld medieval and modern concepts. That ideology, Salafi-jihadism, now represents one of the West’s greatest security challenges. Continue reading
The Islamic State’s (IS) spokesman, Taha Falaha (Abu Muhammad al-Adnani), gave a speech on 21 May that prepared the ground ideologically for the end of IS’s statelet and a return to the deserts where the organization survived after the surge-and-sahwa drove it from the urban zones of Iraq in 2007-08. Al-Naba, IS’s newsletter, is printed within the caliphate on Saturdays and distributed online on Tuesdays. Al-Naba’s 34th edition, published within the territories on 4 June and put on the internet on 7 June, echoed Falaha’s theme that the caliphate was a cause that would outlast the loss of territory since it was now embedded in the hearts of a generation of Muslims, and al-Naba also took a swipe at al-Qaeda and jihadi groups like Ahrar al-Sham that believe the path to an Islamist polity is bottom-up, through the building of popular consent. The Naba editorial is reproduced below with some important sections highlighted in bold.