Mar 13, 2015 — The Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World includes fellowships with the Center for Arabic out_web.pdf, which is an assemblage of quotations from Muh. ammad ibn Saud Al-Sarhan, A House Divided: AQAP, IS, and Intra-Jihadi tion (hijra) to the Abode of Islam (Dar al-Islam) is.
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12 3 4 6 7 12 13 17 25 31 36 38 4445Acknowledgements ˜e Author Note to the reader Introduction Part I: Doctrines ˜e Islamic State™s Brand of Jihadi-Sala˚sm Part II: Development ˜e Zarqawi Prelude (2002Œ2006) ˜e ﬁPaper Stateﬂ (2006Œ2013) ˜e State of Disunity (2013Œ2014) ˜e Caliphate Unveiled (2014Œpresent) Conclusion Appendix: ˜e Islamic State™s Creed and Path About the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World ˜e Center for Middle East Policy Table of Contents
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1Acknowledgements My thanks are due ˚rst to Will McCants, who commissioned this paper and has welcomed my contributions to his blog, Jihadica. Will is a trailblazer in the ˚eld of jihadi studies, and I am particularly grateful for his com – ments on an earlier draft and for the ˚ne editing of his research assistant, Kristine Anderson. I also wish to thank the two anonymous peer re -viewers, whose comments forced me to rethink and recast a great deal of this paper. I wish further to register a debt to my many col -leagues in the analytical community, in the United States and around the world, including Christopher Anzalone, J.M. Berger, Romain Caillet, Brian Fish – man, Shadi Hamid, ˜omas Hegghammer, Sam Heller, Greg Johnsen, Charles Lister, Aron Lund, Saud Al-Sarhan, Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, Joas Wagemakers, and Aaron Zelin, among many oth – ers. ˜eir work on jihadism, the Islamic State, and al-Qa™ida has contributed more to my knowledge of these subjects than the footnotes begin to attest. Finally, I would like to thank my Ph.D. adviser at Princeton, Bernard Haykel, for his boundless encour – agement and wisdom, and for helping to me to pen – etrate the world of Sala˚ Islam, jihadism included.
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2The Author Cole Bunzel is a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, where his research focuses on the history of the Wahhabi movement in Saudi Arabia. He has written extensively on jihadi ideology, the Is – lamic State, and al-Qaeda, and contributes to the blog Jihadica . His experience in the Middle East includes fellowships with the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) in Damascus, Syria, and the King Faisal Center for Research and Islam -ic Studies (KFCRIS) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Previously, he held government and think tank positions related to Iraq and Syria. Bunzel ob -tained an M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced Interna – tional Studies (SAIS), and an A.B in Near East – ern Studies from Princeton University.
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3The Islamic Stateﬂ refers here to the group once known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI, October 2006ŒApril 2013), the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS, April 2013ŒJune 2014), and the Islamic State (IS, June 2014Œpresent). ˜is usage conforms to the group™s own shorthand for itselfŠas ﬁthe Islamic Stateﬂ ( al-Dawla al-Islamiyya ), or merely ﬁthe Stateﬂ ( al-Dawla )Šgoing back to 2006. My in – tention is to mimic the group™s self-appellation and emphasize its perception of having existed since 2006, not to be dogmatic. Most primary texts cited are drawn from the Inter -net, and all links were functional as of December 2014. I have maintained an archive of all primary sources in the event that they do not last. Arabic is fully transliterated in the footnotes but not in the main text. ﬁNote to the reader
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4Introductionthe ﬁIraq and Shamﬂ part of its name in a nod to its extraterritorial ambitions. ˜e events marking the Islamic State™s dramatic rise from obscurity were sudden and unforeseen. ˜e group and its ideology, however, were well within view for nearly eight years. Frequent, lengthy audio addresses from its senior leaders, on numerous political and theological subjects, were broadcast ad nauseam between 2006 and 2010.3 ˜is self-marketing campaign laid bare what the Islamic State stood for and what it in – tended to accomplish. ˜e presentation was not oblique; the ideology of the Islamic State was, and remains, on full display. ˜e air of mystery about the Islamic State derives from the lack of attention prior to 2013. Con – ventional wisdom, both in the Middle East and the West, held that al-Qaeda in Iraq had merely changed its name in October 2006 to the Islamic State of Iraq. As is now known, the signi˚cance of the ﬁname changeﬂ was much greater than was appreciated at the time. It signaled the start of an ambitious political project: the founding of a state in IraqŠa proto-caliphateŠthat would ultimately expand across the region, proclaim itself the full- ˛edged caliphate, and go on to conquer the rest of the world. ˜e extent of these ambitions went largely unnoticed.4 For all the headlines surrounding the Islamic State on a daily basis, the group remains for many shrouded in mystery. As Major General Michael K. Nagata, special operations commander for U.S. Central Command, confessed in late December 2014: ﬁWe do not understand the movement [i.e., the Islamic State], and until we do, we are not go -ing to defeat it.ﬂ Of the group™s ideology he said: ﬁWe have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.ﬂ 2 It is this ideaŠthe ideology of the Islamic StateŠ that forms the subject of this paper. ˜e pervasive sense of mystery about the group is in a way understandable. While by no means newŠit was founded in 2006Šthe Islamic State seemed to come out of nowhere in 2013Œ2014. Only in April 2013 did the group, known of -˚cially as the Islamic State of Iraq, draw inter -national attention as something more than a mere front for al-Qaeda™s Iraq branch. Announc -ing its expansion to Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq rechristened itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), and so reintroduced itself to the world. After gaining resources, recruits, and momentum, the group redoubled its e˝orts in Iraq, capturing most of the Sunni areas of that country in June 2014. It then declared itself the caliphate, or the global Islamic empire, nixing 1. Ab˜ Muh.ammad al-‚Adn˚n˛, ﬁInnam˚ a‚i h.ukum bi-w˚ h.ida,ﬂ Mu™assasat al-Furq˚n, 21 May 2012. Transcript: https://ia600605.us.archive.org/7/items/enma.a3ezakom/waheda.pdf. 2. Eric Schmitt, ﬁIn Battle to Defang ISIS, U.S. Targets Its Psychology,ﬂ The New York Times , 28 December 2014. 3. These were collected and transcribed in , Nukhbat al-I‚l˚m al-Jih˚d˛, 2010, https://archive.org/download/Dwla_Nokhba/mjdawl.doc. The 38 speeches of the group™s ˝rst two senior leaders, Ab˜ ‚Umar al-Baghd˚d˛ and Ab˜ H.amza al-Muh˚jir (both killed in April 2010), run to nearly 17 hours of audio and occupy more than 200 pages transcribed. 4. For an exception see Brian Fishman, , Combating Terrorism Center, 23 March 2007. ﬁIf one wants to get to know the program of the [Islamic] State, its politics, and its legal opinions, one ought to consult its leaders, its statements, its public addresses, its own sourcesﬂ Œ 1
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7 Individual members of the Islamic State are of course driven by numerous factors; not all members are motivated byŠor even aware ofŠthe ideology of the group that they support. ˜e Islamic State as a political entity, however, is inconceivable apart from its ideology. ˜e group™s senior leadership, by all ap -pearances highly ideologically driven, sets the policies and direction of the group. ˜e content of the Islamic State™s ideology thus merits serious attention. ˜at ideology should be understood on two levels. ˜e ˚rst is Jihadi-Sala˚sm, the school of Islamic political thought to which the group belongs. ˜e second level is the Islamic State™s hardline orienta -tion within this school, which is to a large degree what separates it from al-Qaeda today. Jihadi-Sala˜sm ˜e Islamic State, like al-Qaeda, identi˚es with a movement in Islamic political thought known as Jihadi-Sala˚sm, or jihadism for short. ˜e group™s leaders explicitly adhere to this movement. For ex – ample, in a 2007 audio address, then-Islamic State leader Abu ‚Umar al-Baghdadi appealed ﬁto all Sunnis, and to the young men of Jihadi-Sala˚sm (al-Sala˜yya al-Jihadiyya ) in particular, across the entire world.ﬂ 7 In the same year, his deputy de -scribed the Islamic State™s ˚ghters as part of ﬁthe current of Jihadi-Sala˚sm.ﬂ 8 ˜ese were not idle words. Jihadi-Sala˚sm is a dis -tinct ideological movement in Sunni Islam. It en -compasses a global network of scholars, websites, media outlets, and, most recently, countless sup – porters on social media. ˜e movement is predicated on an extremist and minoritarian reading of Islamic scripture that is also textually rigorous, deeply rooted in a premodern theological tradition, and extensively elaborated by a recognized cadre of religious authori -ties. Only recently has jihadi scholarship, along with the formation of the jihadi school, been the subject of serious academic inquiry. 9˚e Brotherhood Dimension Two streams of Islamic thought contributed to the emergence of the jihadi school in the later 20th century. ˜e ˚rst is associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Founded in 1928 by Hasan al-Banna as a political movement bent on winning power and in˛uence in society and capturing the state, the Muslim Brotherhood has never been as doctrinally rigorous as present-day jihadis. ˜e Brotherhood is an exclusively Sunni movement, but it is not implacably hostile to other Islamic sects, such as Shi™ism, or orientations, such as Su˚ mysticism. ˜e movement emerged in response to the rise of Western imperialism and the associated decline of Islam in public life, trends it sought to reverse via grassroots Islamic activism. 6. Ab˜ Bakr al-Baghd˚d˛, ﬁWa-ya™b˚ ™ll˚h ill˚ an yutimm n˜rahu,ﬂ Mu™assasat al-Furq˚n, 21 July 2012. Transcript: https://ia601207.us.archive.org/14/items/2b-bkr-bghdd/143393.pdf. 7. Ab˜ ‚Umar al-Baghd˚d˛, ﬁWa-in tantah˜ fa-huwa khayr lakum,ﬂ Mu™assasat al-Furq˚n, 8 July 2007. Transcript in , 26Œ35. 8. Ab˜ H.amza al-Muh˚jir, ﬁQul m˜t˜ bi-ghay z.ikum,ﬂ Mu™assasat al-Furq˚n, 5 May 2007. Transcript in , 147Œ152. 9. See, for example, Daniel Lav, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), and Joas Wagemakers, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). ﬁMy dear [Muslim] community: As we did not lie against God when we announced the Islamic State, so we do not lie against God when we say that it will persist–It will persist upon its creed (‚aqida) and its path (manhaj), and it has not, nor will it ever, substitute or abandon theseﬂ 6
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8˚e Sala˜ Dimension ˜e second stream of Islamic thought contrib -uting to the Islamic State™s ideology is known as Sala˚sm, a primarily theological movement in Sunni Islam concerned with purifying the faith.15 Sala˚sm focuses on eliminating idolatry (shirk ) and a˙rming God™s Oneness ( tawhid). Sala˚s view themselves as the only true Muslims, considering those who practice so-called ﬁmajor idolatryﬂ to be outside the bounds of the Islamic faith. ˜ose worshipingŠor perceived to be wor – shipingŠstones, saints, tombs, etc., are consid – ered apostates, deserters of the religion. ˜ese in -clude the Shi‚a and, for many Sala˚s, democrats, or those participating in a democratic system. ˜e Shi‚a are guilty of shirk on account of their excessive reverence of the Prophet Muhammad™s family, among other things, while democrats err in assigning ﬁpartnersﬂ to God in legislation, deemed the prerogative of the Divine Legislator. A distinctive Sala˚ intellectual genealogy extends to medieval times. ˜e writings of the Syrian Hanbali scholar Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328) and his students provide the core Sala˚ theological corpus. Later signi˚cant Sala˚ thinkers came from the Wahhabi movement, or Wahhabism, a subset of Sala˚sm founded in the Arabian Peninsula by Muhammad ibn ‚Abd al-Wahhab (d. 1792). In the late 18th cen -tury Wahhabism was wedded to the Saudi politi – cal establishment, and remains so today. ˜e Sau – dis helped the Wahhabis to impose their version of the faith across Arabia by waging jihad against perceived heretics for the sake of eliminating shirk and a˙rming tawhid. Wahhabi jihad involved the destruction of tombs and shrines and the enforce – ment of proper ritual practices, as well as cleansing Islam of Shi™ism. ˜e Muslim Brotherhood championed the res – toration of the caliphate as the ideal system of government for the Islamic world, a popular theme in the earlier 20th century. With the dis – solution of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924, vari -ous Muslim leaders and groups across the world, from North Africa to Arabia to Southeast Asia, called for the reestablishment of the caliphate. 10 Yet the Muslim Brotherhood™s emphasis on the caliphate is particularly signi˚cant, as the earliest jihadi ideologues and groups emerged as radical splinters from the Brotherhood. Jihadi ambitions for reviving the caliphate would seem to derive from the Brotherhood™s. ˜e Brotherhood™s founder spoke at length of the caliphate. In one instance he remarked: ﬁIslam requires that the Muslim community unite around one leader or one head, the head of the Islamic State, and it forbids the Mus – lim community from being divided among states–ﬂ11 Elsewhere Banna commented: ﬁ˜e Muslim Brotherhood puts the idea of the ca -liphate and work to restore it at the forefront of its plans.ﬂ 12 Yet in practice, as one historian has noted, the Brotherhood evinced ﬁa relative indi˝erenceﬂ to actually restoring the caliphate. 13 Building a ca -liphate was more of a long-term goal than an im -mediate objective. Banna himself acknowledged that achieving this goal would require signi˚cant legwork, including convening conferences and forming political parties and alliances across the Islamic world. Nonetheless, idealistic talk would continue to feature in Brotherhood statements, and occasionally still comes out. As recently as 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide spoke of reestablishing ﬁthe Muslim State.ﬂ 14 10. Madawi Al-Rasheed, Carool Kersten, and Marat Shterin, ﬁThe Caliphate: Nostalgic Memory and Contemporary Visions,ﬂ in , ed. Al-Rasheed, et al (London: Hurst & Co., 2013), 1Œ30. 11. Quoted in Mu h.ammad ‚Abd al-Q˚dir Ab˜ F˚ris, al-Niz. (Jordan: n.p., 1980), 169. 12. H.asan al-Bann˚, H. (Beirut: D˚r al-Andalus, 1965), 284Œ285. 13. Richard Mitchell, (London: Oxford University Press, 1969), 235. 14. Muh.ammad Ism˚‚˛l and Muh.ammad H.ajj˚j, ﬁBad˛‚: al-khil˚fa al-r˚shida wa-i h.y˚™ dawlat al-Isl˚m wa™l-shar˛‚a hadaf al-Ikhw˚n,ﬂ , 29 December 2011, http://www.youm7.com/news/newsprint?newid=565958. 15. For more on Sala˝sm see Bernard Haykel, ﬁOn the Nature of Sala˝ Thought and Action,ﬂ in , ed. Roel Meijer (London: Hurst, 2009). The term derives from s.h., meaning ﬁthe venerable ancestorsﬂ of the ˝rst generations of Islam whom Sala˝s seek to emulate.
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9In conjunction with the rise of these groups, there also appeared a loose-knit network of independent scholars who gave ideological substance to the emergent jihadi movement. ˜e works of scholars like the Jordanian-Palestinian Abu Muhammad al- Maqdisi and the Syrian Abu Basir al-Tartusi helped set the tone of the movement. 22 In˛uenced more by Qutb and the Brotherhood early on, these schol – ars gradually distanced themselves from him and adopted a more Sala˚ orientation. ˜eir focus on the more violent aspects of Sala˚sm gave birth to Jihadi-Sala˚sm. In the last 20 years jihadism has thus been increas -ingly dominated by its Sala˚ dimension. 23 As a result, Muslim Brotherhood authors, who accord -ing to Sala˚s do not adhere to proper theology, are seldom quoted or referenced by modern jihadis. Rather, works by Ibn Taymiyya and the scholars of the Wahhabi tradition have become the ideological backbone of the movement. ˚e Islamic State™s Brand of Jihadi-Sala˜sm If jihadism were to be placed on a political spec -trum, al-Qaeda would be its left and the Islamic State its right. In principle, both groups adhere to Sala˚ theology and exemplify the increasingly Sala˚ character of the jihadi movement. But the Islamic State does so with greater severity. In contrast with al-Qaeda, it is absolutely uncompromising on doc -trinal matters, prioritizing the promotion of an un – forgiving strain of Sala˚ thought. ˜e Islamic State™s adoption of this acutely severe version of Jihadi-Sala˚sm is attributable to Abu ˜e anti-Shi™ite element in jihadism derives from Sala˚sm™s historical animus toward the Shi‚a. 16 In 1792, for example, Saudi Wahhabi forces launched an attack on the Shi™ite center of al-Ahsa™ in east -ern Arabia in order to stamp out Shi™ite practices there. 17 Later, in 1801, they besieged the two ho -liest Shi™ite shrine cities of Najaf and Karbala in Iraq, pillaging Karbala and killing several thou -sand.18 As late as 1927, the leading Wahhabi scholars of the Saudi kingdom sought forcibly to ﬁconvertﬂ the Shi‚a of the country™s eastern prov -ince or else expel them.19 ˜e modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia no longer actively prosecutes the anti-Shi™ite war; anti-Shi™ite sentiment, however, still runs deep in Sala˚sm. 20 ˚e Emergence of the Jihadi School In the later decades of the twentieth century the Arab Middle East saw the rise of violent Islamist groups in˛uenced by both Muslim Brotherhood activism and Sala˚ exclusivism. ˜ese groups, in – cluding Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Group, in Egypt, and the Armed Islamic Group and the Sala˚ Group for Preaching and Combat, in Algeria, were the forerunners of today™s Jihadi- Sala˚ groups. Ideologically, their main inspira – tion was Sayyid Qutb, a proli˚c Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood ideologue who advocated a radical, revolutionary version of Brotherhood activism. ˜ese groups aimed to overthrow the established governments and replace them with Islamic states. Al-Qaeda shared a similar ideology but advocated a di˝erent strategy, focusing on attacking the United States as the ˚rst step to creating an Islamic state in the Middle East. Al-Qaeda™s leader, Osama Bin Laden, spoke frequently of restoring the caliphate. 21 16. Sala˝s are by no means the only Sunni Muslims to show hostility toward the Shi‚a in Islamic history. Sala˝s, however, have made anti-Shi‚ism a central component of their identity. 17. George S. Rentz, (London: Arabian Publishing, 2004), 227. 18. Yitzhak Nakash, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 28. 19. Guido Steinberg, ﬁJihadi-Sala˝sm and the Shi‚is: Remarks about the Intellectual Roots of Anti-Shi‚ism,ﬂ in , 114Œ115. 20. It should be pointed out that many if not most Sala˝s today are politically quietist, ﬁarguing that all forms of overt political organization and action, let alone violence, are forbidden–and moreover [that] obedience to Muslim rulersŠeven unjust onesŠis religiously mandated.ﬂ See Haykel, ﬁOn the Nature of Sala˝ Thought and Action,ﬂ 48Œ50. 21. See, for example, , trans. Bruce Lawrence (New York: Verso, 2005), 121. 22. See Wagemakers, , and ﬁBetween Purity and Pragmatism? Abu Basir al-Tartusi™s Nuanced Radicalism,ﬂ in , ed. Rüdiger Lohlker and Tamara Abu-Hamdeh (Berlin: Logos Verlag, 2014), 16Œ36. On jihadi scholars™ role in ﬁset[ting] the intellectual toneﬂ of the movement see Lav, Radical Islam, 2Œ3, 170Œ171, and .23. Lav, , 168Œ172.
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