The terrorist group ISIS late Sunday released a new propaganda video, this time not just highlighting its own brutality, but encouraging other Muslims around the world to emulate it. High-level ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani called for lone wolf-type attacks on civilians in the U.S., Canada, France and other countries supporting the U.S.-led effort to roll back their fighters, who have taken control of large parts of Iraq and Syria.
The video delivers both a religious justification for the murder of civilians, and disturbingly explicit directions about how to carry out such attacks.
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“Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling,” he said, according to multiple media reports. “Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war. Both of their blood and wealth is legal for you to destroy.”
Al-Adnani urged listeners not to concern themselves with acquiring weapons, telling them that low-tech methods of murder were sufficient. “Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him,” he advised.
The purported purpose of al-Adnani’s new video is to call for revenge for attacks on ISIS in Iraq. But it is important to note another likely motive: That it is part of a broader campaign by ISIS to sow mistrust of Muslims living in Western societies.
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In some countries, it might take only a few highly-radicalized – or mentally disturbed – ISIS sympathizers launching such attacks to create the sort of backlash against the Muslim population that ISIS likely wants. A population that feels oppressed by the majority is more easily radicalized, and to the extent that ISIS can encourage Western countries to turn against their Muslim citizens, they will succeed in creating the conditions that make more Muslims sympathetic to their cause.
It is for this reason, in large part, that Western leaders have been assiduously denying that ISIS is truly reflective of the Islamic faith. “ISIL is not 'Islamic,’” President Obama said in a recent address, using an alternate acronym for the group. “No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL's victims have been Muslim.”
Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as the leaders of other countries, including Great Britain and France have made similar statements.
In the video, al-Adnani mocked Obama for his effort to disassociate ISIL from Islam.
“Obama, the mule of the Jews, suddenly became a sheikh, mufti, and an Islamic preacher, warning the people and preaching in defense of Islam, claiming that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam,” he said.
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