Rotting from Within

November 28, 2015

By any measure, we are losing the war against ISIS and radical Islam. A bigger problem is we do not yet realize we are losing or why. Their legions are growing, their ambitions are apocalyptic, and our resolve is as strong as silly putty.
Without question, our military is superior to any other on earth and we could inflict devastating damage to ISIS if we unleashed our military forces against them. But we are not going to do that—not today, not next month and not after the next atrocity strikes Cleveland, Phoenix or Richmond.
We have a President and his designated replacement-in-waiting who think “climate change” is a greater threat than Islamists with nuclear weapons, and that the way to defeat squads of suicide bombers is to welcome their brothers, sisters and cousins as our neighbors and give them the right to vote.

But we have a deeper problem than our commander in chief being AWOL. If you ask yourself how he can get away with never uttering the words “radical Islam,” then you might begin uncovering the deeper problem: Obama is not alone in willfully avoiding the truth about an enemy sworn to our destruction. He has many accomplices and coconspirators.

If we are honest we must face a very dark and sobering fact: The outcome of this war is far from certain. We are proud of being a nation of can-do optimists, but we are also a nation in denial about a culture in a tailspin.
The real enemy is not “over there” in Syria and Iraq, or in Paris or London. The enemy is already here in our homeland, and I am not speaking of terrorist cells, Syrian refugees, or radical imams. I am speaking of the accelerating rot in our own culture.

Our secular culture is adrift in a sea of relativism, escapism, and self-indulgent inanities, with our media and entertainment elites leading the parade.
“Where were you, Daddy, when we were waging the war on terror?” Oh, well, I was watching reality TV. On TV, the good guys always defeat the bad guys. And I can always change the channel.

In this besotted condition, we are ill equipped to fight an enemy full of passion, idealism and self-confidence. Islamist suicide bombers believe they are dying for a higher purpose, the greater glory of Allah. What, exactly, are our ideals? The freedom to enjoy pornography and polygamy and 24-hour pizza delivery?
The war with ISIS and its Islamist allies is what historian Samuel P. Huntington called a “clash of civilizations” in a book by that title in 1996.

Tocqueville warned us 200 years ago that we would never be defeated by an invader, but we could abandon liberty by adopting a “soft tyranny” of democratic corruption.

The early 20th century economist Joseph Schumpeter gave a similar warning about the inevitable corruption of morals that comes with capitalism’s triumph. If everything is permitted in an open marketplace, higher values will be replaced by cheaper ones— and there is no principle within pure capitalism to halt that cultural degeneration.

Then in our generation, along comes “multiculturalism” to teach that there are no superior cultures, only different ones. Witchcraft is as much a legitimate personal religion as Christianity or Buddhism if that is what turns you on, and polygamy is just another “lifestyle” with its own cable TV channel.
The great Russian novelist Alexandr Solzhenitsyn saw this deepening hollowness in the West as a global development spanning five centuries, with Soviet Communism only a symptom of lost souls. In his Templeton Lecture in 1983, long before the rise of radical Islam, he warned:
It has become embarrassing to state that evil makes its home in the individual human heart before it enters a political system. Yet it is not considered shameful to make dally concessions to an integral evil. Judging by the continuing landslide of concessions made before the eyes of our very own generation, the West is ineluctably slipping toward the abyss.
ISIS and radical Islam have declared war on us not because of anything we have done—not because we are a friend to Israel and not because we have not yet toppled the bloody Syrian dictator Assad. ISIS and radical Islamists hate us for who we are. The irony is, we ourselves do not know who we are.
The Chinese philosopher Sun Tsu said it best in The Art of War:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
ISIS hates the West as an abominable nest of infidels, infidels who reject the Quran and Shariah Law, and so must be annihilated. We are the obstacle to the new Caliphate. OKAY— got it: We stand against the Caliphate. But what do we stand for? What is our alternative ideal to the Islamist ideal? Those happy optimists who think this is a largely academic question should consider the generational dimension to cultural identities and dissatisfactions.
While radical Islam may indeed hold little attraction for the large majority of Muslim immigrants and refugees now relocating in Europe and America, it will be different matter for thousands of their children. The mastermind behind the Paris terror attack was the son of successful, fully assimilated Moroccan immigrants.

A growing number of reliable public opinion polls of Muslim populations (Pew, Gallup, Rasmussen, among others) reveal that 13% to 32% of Muslims have a positive view of ISIS — as do 17% of Syrian refugees.

So, it is both reasonable and prudent to ask ourselves — what percentage of the children of several million Muslim migrants will choose the values of our ascendant secular hedonism over the allure of “true Islam”? One percent of two million is 20,000 potential jihadists.
Radical Islam’s principles are out there for all to see if they open their eyes. But what are our principles? In truth, they are up for grabs.

-Tom

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What Comes Next?

November 27, 2015

What Comes After Thanksgiving?
Thursday brings another Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving begins the end of another year. The United States will collectively pause over turkey and stuffing to ponder the good things in life, and many of us will give thanks to God. And it is always good to give thanks to God (1 Thessalonians 5:18). After all, he “gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25).
The holiday presents itself as a fitting resolution to the year’s highs and lows, joys and sorrows, successes and failures. It’s timed perfectly to allow for restful reflection before the generally happy chaos of Christmas. But what if Thanksgiving was meant to be a beginning, and not just another over-fed ending?
Thanksgiving isn’t ever the end in the Christian life because gratitude cannot bear the weight of that responsibility. Gratitude is good — and a means to something greater. It’s meant to fuel our faith in God and deepen our love for God, the Giver. Gratitude does look back, but it’s only a matter of time before it has the Christian looking forward. John Piper says,
The Bible rarely, if ever, motivates Christian living with gratitude. Yet this is almost universally presented in the church as the “driving force in authentic Christian living.” I agree that gratitude is a beautiful and utterly indispensible Christian affection. No one is saved who doesn’t have it. But you will search the Bible in vain for explicit connections between gratitude and obedience. (Future Grace, 3)

God means for our appreciation for all he has done to propel us to believe in all that he will do, and to live more fully for his glory as your greatest treasure. It’s the whole shape of the Christian heart and life. God does not bless you simply so that you’ll be filled with thanks and give him recognition, but so that you’ll be filled with faith and joy in him.
Receiving Is Believing
One great danger in gratitude is our temptation to thank God and then attempt to pay him back. Piper writes elsewhere,
First, it is impossible to pay God back for all the grace he has given us. We can’t even begin to pay him back. . . . Second, even if we succeeded in paying him back for all his grace to us, we would only succeed in turning grace into a business transaction. If we can pay him back, it was not grace. (Godward Life, 36)

What does Thanksgiving do to shape your view of God’s grace? As you look back, remember that every single thing you’ve received is another undeserved gift from the well of God’s mercy toward you (James 1:17). Have thoughts of entitlement or familiarity or indifference crept in to diminish or color your gratitude? If we knew how much we have sinned against God, and how little we deserved from him, and how much good he has lavished on us — from the smallest, least memorable provisions to the largest, unforgettable answered prayers — we would thank him differently.
And as you look forward — and you should on Thanksgiving — remember that any good that lies ahead rests entirely on that same grace. You will not deserve anything you receive in the next year anymore than you ever have. Nothing you will do next year will make you any more saved. You cannot meet any of God’s needs, because he has none (Acts 17:24–25). Our gratitude should inspire us to move forward in throwing ourselves more fully on his grace, rather than to try and rebuild or repay on our own what he’s already freely given us. Receiving is believing, not achieving.
Better Than All His Gifts
Faith in God for the future is not enough, though. Many of Thanksgiving celebrations will express real, genuine gratitude on Thursday, and yet will be horrifically offensive to God. Why? Because the gratitude has nothing to do with God at all. Even when it’s offered to him — often in some trite, ambiguous, once-a-year way — it has little, if any, regard for him beyond his gifts. No affection, and no allegiance.
Piper writes, “God is not glorified if the foundation of our gratitude is the worth of the gift and not the excellency of the Giver. If gratitude is not rooted in the beauty of God before the gift, it is probably disguised idolatry” (Godward Life, 214). He goes on to say that appreciation without devotion treats God “like a tool or a machine to produce the things I really love.”
As you give thanks, ask where your deepest affection and appreciation lie. Is it with God himself? Is he the greatest gift you received in the past year? Or is it with your family — your spouse, or children, or children’s children? Or is it your career — the one you have, the one you want, or the one you had? Or is it comfort — the size of your bank account, or the condition of your home, or the technology in your pocket? God gives us a lot of good things laced (because of our sinful hearts) with a poisonous potential to become gods.
With our gratitude, let’s keep the gifts as gifts, and God as God. Be specific with your gratitude —child, home, food, and phone — but also be personal. Follow every gift back to God himself, and let it be a reason to fall further in love with the Giver.
Plead for More (of Him)
This Thanksgiving, see your gratitude to God through to greater faith in him and greater love for him. We’re prone to a wait-and-see kind of gratitude, instead of a see-and-believe kind. Instead, receive God’s grace and plead for more — more of his grace, and more of him.
Here’s one biblical pattern for gratitude that pleases God: “What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord” (Psalm 116:12–13). Ask him for more. He’s the kind of Father who loves to give good gifts to his kids (Luke 11:13), and he always knows exactly what you need (Matthew 6:32–33). He created the universe and governs your life “to show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward [you] in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).
Let your gratitude to God this Thanksgiving be just a window into the storehouses of all he’s offered you through Christ. And let this be an occasion to lift your eyes in faith above every gift to your all-satisfying, never-failing Father in heaven.

Marshall Segal (@MarshallSegal) is executive assistant to John Piper and associate editor at desiringGod.org. He graduated from Bethlehem College & Seminary and is editor of Killjoys: The Seven Deadly Sins. He and his wife Faye live in Minneapolis.

Giving Thanks

November 26, 2015

Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. Since the first days of the United States, the nation has regularly celebrated God’s many blessings on our great nation. President George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789, ordering that November 26 be set aside as a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer” to acknowledge God’s blessings on the newly-formed federal republic. President Washington’s proclamation (reproduced below) is eloquent and understated, and makes clear that he views the American Constitution as one of the blessings. He thanks God for “the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted,” along with “the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed” and “wise, just, and constitutional laws” that are “discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed.” Such thanks are no less appropriate today. The American Constitution, though often misinterpreted and inconsistently applied, has been largely successful at keeping tyranny at bay. Constant vigilance has kept our civil and religious liberties largely intact. The Constitution provided the mechanism for passing the Reconstruction Amendments, which set the legal foundations of racial equality in the wake of the Civil War. Faithful implementation of these amendments’ original meaning took nearly a century of additional work, but it eventually happened. Justice Scalia attributes the long-running success of the American Constitution to the structural separation of powers, with horizontal distribution of authority among the separate branches and vertical distribution between the States and the federal government. Without separation of powers, the Bill of Rights – which is important for plenty of other reasons – would have been honored mainly in the breach. And so this Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks for all of our blessings, including the Constitution that has protected generations of republican democracy. Here’s the text of President Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation: [New York, 3 October 1789] By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation. Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.” Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us. [A]nd also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best. Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. Go: Washington
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/427675/giving-thanks-constitution?QkGZhdUACjgCRwFc_01=

It’s On!

November 24, 2015

WWIII is upon us. 

The threat of freedom is real.
Our livelihoods are at stake.
Take up your arms. Be ready to fight. 

Get right with Jesus. 

Persecution Continues

November 20, 2015

Amid Washington’s raging debate over refugees and religion, more than two dozen Iraqi Christians who crossed into the U.S. from Mexico in hopes of joining their friends and families are being deported after their bids for religious asylum were rejected.
A total of 27 Chaldean Christians, driven from their homeland by Al Qaeda and ISIS, entered the country in April and May, hoping to join the thriving Iraqi Christian community in and around San Diego. But the door to America is being slammed on the 17 men and 10 women over what their supporters say are technicalities.
“These are families who were split up because of religious persecution, and now the government – which we love – is preventing them from being reunited,” said Fr. Michael Bazzi, of St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Cathedral, in El Cajon. “We wonder why, for thousands of Muslims, the door is open to America, yet Christians are not allowed to come.”

The Chaldeans are among tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of Christians from Iraq and Syria who have been displaced by fighting and persecuted by Al Qaeda, ISIS and even the Iraqi government. But because some had first gone to Germany before making their way to the border, and in some cases were deemed to not have been forthcoming about it on their applications for religious asylum, they were held at the Otay Detention Center in San Diego since entering the U.S. while their applications were considered.  So far, 22 have been ordered out of the U.S. and the other five are awaiting a likely similar ruling.
“We will continue to seek to remove the ones who have been ordered removed,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lauren Mack told FoxNews.com.
Not all of those marked for deportation have been sent out of the country yet, and where they will go is not even clear.  As part of any removal operation, ICE must obtain a travel document for the individual they are removing.  Officials say the process can cause delays, sometimes for a very long time. If the country named on an immigration judge’s removal order refuses to accept the individual back, ICE must continue the process, while seeking to find another “safe country.”

San Diego is home to one of the largest Chaldean populations in the country and several of the 27 were seeking reunification with other family members willing to take them in.
Their supporters say that holding the Iraqi Chaldeans responsible for mistakes made navigating the U.S. immigration bureaucracy is unjust given that the U.S, is currently considering fast-tracking the resettlement of 10,000 mostly Muslim refugees from Syria.
In September, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) introduced the Refugee Resettlement Oversight and Security Act. If enacted, it would help to mandate priority migration of victimized religious factions. But for the Chaldeans awaiting deportation or already deported, it may all be too little, too late.

President Obama has objected to prioritizing Christians or other religious minorities over Muslims amid the current refugee wave, sparking a major debate with critics. Republicans and Christian leaders say persecuted religions should be afforded extra protection, while some in the GOP also say Islamic terrorists could hide among legitimate Muslim refugees from the Middle East.  
“If the particular security threat you are concerned about is jihadist terror, there are no Christian jihadist terrorists,” Andrew McCarthy, the former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, told FoxNews.com. “But for the purpose of asylum analysis, the question is likelihood of persecution. There is no question that Christians face more persecution in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East than Muslims do. We should acknowledge that Christians are being subjected to genocide and take steps to protect them.”
Although one of the most ancient civilizations in the world, Iraq’s Christian population has fallen from around 1.5 million in 2003 to far below 200,000 now in what many scholars condemn as tantamount to genocide.
-Foxnews Hollie

Quote 

November 18, 2015

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

“In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.”
“You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.”
“I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” [upon learning of the success of the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor]

Quote

November 17, 2015

“The righteous person lives for the next generation” Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Older folks must live not for what makes them comfortable but for what makes them a positive influence on the generation that follows them.

To Children

November 16, 2015

Christian parents are called to help their children to think about, interact with, and evaluate current issues from a biblical perspective. Cultivating a Christian worldview is one of the main components of child training.
Over the last couple of years, as ISIS has been increasingly in the news, we have had a number discussions as a family about what has been happening. Our 6 children range from 4 to 20, so there needs to be thoughtful care given to the details of our discussion. However, it is quite near impossible to tame down the atrocities of ISIS to a general audience.

Our children became quite concerned—and with good reason. The barbaric beheadings speak of ancient tribal savagery rather than modern military battles. Most of the conflicts they have heard of have involved airplanes, ships, and soldiers. Now these guys come along with a fearlessness that is only matched by their thirst for blood. Of course our kids are concerned—we are concerned.
In talking with one of my children who admitted her concern, even fear about them taking over America and the world, I gave her the following advice.
1. ISIS is a group of very evil and bad people. They don’t love God or want to honor him. This is why they are doing these things (Col. 1:21; Titus 3:3). Remember that this is what comes out of an unbelieving heart. All of us have sinful hearts and need to turn to and trust Jesus (Eph. 2:1-3). Not all of us do the same wicked things as ISIS but we all need a Savior, we are all suffering from the same problem: sin.
2. The world has a lot of bad guys in it who love to do sinful things for the same reason (John 3:19-20). Even in America, there are horrible, unspeakable things happening every day (murder, abortion, abuse, etc.). This is because we live in a fallen, broken world (Rom. 1:18-25, cf. #1).
3. This type of thing has been going on throughout history, and even throughout your young life. There have been lots of bad guys and terrorists doing evil things since even before you were a baby.
4. Our security does not ultimately come from America or even our ability to protect ourselves, but from God (Ps. 20:7, Ps. 121:2).
5. God has given you a Daddy to protect you and I will do it with all of my strength and resolve.
6. The Bible tells us to pray for our leaders and all of those given charge over us that we may lead quiet peaceable lives (1 Tim. 2:1-4). Let’s pray for our president and military commanders and thank God that we have those who serve in this way.
7. Pray that God would save some members of this terrorist group. Remember the Apostle Paul, he was basically a terrorist, like ISIS, who killed Christians. God saved him and used him very powerfully for the gospel.
8. Pray for the Christians being persecuted. Pray that they would be comforted by the Holy Spirit and that they would be faithful, even if it means unto death.
9. Remember that Jesus is coming back again. He will punish all evil and set up his kingdom and reign forever. He will make all things new and there will be no more tears, suffering or death. There will be no more bad guys there (Rev. 21:1-5).
10. Jesus told us to pray that God’s name would be honored, his kingdom would come, his will would be done (Mt. 6:9-13). Let’s pray for this with confidence and anticipation because we know this day is coming. Maybe even soon!
-Erik Raymond

Quote of the Day

November 16, 2015

“If you’re not a liberal at 20, you have no heart; if you’re not a conservative at 40, you have no brain.” – Winston Churchill

Understanding the Enemy

November 14, 2015

Islamic State claimed responsibility today for a series of attacks in Paris yesterday that killed 127 people. In a statement the group said the purpose of the killings was, “To teach France, and all nations following its path, that they will remain at the top of Islamic State’s list of targets, and that the smell of death won’t leave their noses as long as they partake in their crusader campaign.” 
Here are nine things you should know about this Islamic terrorist group. 
1. Islamic State is the current name of an Islamic militant group that was established in Iraq in 2004 and pledged allegiance to “Al-Qaeda in Iraq.” They later broke away from Al-Qaeda because of differences in doctrine and objectives and formed a distinct organization. From late 2006 to mid 2013, the group called itself the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). From 2013 to mid 2014, when they expanded into Syria, they called themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). (Most Western media translate “Levant” as “Syria,” hence ISIS.) Since 2014, they have expanded their ambitions to be a global organization and today simply refer to themselves as “Islamic State.”
2. The stated long-term goal of Islamic State is to establish a “caliphate” to rule over the entire Muslim world, under a single leader and in line with Sharia (Islamic law). A caliphate is a form of Islamic government led by a caliph, a person considered a political and religious successor to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.
3. The religious-political ideology of Islamic State is Salafi-jihadism (sometimes referred to simply as “jihadism”), a distinct strand of militant Sunni Islamism. Salafi-jihadist groups like Islamic State emphasize the importance of returning to a “pure” Islam, that of the Salaf, the pious ancestors. Such groups also maintain that violent jihad is a personal religious duty of all Muslim believers. Former Islamic State leader Abu ‘Umar al-Baghdadi once emphasized the importance of “offensive jihad,” which he defined as “going after the apostate unbelievers by attacking [them] in their home territory, in order to make God’s word most high and until there is no persecution.” (Under their doctrine, “persecution” is understood to mean idolatry.)
4. The most prominent elements of Islamic State’s religious-political doctrine require that: all Muslims must associate exclusively with fellow “true” Muslims and dissociate from anyone not fitting this narrow definition; failure to rule in accordance with God’s law constitutes unbelief; fighting the Islamic State is tantamount to apostasy; all Shi‘a Muslims are apostates deserving of death; and the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are traitors against Islam because they compromise with the non-caliphate political process (e.g., democracy).
5. The focus on personal jihad makes Salafi-jihadist groups like Islamic State considerably different that most terrorist groups throughout history. For example, in the 1970s, most Marxist and pan-Arabic terrorist groups killed people or committed other acts of terrorism in order to bring attention to their cause. For Salafi-jihadists, though, killing large number of “apostates” is itself a worthy religious objective.
6. Islamic State enshrines a theology of rape that justifies the practice of sexual slavery. Islamic State publishes a glossy propaganda magazine called Dabiq. In the October 2014 issue, IS included an article titled “The Revival Of Slavery Before The Hour,” which explains the justification for sex slavery. In Islamic terminology the “hour” refers to the Day of Judgment, a time of reckoning either for an individual upon death or on mankind. According the article, Islamic State asked its own sharia scholars to render a verdict on whether the Yazidis (a religious minority group in Iraq) could be enslaved. They determined that “enslavement of the apostate women” was not only justified by the Quran but was a sign prefiguring the Day of Judgment.
7. Islamic State condones the rape of young girls. Last fall the Research and Fatwa Department of the Islamic State (ISIS) released a pamphlet on the topic of female captives and slaves:
“Question 13: Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female slave who has not reached puberty?
“It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse; however if she is not fit for intercourse, then it is enough to enjoy her without intercourse.”
8. Islamic State’s theology of rape also serves as recruiting tool. As the New York Times has noted, the practice of slavery has become an established recruiting tool to lure men from deeply conservative Muslim societies, where casual sex is taboo and dating is forbidden. Capturing sex slaves has become nearly as important for Islamic State’s objectives as capturing territory.
9. The Islamic State has ordered that all able Muslims around the world must emigrate to the territory under its control. As the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, stated in an audio address in 2014:: “O Muslims in all places. Whoso is able to emigrate to the Islamic State, let him emigrate. For emigration to the Abode of Islam is obligatory.”

-TGC