Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How much ground has ISIS won in Syria? This picture puts it in perspective

Fox News reporter Doug Luzader (@DougLuzader , @foxandfriends) asked the following question this morning, and answered it with the photo

How much ground has #ISIS won in Syria/Iraq? This pic puts it in perspective.


Who is ISIS? What do they want? How did this happen? I'd striven to show in a previous article (Has the Assyrian Empire just revived?) that the chaos in that region of the world has been in open rebellion since Genesis 10. The world's first tyrant, Nimrod, built Babylon (Baghdad) and Nineveh (Mosul) and many other cities and led the world's first global religious rebellion. We see by today's news that nothing has changed.

Though we can overlay the veneer of civilization upon the region, it is still an evil place. Though we can militarily quell rebellions there for a time, such efforts are just a sham. Babylon is host to the greatest evil the world ever has known or will ever know. In the times ahead it is prophesied to get worse. Here are some facts.

ISIS stands for ISIS stands for The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Who is ISIS?

ISIS used to be al-qaeda in Iraq

The NY Times reported yesterday,
Having occupied crucial sections of Syria over the past year and more recently seizing vast areas of Iraq, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria controls territory greater than many countries and now rivals Al Qaeda as the world’s most powerful jihadist group.
Islam is divided into two main groups, or sects: Shia and Sunni. Sunnis comprise by far the larger portion of Muslims in the world, approximately 80%. Shias are the more conservative, severe bunch, and comprise about 20% of all Islam. In Iraq however, those percentages are reversed. Iraq's Muslim population is mostly Shia, and in that nation, Sunnis are the fewer.

In Iraq, Sunnis have felt marginalized and sympathy for the cause has been running high. Hatred between the two sects in Iraq is always a bloody undercurrent. The democratically elected Maliki promised better relations and when that didn't happen, Sunni ire rose.

In Islam, Sunnis and Shias differ in their belief on who is the true descendant of Muhammad. There was a conflict over who was to succeed Muhammad after his death. The conflict was never resolved, and out of that conflict came the Sunni and the Shia sects. Another split between the two branches of Islam is their end time belief on how or what to do to incite the return of the last Mahdi, the twelfth Imam who will bring justice to the world through Sharia Law globally.

The Jewish Virtual Library explains the origin of the caliphate:
In the end, however, Muhammad's father-in-law, Abu Bakr, was named the khalifa or "Successor" of Muhammad. A new religion and a new circumstance had formed a new, untried political formation: the caliphate. The Patriarchal Caliphs  The earliest caliphs were relatives and followers of Muhammad himself. Under these four caliphs, the political, social, and religious institutions of Islam would be solidified, including the definitive edition of the Qur'an. The world of Islam would expand far beyond the borders of the Arabian peninsula during their tenure—east into the Persian empire, north into Byzantine territory, and west across the face of northern Africa.& Because of their foundational status and the fact that they were direct followers of Muhammad, these first four caliphs are called the patriarchs or patriarchal caliphs of Islam. For many Muslims, this was the golden age of Islamic government when a true Islamic polity was in existence; from some Muslims, such as Shi'ite Muslims, this was the only period when there was legitimate Islamic government. In this view, the founding of the Umayyad dynasty ushered in more than a millennium of illegitimate government.
In looking at history's great empires,especially through a biblical lens, we often focus on the Persians, Assyrians, the Egyptians, Medes, Greeks, and Romans. But we often forget the Ottomans. The Muslim Ottoman Empire was in existence from 1299 to 1923 and held vast territories.

Map of the Abbasid Caliphate at its greatest extent, 750-1258.
You notice the red line of demarcation extends across the northern tier of Africa. These lands are part of the coming embroilment in the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog war.

For now, though, Africa is included as a high priority for the US Military in identifying where the next threats are coming from. Just last year,
Marine Corps Col. George Bristol, a trained sniper and martial arts master who for the past year has overseen a U.S. special operations task force in Africa, had a message for his troops before heading off to retirement.  “An evil” has descended on Africa, Bristol said. “It is on us to stomp it out.”  For all the talk of the U.S. military’s pivot to the Pacific, it is Africa and the growing threat posed by Islamic militant groups there that now has the attention of the special operations community. “Africa is not the next ridgeline,” Bristol said in an interview before Wednesday’s ceremony. “It is where the enemy is going now."
The ISIS group wants a caliphate again, a life where "the political, social, and religious institutions of Islam would be solidified, including the definitive edition of the Qur'an".

The Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774 was the beginning of the death knell for the Ottomans, (and caliphates in general) which would see its final demise in 1923. The outcome of the war saw the Turks lose large territories, including those with large Muslim populations such as the Crimean Peninsula to the Christian Russian Empire. You might remember recent news of war in Crimea. President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, abruptly annexed the peninsula. Always remember the history of the Baltics has Islam at its root, and that the Gog Magog battle includes Russia and the Baltics (among others).

At some point, all the nations in these current lands, from the norther tier of Africa, all the way to Turkey and Iran, unite against their perceived common enemy, Israel, and attacks her.
After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. You will advance, coming on like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you. (Ezekiel 38:8-9)
Anyway, in 1924 the Turkish National Assembly decided they wanted a secular state, and dissolved the Caliphate. And it has been dissolved ever since. But not forgotten.

ISIS controls hundreds of square miles where state authority has evaporated. It ignores international borders and has a presence all the way from Syria's Mediterranean coast to south of Baghdad. CNN
You might remember former CNN and Fox News reporter Glenn Beck warning the citizenry that extremists were trying to rebuild the caliphate. He bucked the trend and reported on this during the times when the politically correct mantra was "Islam is a peaceful religion."

Here is an excerpt from today at Beck's website, The Blaze:
Three years ago, Glenn Beck was relentlessly mocked for saying that Islamists in the Middle East are trying to rebuild the caliphate — the government implemented after the death of the prophet Muhammad that derives its authority from and governs by Shariah law. The idea was called “looney tunes” by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews in 2011, while others in the media said Beck was having “delusional ravings.” What did Beck say on Monday, now that the concept is being seriously discussed by CNN and a senior adviser to the Department of Homeland Security said the return of the caliphate is “inevitable”
ISIS has been a boon to the regions' Kurds.
there's somewhere between 80,000 and 240,000 Kurdish peshmerga (militias) who don't answer to Baghdad. They're well equipped and trained, and represent a serious military threat to ISIS.
Joel Rosenberg has a good article today explaining the prophetic implications of today's news, and also reminds us of another ethnic group involved in this religious war: the Kurds.

With prophetic implications, the Kurds, known as the Medes in the Bible, seize oil-rich region of Iraq. What does it mean?
Could recent developments in Iraq have prophetic implications? Actually, the answer may be yes — especially with regards to the Kurdish people who live in northern Iraq. Let me explain.  As we’ve been seeing in recent weeks, the Radical jihadist forces of the “Islamic State of Iraq & al-Sham” (ISIS) are on the move towards Baghdad. They are leaving a trail of bloodshed and carnage in their wake.  The objective of the ISIS leaders is to topple the Iraqi government, seize control of all of Iraq, establish a jihadist state under Sharia law, and use Iraq to begin a regional — and eventually global — Islamic caliphate, or kingdom.  Now, the Kurdish leaders have taken advantage of the chaos of this moment to seize control of the oil-rich region of Kirkuk for themselves.
Haaretz also has an article today about the Kurds, titled, "Kurdish independence: A dream fraught with danger"
Now, following the seizing of Mosul and other cities by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Kurdish Peshmerga, the fighting force of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), was quick to take military positions in and around the hotly contested city of Kirkuk as Iraqi forces fled. Although without the religious significance of Jerusalem, the disputed Iraqi city of Kirkuk has had a lasting significance for Iraqi Kurds. It is said that the Kurdish attachment to Kirkuk is comparable to the Jewish longing for Jerusalem.
So with all that in mind, please remember that God is the author of all this current history, just as He has been of the history of when Nimrod began his religious wars in Baghdad Babylon. These lands have been and will be in constant turmoil until the day Jesus returns and establishes... not a caliphate under allah, praise the Lord, but a perfectly just society where Jesus Himself rules and reigns. He is the true bringer of peace.


5 comments :

  1. Question:
    Where is it that the ISIS intend on being the actual headquarters of their supposed Caliphate? Have they even said?

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    1. ANonymlous, yes they have said. I can't point you to a specific piece right now, but I read it. MEMRI (Middle East Research Institute) follows the ME and translates white papers, pronouncements and videos. In several of these, they translated ISIS' aims. They have said many times they want to unite Sunnis and institute sharia law. Here is one translation of that pronouncement
      http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/8026.htm

      In addition here is a good backgrounder piece on ISIS from CNN in which it is stated ISIS wants a caliphate.http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/12/world/meast/who-is-the-isis/

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  2. In what role do you see the kurds, biblically? They oppose ISIS with all their might and are the only ground troops defending Kobani as an example. They are the group in the middle east most equal to the jews, hated and persecuted by everyone and without their own state/land. Most of them were followers of Christ until the Arabs brutally forced them to become muslims in 641 BC... When someone is severely persecuted and hated, they usually are really really bad or one of God's favourites or hopeful. Is it possible that they have a positive role and outcome in this, that they have something important deposited in them? Why else would the dark side hate them so much?

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure about the role of the Kurds in prophetic events to come. Joel Rosenberg talks about them in the link I mentioned above:

      http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/with-prophetic-implications-the-kurds-known-as-the-medes-in-the-bible-seize-oil-rich-region-of-iraq/

      Delete