Is IS Islam?

By Dr Jan Best de Vries:

IS terrorists

IS terrorists

Now and then a bewildered Muslim in West Asia appears on Dutch TV saying “IS is not Islam”. It is a statement like “Adolf Hitler who murdered six millions Jews could not be a member of the Roman Catholic Church”. But he was. From my country, which is strongly islamized, many Sunni jihadists travel via Turkey for destination Syria and Iraq to fight with IS against other infidels like me, such as the Shiites (for example Mr. Assad), Jews, Christians of all kinds, Sunni Kurds, Zoroastrian Kurds (Yezidis) and whomever else they meet but don’t like. They most hate Kurdish Peshmergas, because these resist….

“Dutch jihadists” (as they are already cowardly called on our TV) have been taught do so by some Sunni imams in mosques in Holland, who don’t come, as in the Islamic state Turkey, under the supervision of the Dutch government, since our constitution guarantees freedom of religion. It would be a comfortable idea if an extra sentence was added to this article of our constitution stating “with the exception of religions which practise an ideological belief in murder”. Now Islamic opponents of IS prefer to speak about it as “political Islam”, but I can’t see why, perhaps out of politeness or fear that they may have to delve into the origin of Islam?

Islam originated as a religion in the Arabian Peninsula inhabited by a conglomerate of Arab tribes wanting to conquer the outside world and so they did (and still do). Interested in the history of Media (present-day Kurdistan) and Persia (present-day Iran), I am astonished that, notwithstanding religious Arab beheadings, hangings, stonings, burnings, rapes and thefts from the seventh century onwards, the present populations of Kurdistan and Iran succeeded in still preserving their Zoroastrian springtime feast Nowruz/Newruz. Unfortunately Kurds and Persians seem, with the exception of their languages, for the rest to have forgotten their Indo-European roots….

The most interesting thing about IS is that, just as Nazism ultimately was based on the crusades of Catholicism, it is nothing more, but also nothing less, than a sheer revival, a renaissance, of the original Islam in the ways it was introduced into and spread by the Arabs over West Asia and a great deal more of the world (Africa, India, Indonesia and nowadays Europe). By the way, my friends in Holland are all secular Kurds and Persians; they were exiled by Islamic regimes from their countries where they were born. Unlike too many children in West Asia, their children can be happy…, for the time being….

Dr. Jan Best de Vries is an archaeologist and historian, decipherer of the so-called Byblos Script from Aleppo and Alalakh (‘How to Decipher the Byblos Script’, Aspekt Publishers 2014, ISBN978-946-153-420-0) 

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