RECOMMENDED READING: “Islamic State And Islamist Politics In The UK: Why ‘Not In My Name’ Is Not Enough


UK analyst Dave Rich has published a thoughtful analysis arguing that the response to ISIS by UK Islamist groups is not only insufficient but fails to challenge the core ideas of the related Islamist political culture in the UK. As the summary of the article states:

Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust argues that while IS has the support of only small minorities amongst Muslim populations in the Middle East and Europe, it has a clear political genealogy that builds on a history of Islamist politics and jihadist violence. The ‘not in my name’ response to IS from Muslim organisations is necessary and genuine, but it fails to directly and openly challenge the Islamist political culture of which IS is the latest and most extreme manifestation, and which – in the form of the idealisation of jihad and the utopian vision of a Caliphate as a system of government – put down deep roots in the UK during the 1990s.

The article itself begins:

In the Summer of 2014, when Islamic State (IS) forces conquered the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the jihadist fighters faced the question of what to do with about 1,500 prisoners who were left in the city’s Badoush prison when its guards had fled the day before. Their solution was to put the prisoners on trucks and drive them out of town before systematically separating the Sunni prisoners from the others, who were mostly Shia Muslims but included a small number of Kurdish and Yazidi prisoners. These mostly Shia men, numbering approximately 670 or so, were then lined up on the edge of a ravine and shot in the head, one by one.

As IS pushed north from Mosul to capture Yazidi villages on the approaches to Mount Sinjar, they dealt with the Yazidis who fell under their control in a similarly systematic way. First, men and women were separated. All Yazidi men over the age of puberty were taken from their villages into the countryside and machine gunned en masse. The women were then separated by age: elderly women were also shot, and the rest – women and girls – were kept captive as sex slaves for IS’s paedophiles and rapists. The mass graves from some of these killings are now being unearthed following the Kurdish liberation of Sinjar.

I normally abhor historical comparisons to World War Two and political comparisons with the Nazis, but in this specific case I will make an exception: this systematic selection, separation and mass murder of Shia Muslims, Yazidis and other minorities is reminiscent of the Einstazgruppen, the mobile killing units which followed the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 and shot to death over a million Jews in Nazi-conquered territory over the following two years.”

Read the rest here.

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