November 16, 2015 by Stephen Bentley
Pray For Paris and the ISIS Vision of the Apocalypse
ISIS are not Psychopaths
In my last post here “Pray For Paris” , I wrote – “Imagine a scene, if it were ever possible, where an ISIS fanatic was invited to unarmed combat in a room to take on say a US Navy Seal or a British SAS member. My money then would be on the fanatic being revealed as a coward too!”
It appears that is not going to happen. I read with great interest this article in the Atlantic Magazine titled, “What ISIS Really Wants.” I recommend it wholeheartedly as both an informative and well-written piece.
The sub-heading reads as follows – “The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.”
Many find it so easy to label ISIS as psychopaths, terrorists and criminals – myself included. My thinking has radically been transformed since reading this article.
“End of Days”
The scenario of unarmed combat I asked my readers to imagine will surely be a flight of fancy as it appears clear that ISIS is determined to bring about an apocalypse or “end of days.” According to their beliefs, they appear to imagine the battles leading to the “end of days” as combat on horseback and using mediaeval weaponry. According to my belief, I doubt that will ever happen. If there is to be a “final battle” between the forces of ISIS and, in all probability, a U.S.-led coalition, then it will use 21st Century weaponry. I can envisage only one winner in that conflict.
The article says about ISIS, “We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.”
I have great difficulty as a Christian understanding these views. If we accept ISIS and its members as holding “religious views” then I wish it could be explained to me how being “religious” is compatible with rejecting peace as a matter of principle; being hungry for genocide and a harbinger, and headline player, in the “imminent end of the world.”
As I wrote in the last post, all these ISIS beliefs are contrary to all the teachings of the great religions of the world Christianity, Buddhism and so I was led to believe, Islam.
It isn’t surprising that I have great difficulty comprehending what makes ISIS tick. This is a further quote from the Atlantic article, “Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. ‘We have not defeated the idea,’ he said. ‘We do not even understand the idea.‘”
There can’t be much argument with the proposition that ISIS is the biggest threat to world peace today. So it’s about time our leaders (the free western world governments) got to grips with “figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal.” The sooner we understand what it is, then the easier it becomes to bring about its downfall. How do you tackle a problem if you don’t know what the problem is? Fairly basic really!
Third World War Prophecies
It is such a threat to world peace that I can’t fail to notice links to ISIS and prophecies of a third world war. There are even web sites devoted to the “end of time.” I have also seen links to prophecies of Our Lady.
Meanwhile, in the immediate aftermath of the Paris terrorist atrocities France launched air strikes on Raqqa, the de facto capital of the ISIS’ “caliphate.”
The “massive” raid was launched from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan and was carried out in coordination with U.S. forces.
Raqqa is where the ISIS command and control center lays and its training camps. No doubt such strikes will result in some innocent casualties such as children of the foreign fighters who have chosen to go to Syria and join ISIS. If that is the case, then I do hope that the left wing whingers stay quiet. No one in their right mind wishes to witness scenes of dead children being pulled from the rubble. But if the liberal left hold sway then it plays into the arms of the likes of ISIS. They will despise weakness as many of the enemies of the west do. They see western ways as corrupt and the lack of appetite for a fight as a soft underbelly to be preyed upon.
Appeasement simply does not work. That was drummed into my generation by our parents with an oft-quoted reference to Chamberlain in 1938 and him waving that piece of paper proclaiming “Peace in our Time”. Shortly after we were at war with Nazi Germany.
I am not an advocate of war or blood-letting. I am simply saying taking no action against ISIS is not an option.
I much prefer to offer a simple prayer not just for Paris, but for all mankind, in that a peaceful solution is found to this latest world crisis. I fear the solution will be neither peaceful or speedy. However, there is no harm in offering our prayers.
To those of you who read this post and trot out the old mantra of “it’s religion that causes all these wars”, then let me offer this: it is men and their corrupted values who cause wars. My God is a God of Peace.
With that, I offer you this prayer –
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