ISIS Is An Apocalyptic Cult, Learn How And What That Means


(RNS) Many experts agree that terrorists in the group that calls itself the Islamic State believe they are waging an end-times battle against the West, and the Nov. 13 Paris attacks are just the latest chapter. What is the theological background of the group’s thinking, and why is it such an effective recruiting tool? Does its apocalyptic vision have roots in traditional Islam?  How how can the West stop it?


A: It’s a belief that the world will end or be renewed, usually with catastrophic events or battles pitting the forces of good against evil. Apocalyptic views are found in Judaism, and Islam, while communism and Nazism are sometimes cited as secular examples.


A: Apocalyptic believers desperately want to cleanse what they see as a corrupt and sinful world. While they are not all violent, the more imminent the apocalypse is believed to be, the more potential for destructive actions, says Richard Landes, the former head of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University. “Apocalyptic thought is unbelievably disruptive,” he says. The title of Robert Jay Lifton’s book about the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo, which hoped to provoke Armageddon with a 1995 nerve gas attack on a Tokyo subway, was: “Destroying the World to Save it.”


A: The hadith — the Prophet Muhammad’s sayings as recounted by others — includes accounts of a final reckoning and a struggle between the forces of al-Dajjal, the Great Deceiver, and the Mahdi, a Muslim messiah (which in some interpretations is Jesus). The Quran itself does not mention these messianic figures but does emphasize a final reckoning between the righteous and the wicked.


A: Imam Sayyid M. Syeed of the Islamic Society of North America says Muhammad warned of the prospect of cataclysmic events, not because they would necessarily happen, but “for us to reform our society and make sure we don’t allow them to happen.” But many extreme jihadists believe they are in the midst of an apocalyptic struggle against Christians and Jews. And Landes says this view has been gaining ground, first among Shiite after the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, and spreading to Sunni Muslims with the Palestinian intifadas and the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.


A: Its name, for one. The “Islamic State” refers to the caliphate, a Muslim state headed by a kinglike caliph, which is what the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, calls himself. It has a magazine called Dabbiq, also the name of a northern Syrian town where one controversial hadith places the end-times battle.


William McCants, a Brookings Institution scholar and author of The Apocalypse: The History, Strategy and Doomsday Vision of  the Islamic State, says the group’s end-times fixation distinguishes it from other groups, including al-Qaida, and is key to its relative success.


“They stir messianic fervor rather than suppress it,” McCants writes of ISIS. “They want ’s kingdom now rather than later. This is not Bin Laden’s jihad.”


Worse, he says, is that other groups, eyeing ISIS’ successes, may adopt their end-times focus. “My worry is we are in for some pretty dark days ahead.”


A: Many young people facing what they feel are dead-end lives find the idea of restoring Islam to its past glories irresistible. McCants has also said the lure of sex cannot be ruled out — ISIS promises young who join its army concubines and wives. The power struggles in Syria, Egypt and other places in the Middle East may also be interpreted as the prophesied backdrop of Islam’s end-times scenario.



Related Articles

How to Return to Our Apostolic Roots

The church was birth out of the work of the Apostles documented in the book of Acts. It is clear from the book of Acts that God started ONE church, however, throughout history different churches came out of this one church having their own interpretations of the scriptures, for example you have Pentecostal, New Testament, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Jehovah Witnesses, amongst others. To make matters worst, the true church has lost its roots. Have the true church lost its purpose? Where is the true church? How did the Apostles Operate? how can we return to our Apostolic Roots?

Heaven or Hell: Which will you choose?

We are living in a society where men’s heart has become desperately wicked, a time when men have forgotten about God and choose to live anyway they please without thinking about the consequences of their actions, but what did the Bible say about this? Is this the way man was created to live, to live without God?

The new Homosexual Bible- The Queen James Bible

I have came to the realization, for some time now, that when men wants to support their lifestyle they will try to change anything that goes against this, including the infallible Word of God, the Bible which should not be altered. Throughout history where the bible has speak against certain sins men with power and money (the love of which is the root of all evil and by which many has pierce their souls with many sorrows) in order to support their abominable and sinful acts sought to write THEIR OWN interpretations of the HOLY SCRIPTURES. The new Queen James Bible which is a new edition to the King James Bible is one of such interpretation written to support their Homosexual practice.