What It Takes To Defeat Islamic State's Ideology


Daniel Koehler is among a handful of people in the West who work with Islamist militants returning from Syria in an effort to reintegrate them into normal life.

A native of Germany, he works with such former fighters and their families in countries across Europe and in North America and has become intimately familiar with the power of jihadist ideologies to attract new recruits.

As the radical Islamic State (IS) has become the world’s most notorious Islamist militant group, he and others in his field have watched it go far beyond what other such groups, including Al-Qaeda, were able to do in gaining followers worldwide.

Koehler notes that all such self-styled jihadist groups recruit new members by arguing that Islam is under attack by evil forces, that the faithful must fight back, and that, by joining the group, recruits will help build a new home for true Muslims.

“But Islamic State is actually fulfilling a lot of this narrative with deeds on the ground,” Koehler says. “They control a vast geographic territory, they really try to appear as a full-functioning, full-fledged state; and that, combined with the core narrative, shows to many who are attracted to Islamic State that they are actually the ones fulfilling all the promises that Al-Qaeda and other Islamist jihadist organizations have never been able to do in the past.”



It’s an extremely interesting article, and I learned a lot. The information regarding IS prophecy is especially intriguing.

Hmmm. I hate to agree with right-wing anti-immigrant groups, but they’re right, the idea of “de-radicalization” strikes me as incredibly naive.

It may be unChristian of me, but I can’t help suspecting that most ISIS fighters are irredeemably lost.

At least, if they’ve participated in rape or murder, I highly doubt some sociologist is going to be cabable of rehabilitating them.:shrug:

If actual known ISIS combatants can pass the vetting process, then Europe and North America are doomed.


It doesn’t seem to me the ideology can ever fully be defeated, because it can’t be removed from Islam itself. Some parts of the Koran, which are supposed to be the words of Allah himself, require violent jihad against the unbelievers until they submit to Islam. Muslims are only excused from it if the enemy is too strong. So any show of strength vis a vis the unbelievers is an encouragement to this particular ideology. The only real defense and the only real way to quell the ideology is for the “unbelievers” to be manifestly too strong to challenge.

Incidentally, that lets the less-than-willing Muslims off the jihadi hook. They can resist exhortations to violent jihad if they can point to overwhelming “unbeliever” strength. They, then, are “ideologically covered” in not engaging in jihad.


I believe a peaceful democratic nation like Israel has set an example of how to deal with terrorism; a strong defense mainly. Israel has had to always deal with terrorism.

Add to this, the ideology really needs to be combated, news broadcast to that part of the world like what was done in the days of the Iron Curtain. It is a war of ideas as well.

Thirdly, there are a number of persons who speak for a, is the correct word, a reformation within Islam itself.



Maybe I’m naive, but I would think how they reintegrate has much more to do with why they went. Disaffected youth, of which there are a number of in the native born native language fluent population. remain disaffected youth. Really they are much like reaching out to gang members i would think, maybe with the added advantage that much of the gang is 1000s of mile away. Adventurists, which are probably a small minority, have probably had their fill for the most part. The hard core Jihadist is probably not coming back or certainly not making him of herself known. I’m sure their are other scenarios I’m not thinking of, but this should make the point.


Prayer, the Mass, fasting, the Rosary.


I wish there was more information about the Muslims who are directly exposed to the hard core groups, and don’t become radicalized.

In terms of the “vetting process”, are officials in Europe and US are looking to screen out those who are already radicalized - are they also trying to identify those at high risk of being radicalized after coming to US or Europe?

My own uninformed opinion is that hard core radicals will find a way to enter the US, at least, if a well organized terror group wants them here. I would tend to err on the side of admitting those who appear to be genuinely seeking asylum.




The Rosary


I agree.


just read from two Israeli news sources

Saudi Grand Mufti says ISIS are ‘Israeli soldiers’

JEWS NEWS goo.gl/vA69ow

ARUTZSHEVA goo.gl/c3yyiU

what do you think?


Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh is a known Mossad plant - part of the Great Jewish World Conspiracy’s scheme to convince everybody that Jew-haters are bonkers.

It is the most successful of our ploys.


I don’t believe him.


A lot of jihadists sincerely believe they are fighting a defensive war. A war against Western decadence. A war they believe they are losing and they are desperate. Hence the atrocities you hear about.


I think ISIS doesn’t look at itself as a desperate defensive force fighting Western decadence. Instead they see themselves the harbinger of the imminent end of the world. They have been trying to setup the right environment so that Jesus will come and lead them to victory over Jerusalem and Istanbul, possibly a world-wide Islamic kingdom that will lead to the final end of the world.

Things that must be in place for this to occur:

  • The caliphate must be restored. They think they have already done this.
  • The town of Dabiq, Syria must be in their hands. They have taken it already.
  • There will be a battle with the ‘army of Rome’ in Dabiq where ‘Rome’ will be defeated after many severe losses on both sides - hasn’t happened yet
  • After this battle, ISIS will take Jerusalem and Istanbul
  • Then there will be a battle with an army from Khorasan (part of Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan) which will defeat the ISIS army leaving about 5,000 Muslim men defending the city of Jerusalem.
  • At that point Jesus appears and leads them to victory over the earth and the final end days.


yes. that is their goal.


I think this is one of the most influential men in Islam today. His words in your links explain how antisemitism in Saudi Arabia and among Muslims is so virulent.

Here are a list of some of his other finding and rulings, according to Wikipedia.

Following the Pope Benedict XVI Islam controversy, he called the pope’s declaration “lies”, adding that they “show that reconciliation between religions is impossible”.[3]

In 2007, he announced plans to demolish the Green Dome and flatten the tombs housed under it, including that of Muhammad.[4]

In 15 March 2012, he declared that, “All churches in the Arabian Peninsula must be destroyed”. Abdulaziz bin Abdullah cited an Islamic hadith quoting the Prophet Mohammed on his deathbed.[5][6] His declaration about the destruction of churches in the Arabian Peninsula led to negative comments. Roman Catholic bishops in Germany and Austria responded sharply to his fatwa, concerned about the human rights of non Muslims working in the Persian Gulf region. Russian Orthodox Archbishop Mark of Yegoryevsk said the ruling was “alarming”. Still, it seemed that most of the world overlooked the statement.[7] Mehmet Görmez, the most senior imam in Turkey, another Muslim country, blasted the Saudi grand mufti’s call to “destroy all the churches” in the Persian Gulf region, saying that the announcement totally contradicted the peaceful teachings of the Muslim religion. Görmez, the president of Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı (Presidency of Religious Affairs), said he could not accept the Islamic religious order—fatwa—issued by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al ash-Sheikh, adding that the mufti’s declaration ran contrary to the centuries-old Islamic teachings of tolerance and the sanctity of institutions belonging to other religions.[8]

In April 2012, he issued a fatwa allowing ten-year-old girls to marry insisting that girls are ready for marriage by age 10 or 12: “Our mothers and grandmothers got married when they were barely 12. Good upbringing makes a girl ready to perform all marital duties at that age.”[9]

In June 2013, he issued a fatwa demanding the destruction of statues of horses placed in a roundabout in Jizan: “The sculptures [must] be removed because they are a great sin and are prohibited under Sharia (Islamic law)”.[10]

The Grand Mufti issued a fatwa on September 12, 2013 that suicide bombings are “great crimes” and bombers are “criminals who rush themselves to hell by their actions”. Sheikh described suicide bombers as “robbed of their minds… who have been used (as tools) to destroy themselves and societies.”[11]

On September 16, 2013 he condemned violence against non-Muslims living in Islamic countries or Muslims labeled as infidels. The Grand Mufti condemned acts that cause the “shedding of blood of Muslims and of those living in their counties in peace”. Abdul Aziz stated, “Given the dangerous developments in the Muslim world, I would like to warn against the danger of attacking Muslims and those (non-Muslims) under Muslim protection”.

“In view of the fast-moving dangerous developments in the Islamic world, it is very distressing to see the tendencies of permitting or underestimating the shedding of blood of Muslims and those under protection in their countries. The sectarian or ignorant utterances made by some of these people would benefit none other than the greedy, vindictive and envious people. Hence, we would like to draw attention to the seriousness of the attacks on Muslims or those who live under their protection or under a pact with them,” Sheikh Al-AsShaikh said, quoting a number of verses from the Qur’an and Hadith.[12]

In late August 2014, he condemned the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and al-Qaeda saying, “Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on Earth, destroying human civilisation, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims”.[13]

On September 25, 2015, one day after the Mina crowd crush disaster which (according to the Associated Press) killed at least 1,399 foreign Muslims performing Hajj, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh publicly told Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, who is also the country’s Minister of Interior and responsible for Mecca safety and security, that he was “not responsible for what happened”, and “as for the things that humans cannot control, you are not blamed for them. Fate and destiny are inevitable.” With his words, the Grand Mufti immunized Muhammad bin Nayef from possible public criticism within Saudi Arabia, which set the official death toll for the Mina tragedy at fewer than 800 deaths.[14]


I liked what he said in September of 2013 condemning violence against non-Muslims.


If he had only left it at that, and focused his message there, his voice might have eventually evolved into the kind of reform voice that is so necessary to be heard from the fundamentalist side of Wahabbi Islam too.
Instead, he has now found a way to divert the responsibility for that violence away from Muslims, and directly back onto the Jews.
The mind of a supremacist finds it impossible to maintain the self-criticism necessary tor reform. Violence against non-Muslims is not the fault of Muslims. He has now made it the fault of the Jewish conspiracy.

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