Category Archives: News

ISTORIA ISLAMULUI SE ZGUDUIE DIN TEMELII! A FOST DESCOPERIT UN CORAN ANTERIOR PROFETULUI MAHOMED


Una din cele mai importante religii ale omenirii ar putea fi zguduita in urma recentelor descoperiri. Fragmentele celui mai vechi Coran din lume, descoperite in Birmingham, ar putea data dinaintea profetului Mahomed si ar urma „sa rescrie” istoria islamului, au anuntat cercetatorii britanici.Oamenii de stiinta de la Universitatea Oxford stiau deja ca pergamentul este printre cele mai vechi texte coranice cunoscute din intreaga lume. Mai multi istorici sustin insa ca documentul este atat de vechi incat il precede pe profetul Mahomed si contrazice relatarile traditionale privind viata acestuia, asa ca modifica radical „edificiul traditiei islamice”, scrie Breitbart, citat de ziare.com.Datarea cu carbon a documentului releva ca acesta a fost scris intre 568 si 645 era noastra, in conditiile in care, in mod traditional, se considera ca Mohamed a trait intre 570 si 632 era noastra.Asta ar insemna ca documentul a fost scris inainte de momentul oficial cand ar fi fost stranse primele texte oficiale si inainte sau imediat dupa nasterea lui Mahomed.

Source: ISTORIA ISLAMULUI SE ZGUDUIE DIN TEMELII! A FOST DESCOPERIT UN CORAN ANTERIOR PROFETULUI MAHOMED

Cancer : la formation d’une tumeur en 3D (vidéo) — L’important (@Limportant_fr) February 4, 2016


//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! They Poisoned Our Water? Interview With UAW Region 1D Assistant Director Steve Dawes On Flint: A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY


They Poisoned Our Water? Interview With UAW Region 1D Assistant Director Steve Dawes On Flint

this pressed: How Much Could Obama’s Gun Moves Affect Gun Violence? Nobody Knows. – ProPublica


The executive actions on guns unveiled yesterday by President Obama drew predictable praise from gun control advocates and bile from gun-rights supporters and Republican lawmakers, including some who called his actions “unconstitutional.”But, as some have noted, the actions themselves are extremely modest, raising questions about how much they will really do to stem gun violence.Obama’s most significant step is an attempt to expand the number of gun sellers who conduct background checks on buyers. To do this, he is not changing the requirements for who is required to conduct a background check and who is not. Instead, he is giving a very high level of publicity to new “guidance” from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that simply explains what the current law is.Under federal law, licensed firearm dealers have to comply with a set of regulations, including conducting background checks on prospective purchasers to make sure they are not prohibited from owning a gun because of a criminal record or other disqualifying factor. More occasional sellers of guns—one private individual selling to another private individual—do not have to follow these rules.For decades, gun control advocates have decried this gaping loophole in the nation’s federal background check law. After a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, Congressional Democrats tried and failed to close this loophole by passing legislation to require background checks on more gun sales.Obama is now approaching the problem from a different angle: He is focusing on gun sellers who may be operating in a gray area between being an occasional seller and a licensed dealer.According to the ATF, its new guidance breaks down how federal courts have interpreted the somewhat fuzzy line between occasional gun sellers, who are not required to conduct background checks, and people who are “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, who must have a federal license, conduct background checks, and comply with other federal regulations on dealers.A father selling off part of his personal collection of high-end firearms to finance his son’s college education does not need a federal firearms license, the ATF explained. But a man who lost his job and is now “buying firearms from friends and reselling them though an internet site” does need a license.Experts say there’s some indication that gun sellers operating in this gray area are a problem, and that they play a role in supplying guns to people with criminal records.Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, said sellers whose livelihoods don’t depend on gun sales may exercise prudence beyond what’s required by law when making transactions. When he conducted focus groups with gun owners in Texas, he said, many said they would not sell a gun without voluntarily checking whether a potential buyer had a state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon, so they could be sure they were selling to a person who could legally own a gun.But private sellers who are trying to make a profit may be less scrupulous about whether the person who is buying their gun could pass a background check, Webster said.“If you are, on a regular basis, buying and selling a whole lot of guns and are doing that to make money, I think that probably clouds judgment,” he said.Webster cited a November 2015 study by the gun control group Everytownfor Gun Safety, which analyzed a year’s worth of ads posted by unlicensed sellers on Armslist.com, an online gun marketplace. The report found that a small proportion of unlicensed sellers were selling a very large number of guns on the site: “Those offering 25 or more guns accounted for 1 in 500 sellers but offered 1 in 20 guns,” the report found. These private, high-volume sellers should be required to be licensed, the report concluded.It’s not clear how the findings of this one study might reflect the larger online marketplace for guns—or the broader patterns of offline unlicensed sales.“The bottom line: we don’t know how big this is, but we have enough evidence to know that thousands of guns are being sold by individuals who are selling a lot of guns in fairly risky kinds of ways,” Webster said.The Everytown report also concluded that the vague legal definition of who should be a licensed gun seller had undermined efforts to prosecute people for dealing in firearms without a license.Webster said it would be interesting to see if the White House’s attempt to clarify the law resulted in more cases targeting people for selling guns without a license. “Time will tell,” he said, noting that simply putting a spotlight on these sellers should also have “some deterrent effect.”Even if the president succeeds in shrinking this gray area of the gun market, it’s not clear what effect that might have on gun violence overall.Phil Cook, a Duke University gun policy expert, was one of the researchers who recently surveyed 99 inmates at th

Source: How Much Could Obama’s Gun Moves Affect Gun Violence? Nobody Knows. – ProPublica


Yerba mate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yerba mate (from Spanish [ˈʝerβa ˈmate]; Portuguese: erva-mate [ˈɛɾvɐ ˈmate] or [ˈɛɾvɐ ˈmatʃɪ]) is a species of the holly family (Aquifoliaceae), with the botanical name Ilex paraguariensis A. St.-Hil.[1] named by the French botanist Auguste François César Prouvençal de Saint-Hilaire.[2]Yerba mate is widely known as the source of the beverage called mate (Portuguese: chimarrão, tererê/tereré and other variations). It is traditionally consumed in central and southern regions of South America, particularly Argentina, Bolivia, southern and center-western Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Chile.[3] It is also very popular in Syria where it is imported from Argentina.[4] Yerba mate was initially utilized and cultivated by the Guaraní people and in some Tupí communities in southern Brazil, prior to European colonization. It was scientifically classified by the Swiss botanist Moses Bertoni, who settled in Paraguay in 1895.[citation needed] Yerba mate can also be found in various energy drinks on the market today.

Yerba mate, erva mate, mate, or maté
Ilex paraguariensis
Ilex paraguariensis - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-074.jpg
Ilex paraguariensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Aquifoliales
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Genus: Ilex
Species: I. paraguariensis
Binomial name
Ilex paraguariensis

Description

Yerba mate, Ilex paraguariensis, begins as a shrub and then matures to a tree and can grow up to 15 metres (49 ft) tall. The leaves are evergreen, 7–110 millimetres (0.3–4.3 in) long and 30–55 millimetres (1.2–2.2 in) wide, with a serrated margin. The leaves are often called yerba (Spanish) or erva (Portuguese), both of which mean “herb”. They contain caffeine (known in some parts of the world as mateine) and also contains related xanthine alkaloids and are harvested commercially.

The flowers are small, greenish-white, with four petals. The fruit is a red drupe 4–6 millimetres (0.16–0.24 in) in diameter.

Cultivation

 Plantation in Misiones, Argentina.

The Yerba mate plant is grown and processed in South America, specifically in northern Argentina (Corrientes, Misiones), Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul). Cultivators are known as yerbateros (Spanish) or ervateiros (Brazilian Portuguese).

Seeds used to germinate new plants are harvested from January until April only after they have turned dark purple. After harvest, they are submerged in water in order to eliminate floating non-viable seeds and detritus like twigs, leaves, etc. New plants are started between March and May. For plants established in pots, transplanting takes place April through September. Plants with bare roots are transplanted only during the months of June and July.[5]

Many of the natural enemies of yerba mate are difficult to control in a plantation setting. Insect pests include Gyropsylla spegazziniana, an insect that lays eggs in branches, Hedyphates betulinus, an insect that weakens the tree and makes it more susceptible to mold and mildew, “Perigonia lusca”, an insect that eats the leaves, and several species of mites.[5]

When yerba mate is harvested, the branches are often dried by a wood fire, imparting a smoky flavor. The plant Ilex paraguariensis can vary in strength of the flavor, caffeine levels and other nutrients depending on whether it is a male or female plant. Female plants tend to be milder in flavor and lower in caffeine. They are also relatively scarce in the areas where yerba mate is planted and cultivated.[6]

According to FAO in 2012, Brazil is the biggest producer of mate in the world with 513,256 MT (58%), followed by Argentina with 290,000 MT (32%) and Paraguay with 85,490 MT (10%).[7]

Use as a beverage

Main article: Mate (beverage)

 Steaming mate infusion in its customary cup that resembles the shape of a gourd, the customary vessel

The infusion, called mate in Spanish-speaking countries or chimarrão in Brazil, is prepared by filling a container, typically a gourd, up to three-quarters full with dry leaves (and twigs) of the mate plant, and filling it up with water at a temperature of 70–80 °C (158–176 °F), hot but not boiling. Sugar may or may not be added; and the mate may be prepared with cold water (tereré).[8]

Drinking mate with friends from a hollow gourd (also called a guampa, porongo or mate in Spanish, cabaça or cuia in Portuguese, or zucca in Italian) through a metal straw (a bombilla in Spanish, bomba in Portuguese), refilling and passing to the next person after finishing the few mouthfuls of beverage, is a common social practice in Uruguay, Argentina and southern Brazil among people of all ages.

Yerba mate is most popular in Uruguay, where people are seen walking the streets carrying the mate and termo (thermal vacuum flask) in their arms. You can also find hot water stations to refill the termo while on the road. In Argentina 5 kg (11 lb) of yerba mate is consumed annually per capita; in Uruguay, the largest consumer, consumption is 10 kg (22 lb).[9] The amount of the herb used to prepare the infusion is much greater than that used for tea and other beverages, accounting for the large weight used.[10]

 Yerba Mate shop, Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

The flavor of brewed mate resembles an infusion of vegetables, herbs, grass and is reminiscent of some varieties of green tea. Some consider the flavor to be very agreeable, but it is generally bitter if steeped in boiling water. Flavored mate is also sold, in which the mate leaves are blended with other herbs (such as peppermint) or citrus rind.[11]

In Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, a toasted version of mate, known as mate cocido (Paraguay), chá mate (Brazil) or just mate, is sold in teabags and in a loose leaf form. It is often served sweetened in specialized shops or on the street, either hot or iced, pure or with fruit juice (especially lime – known in Brazil as limão) or milk. In Argentina and southern Brazil, this is commonly consumed for breakfast or in a café for afternoon tea, often with a selection of sweet pastries (facturas).

 Yerba for sale in the open air market of La Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain.

An iced, sweetened version of toasted mate is sold as an uncarbonated soft drink, with or without fruit flavoring. In Brazil, this cold version of chá mate is specially popular in the South and Southeast regions, and can easily be found in retail stores in the same cooler as soft-drinks.[12] Mate batido, which is toasted, has less of a bitter flavor and more of a spicy fragrance. Mate batido becomes creamy when shaken. Mate batido is more popular in the coastal cities of Brazil, as opposed to the far southern states, where it is consumed in the traditional way (green, consumed with a silver straw from a shared gourd), and called chimarrão (cimarrón in Spanish, particularly that of Argentina[13]).

In Paraguay, western Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul, west of São Paulo) and the Argentine littoral, a mate infusion, called tereré in Spanish and Portuguese or tererê in Portuguese in southern regions of Brazil, is also consumed as a cold or iced beverage, usually sucked out of a horn cup called guampa with a bombilla. Tereré can be prepared with cold water (the most common way in Paraguay and Brazil), or fruit juice (the most common way in Argentina). The version with water is more bitter; fruit juice acts as a sweetener (in Brazil, that is usually avoided with the addition of table sugar). Medicinal or culinary herbs, known as yuyos (weeds), may be crushed with a pestle and mortar, and added to the water for taste or medicinal reasons. Tereré is most popular in Paraguay, Brazil, and the Litoral (northeast Argentina).[14]

In the same way as people meet for tea or coffee, friends often gather and drink mate (matear) in Argentina, southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Sharing mate is almost a ritual, following customary rules. In warm weather the hot water is sometimes replaced by lemonade, but not in Uruguay.

 Selection of Yerba Mate gourds and bombillas at a street vendor, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The gourd (mate in Spanish) is given by the brewer to each person, often in a circle, in turn; the recipient does not give thanks, drinks the few mouthfuls and returns the mate to the brewer, who refills it and passes it to the next person in clockwise order.

During August, Paraguayans have a tradition of mixing mate with crushed leaves, stems, and flowers of the plant known as flor de agosto[15] (the flower of August, plants of the Senecio genus, particularly Senecio grisebachii), which contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Modifying mate in this fashion is potentially toxic, as these alkaloids can cause a rare condition of the liver, veno-occlusive disease, which produces liver failure due to progressive occlusion of the small venous channels in the liver.[16]

In South Africa, mate is not well known, but has been introduced to Stellenbosch by a student who sells it nationally. In the tiny hamlet of Groot Marico in the northwest province, mate was introduced to the local tourism office by the returning descendants of the Boers, who in 1902 had emigrated to Patagonia in Argentina after losing the Anglo Boer War. It is also commonly consumed in Lebanon, Syria and some other parts of the Middle East mainly by Druze and Alawite population, following emigration to South America and return by many people, and worldwide by expatriates from the Southern Cone.[17]

Chemical composition and properties

Polyphenols

Yerba mate contains a variety of polyphenols such as the flavonoids quercetin and rutin.[18]

Xanthines

Yerba mate contains three xanthines: caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, the main one being caffeine. Caffeine content varies between 0.7% and 1.7% of dry weight[19] (compared with 0.4– 9.3% for tea leaves, 2.5–7.6% in guarana, and up to 3.2% for ground coffee);[20] theobromine content varies from 0.3% to 0.9%; theophylline is present in small quantities, or can be completely absent.[21] A substance previously called “mateine” is a synonym for caffeine (like theine and guaranine).

Mineral content

Yerba mate also contains elements such as potassium, magnesium, and manganese.[22]

Health effects

As of 2011 there have not been any double-blind, randomized prospective clinical trials of Yerba mate consumption with respect to chronic disease.[23] Yerba mate has been claimed to have various effects on human health and these effects have been attributed to the high quantity of polyphenols found in mate tea.[18]

Research has found that Yerba mate may improve allergy symptoms[24] and reduce the risk of diabetes mellitus and high blood sugar in mice.[25]

Mate also contains compounds that act as an appetite suppressant and possible weight loss tool,[26] increases mental energy and focus,[27] improves mood,[28] and promotes deeper sleep; however, sleep may only be affected in people who are sensitive to caffeine.[27]

Lipid metabolism

Some non-blinded studies have found mate consumption to be effective in lipid lowering.[23]

Cancer

The consumption of hot mate tea is associated with oral cancer,[29] esophageal cancer,[30] cancer of the larynx,[30] and squamous cell cancers of the head and neck.[31][32] Studies show a correlation between tea temperature and likelihood of cancer, making it unclear how much of a role mate itself plays as a carcinogen.[30]

Weight loss

Yerba mate contains polyphenols such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, which work by inhibiting enzymes like pancreatic lipase[33] and lipoprotein lipase, which in turn play a role in fat metabolism. Yerba mate has been shown to increase satiety by slowing gastric emptying. Effects on weight loss may be due to reduced absorption of dietary fats and/or altered cholesterol metabolism.[34]

Despite yerba mate’s potential for reducing body weight, there is minimal data on the effects of yerba mate on body weight in humans.[35] Therefore, yerba mate should not be recommended over diet and physical exercise[36] without further study on its effects being warranted.

Mechanism of action

E-NTPDase activity

Research also shows that mate preparations can alter the concentration of members of the ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (E-NTPDase) family, resulting in an elevated level of extracellular ATP, ADP, and AMP. This was found with chronic ingestion (15 days) of an aqueous mate extract, and may lead to a novel mechanism for manipulation of vascular regenerative factors, i.e., treating heart disease.[medical citation needed]

Antioxidants

In an investigation of mate antioxidant activity, there was a correlation found between content of caffeoyl-derivatives and antioxidant capacity (AOC).[medical citation needed] Amongst a group of Ilex species, Ilex paraguariensis antioxidant activity was the highest.[medical citation needed]

Monoamine oxidase inhibition activity

A paper from the University of São Paulo cites yerba mate extract as an inhibitor of MAO activity; the maximal inhibition observed in vitro was 40–50%. A monoamine oxidase inhibitor is a type of antidepressant, so there is some data to suggest that yerba mate has a calming effect in this regard.[37]

History

Main article: History of yerba mate

 
Yerba mate growing in the wild

Mate was first consumed by the indigenous Guaraní and also spread in the Tupí people that lived in southern Brazil, Paraguay and became widespread during European colonization.[citation needed] In the Spanish colony of Paraguay in the late 16th century, both Spanish settlers and indigenous Guaranís, who had, to some extent, before the Spanish arrival, consumed it.[citation needed] Mate consumption spread in the 17th century to the River Plate and from there to Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru.[citation needed] This widespread consumption turned it into Paraguay’s main commodity above other wares, such as tobacco, and indigenous peoples labour was used to harvest wild stands.[citation needed]

In the mid 17th century, Jesuits managed to domesticate the plant and establish plantations in their Indian reductions in Misiones, Argentina, sparking severe competition with the Paraguayan harvesters of wild stands.[citation needed] After their expulsion in the 1770s, their plantations fell into decay, as did their domestication secrets.[citation needed] The industry continued to be of prime importance for the Paraguayan economy after independence, but development in benefit of the Paraguayan state halted after the War of the Triple Alliance (1864–1870) that devastated the country both economically and demographically.[citation needed] Some regions with mate plantations in Paraguay became Argentine territory.[citation needed]

 Lithograph of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, a 19th-century ruler of Paraguay, holding a mate and bombilla

Brazil then became the largest producer of mate.[38] In Brazilian and Argentine projects in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the plant was domesticated once again, opening the way for plantation systems.[citation needed] When Brazilian entrepreneurs turned their attention to coffee in the 1930s, Argentina, which had long been the prime consumer,[39] took over as the largest producer, resurrecting the economy in Misiones Province, where the Jesuits had once had most of their plantations. For years, the status of largest producer shifted between Brazil and Argentina.[39]

Now, Brazil is the largest producer, with 53%, followed by Argentina, 37% and Paraguay, 10%.[7][40]

In the city of Campo Largo, state of Paraná, Brazil, there is a Mate Historic Park (Portuguese: Parque Histórico do Mate), funded by that state’s government, to educate people on the sustainable harvesting methods needed to maintain the integrity and vitality of the oldest wild forests of mate in the world. As of June 2014, however, the park is closed to public visitation.[41]

Nomenclature

The name given to the plant in Guaraní, language of the indigenous people who first cultivated and enjoyed mate, is ka’a, which has the same meaning as “herb”.[citation needed] Congonha, in Portuguese, is derived from the Tupi expression, meaning something like “what keeps us alive”, but a term rarely used nowadays. Mate is from the Quechua mati,[42] a word that means container for a drink, infusion of an herb, as well as gourd.[43] The word mate is used in both Portuguese and Spanish languages.

The pronunciation of yerba mate in Spanish is [ˈʝe̞rβ̞ä ˈmäte̞][42] The accent on the word is on the first syllable, not the second as might be implied by the variant spelling maté.[42] The word hierba is Spanish for “herb”; yerba is a variant spelling of it which was quite common in Argentina.[44] (Nowadays in Argentina yerba refers exclusively to the yerba mate plant.[44]) Yerba mate, therefore, originally translated literally as the “gourd herb”, i.e. the herb one drinks from a gourd.[citation needed]

The (Brazilian) Portuguese name for the plant is either erva-mate [ˈɛʁvɐ ˈmätʃi] (pronounced [ˈɛɾvɐ ˈmäte], [ˈɛɾvə ˈmätɪ] or [ˈɛɻvɐ ˈmätʃɪ] in the regions of traditional consumption, [ˈæə̯ʀvə ˈmäˑtɕ] in coastal, urban Rio de Janeiro), the most used term, or rarely congonha [kõˈɡõȷ̃ɐ], from Old Tupi kõ’gõi, which means “what sustains the being”.[45] The drinks it is used to prepare are chimarrão (hot), tereré (cold) or chá mate (hot or cold). While the chá mate (tea) is made with the toasted leaves, the other drinks are made with green leaves, and are very popular in the south and center-west of the country. Most people colloquially address both the plant and the beverage simply by the word mate.[12]

Both the spellings “mate” and “maté” are used in English, but the latter spelling is never used in either Spanish or Portuguese; in Spanish, maté means “I killed” as opposed to “gourd” (the similarly pronounced Portuguese matei also meaning “I killed”).[46] There are no variation of spellings in Spanish.[42] The addition of the acute accent over the final “e” was likely added as a hypercorrection, indicating that the word and its pronunciation are distinct from the common English word “mate“.[47][48][49][50][51][52]

According to both Spanish and Portuguese spelling rules, an acute accent in that position shifts the tonic syllable to the last one, whereas in both languages the word is pronounced with the first syllable as the tonic one. Additionally, in Portuguese it changes the pronunciation of a few vowels. (É being more open and never final unstressed /ɛ/, like ó /ɔ/ and á /a/, and ê being more closed /e/, like ô /o/ and â /ɐ/ – the usual pronunciation of the mate vowel is [i ~ ɪ ~ e], never [ɛ]; the standard in all regions where the Portuguese language is official is for unstressed vowels, particularly final ones, to be reduced, in the case of e through [i] in Brazil, here strongly palatalizing, and most of Africa, and [ɯ], or occasionally non-palatalizing [i], in Portugal, Cape Verde and Macau, among a few others.)

Use as a health food

 Mate softdrinks

Mate is consumed as a health food. Packages of yerba mate are available in health food stores and are frequently stocked in the large supermarkets of Europe, Australia and the United States. By 2013, Asian interest in the drink had seen significant growth and led to significant export trade.[53]

See also

History of yerba mate wikipedia


History of yerba mate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

 Falkland gauchos having mate. Watercolour by Dale, manager of Hope Place – Saladero in the 1850s.

The history of yerba mate, that stretches back to pre-Columbian Paraguay, is marked by a rapid expansion in harvest and consumption in the Spanish South American colonies but also by its difficult domestication process, which even if discovered in the mid 17th century had to be rediscovered later when production was industrialized around 1900.

The consumption of yerba mate became widespread in the Spanish colony of Paraguay in the late 16th century both among Spanish settlers and indigenous Guaranís, who had to some extent consumed it before the Spanish arrival. Mate consumption spread in the 17th century to the Platine region and from there to Chile and Peru. This widespread consumption turned it into Paraguay’s main commodity above other wares like tobacco, and Indian labour was used to harvest wild stands. In the mid 17th century Jesuits managed to domesticate the plant and establish plantations in their Indian reductions in Misiones, sparking severe competition with the Paraguayan harvesters of wild stands. After the expulsion of the Jesuits in the 1770s their plantations fell into decay as did their domestication secrets. The industry continued to be of prime importance for the Paraguayan economy after independence, but development in benefit of the Paraguayan state halted after the Paraguayan War (1864–1870) which devastated the country both economically and demographically. Brazil became then the prime producer of yerba mate. In Brazilian and Argentine projects in late 19th and early 20th century the plant was domesticated once again opening the way for modern plantation systems. When Brazilian entrepreneurs turned their attention into coffee in the 1930s Argentina, that had long been the prime consumer, took over as the largest producer, resurrecting Misiones Province where the Jesuits had once had most of their plantations.

Early use

 Indigenous Guaraní (in picture) are known to have consumed yerba mate to some degree before the Spanish conquest of Paraguay.

Before the arrival of the Spanish the Guaraní people, indigenous to the area of natural distribution of the plant, are known to have consumed yerba mate at least for medicinal purposes.[1] Remnants of yerba mate have also been found in a Quechua tomb near Lima, Peru and has therefore been suggested to have been associated with prestige.[2][3] The first Europeans to establish themselves in the lands of the Guaranís and the yerba mate were the Spaniards that founded Asunción in 1537. The new colony developed with little commerce and contact from outside and which made the Spanish to establish fluid contacts beyond labour relationships with the local tribes. It is not clear exactly when Spaniards began to drink mate but it is known by late 16th century to be widely consumed.[1]

By 1596 the consumption of mate as a beverage had become so common in Paraguay that a member of the cabildo of Asunción wrote to governor of Río de la Plata Hernando Arias de Saavedra:

“the vice and bad habit of drinking yerba has spread so much among the Spaniards, their women and children, that unlike the Indians that are content to drink it once a day they drink it continuously and those who do not drink it are very rare.”

The same author of the letter went on to claim that Spanish settlers sold their clothing, weapons and horses or fell into debt to obtain yerba mate.[4]

Spread across South America (1600–1650)

 Map showing natural distribution area of yerba mate as well as important colonial settlements and the principal water ways: areas with Jesuit missions are marked with “J”. The borders are those of the modern countries.

In early 17th century, yerba mate had become the chief export of the Guaraní territories, above sugar, wine and tobacco, which had previously dominated.[5] The Governor of Río de la Plata, Hernando Arias de Saavedra, turned in the beginning of the 17th century against the burgeoning mate industry due to beliefs that it was an unhealthy bad habit and that too much of the Indian workforce was consumed in it. He ordered to end the production in the governorate and at the same time sought approval from the Spanish Crown, which rejected the ban, as did also the people involved in production who never complied with the order.[4] In contrast to other alkaloid rich cash crops found by Europeans in the Age of Discovery like cocoa and coffee, yerba mate was not a domesticated species and came to be exploited from wild stands long into the 19th century,[6] although the Jesuits domesticated it first in the mid 17th century.

Up to 1676, during the rise of the industry, the main production centre of yerba mate was the Indian town of Maracayú northeast of Asunción. In Maracayú, amid forests rich in yerba mate, settlers from Asunción dominated production. Maracayú came however to be the place of long-standing conflict when settlers from the towns of Villa Rica del Espíritu Santo and Ciudad Real del Guayrá begun to move into the Maracayú area that the old settlers regarded as theirs. In the 1630 the conflict escalated when settlers from Villa Rica and Ciudad Real del Guayrá and the Jesuit missions of Guairá had to flee over to the Maracayú area due to attacks from Portuguese settlers from São Paulo. In the Maracayú area the new settlers made mate their main income source sparking a conflict with the settlers of Asunción which only ended in 1676 when the Portuguese settlers made another push making Maracayú a rather exposed borderland zone. The settlers of Maracaýu relocated to the south forming the modern city of Villarrica and transformed their new lands into the new centre of the mate industry.[7]

The conflict between the old and the new settlers in Maracayú coincided with the spread of consumption of mate beyond the colony of Paraguay, first to the trade hub of Río de la Plata and from there to Upper Peru (Bolivia), Lower Peru, Ecuador and Chile,[4] becoming an important commodity in many cities of colonial South America.[8] During the course of the 17th century, taxes on mate became an important revenue source in Paraguay, Santa Fé and Buenos Aires and became heavily taxed: Some of the taxes applied were the tithe, alcabala and municipal taxes through the cities where it passed. In 1680 the Spanish Crown imposed a special tax on yerba mate aimed to finance Buenos Aires defence works and garrison.[8]

The shift southward to Villarrica of the production led Asunción to lose position as the sole hub of export downstream to Santa Fe and Buenos Aires. When production was centred in Maracayú transport down Paraná River was difficult and therefore the yerba was bought through Jejuy River to Asunción on Paraguay River[9] which was navigable all the way down to Río de la Plata. The local government of Asunción tried unsuccessfully to have all mate produced north of Tebicuary River to pass through the city, but the Villarrica settlers as well as the Spanish Crown largely ignored the complaints of the Asunción government.[9]

Jesuit era and domestication (1650–1767)

 Location of the most important Jesuit reductions in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, with present political divisions.

The Jesuits began in the late 16th century to establish a series of reduction settlements in the lands of the Guaraní people to convert them to Catholicism. The Jesuit missions had a high degree of autarky but needed coins to pay taxes and acquire products they could not produce.[1] While in the early 17th century Jesuits had supported governor Hernando Arias de Saavedra‘s ban on yerba mate production, they became by mid-17th century severe competitors to the harvesters of the land north of Tebicuary River who had had a practical monopoly on the product.[5][10] In 1645 the Jesuits had successfully requested the Spanish Crown to be allowed to produce and export yerba mate.[10] The Jesuits initially followed the normal production procedure by sending thousands of Guaranís out into long journeys to the swamps where the best trees grew to harvest naturally occurring stands, where many Indians fell ill or died.[10] From the 1650s to the 1670s the Jesuits succeeded in domesticating the plant,[6] something that contemporaries had found extremely difficult.[10] The Jesuits kept the domestication a secret. It apparently involved feeding the seed to birds or emulating the passing of the seeds through the digestive system of a bird.[3] The Jesuits gained a series of commercial advantages over their competitors in the Tebacuary region. Apart from their successful domestication and establishment of plantations, their missions were closer to the important trade hubs of Santa Fé and Buenos Aires and they succeeded in obtaining exemptions from the tithe, alcabala, and the additional tax established in 1680.[11] These privileges caused a conflict with the Paraguayan cities of Asunción and Villarrica that accused the Jesuits of flooding the Platine market with cheap yerba mate, and led to the imposition of limits for the Jesuit exports,[12] which they nevertheless exceeded, so that at the time of the expulsion of the Order they exported four times the amount they were legally allowed.[3] The Jesuits did not, officially, sell mate for profit beyond covering basic necessities and taxes, and accused the Paraguayans of causing prices to drop, adding that their yerba mate was preferred by merchants not due its price but due to its better quality.[12]

Due to the shortage of coins yerba mate along with honey, maize, and tobacco were used as currencies in the Jesuit reductions.[13]

Expansion (1767–1870)

 Lithograph of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, a 19th-century ruler of Paraguay, with a mate and its respective bombilla.

After the suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1767 the production and importance of mate producing regions which had been dominated by Jesuits began to decline.[2][6] Excessive exploitation of Indian labour in the plantations led to decay in the industry and the scattering of Guaranís living in the missions.[3][6] With the fall of the Jesuits and the mismanagement by the crown and the new entrepreneurs that had taken over Jesuit plantations Paraguay gained an unrivalled position as the main producer of yerba mate. The plantation system of the Jesuits did however not prevail and mate continued chiefly to be harvested from wild stand through the 18th and most of the 19th century. Concepción in Paraguay, founded in 1773, became a major port of export since it had a huge hinterland of untouched stands of yerba mate north of it. As part of the Bourbon Reforms free trade within the Spanish Empire was allowed in 1778. This and a tax reform in 1780 lead to increased trade in Spanish South America which benefited the mate industry.[6] In the 1770s the habit of drinking mate reached as far as Cuenca, in present day Ecuador.[6]

During the colonial period in Europe, mate failed to be accepted like cocoa, tea and coffee. In 1774 the Jesuit José Sánchez Labrador wrote that mate was consumed by “many” in Portugal and Spain and that many in Italy approved of it.[3] In the 19th century yerba mate attracted the attention of the French naturalists Aimé Bonpland and Augustin Saint-Hilaire who, separately, studied the plant. In 1819 the latter gave yerba mate its binomial nomenclature: Ilex Paraguariensis.

After independence, Paraguay was to lose its pre-eminence as top producer to Brazil and Argentina,[14] although Argentina went into a mate crisis. At independence, Argentina inherited both the largest mate-consuming population in the world as well as Misiones Province where most of the Jesuit missions had been and where the industry was in decay. The decline of production in Argentina relative to the constant increase in demand lead Argentina in the mid-19th century to depend heavily on its neighbors for supply. Yerba mate came to be imported to Argentina from the Paraná highlands in Brazil. This Yerba mate was labelled Paranaguá after its shipping port.[2]

In Paraguay, yerba mate continued to be a major cash crop after independence but the foci of industry shifted away from the mixed plantations and wild stands of Villarrica, north to Concepción in late colonial times and then by 1863 to San Pedro.[15] During the rule of Carlos Antonio López (1844–1862), the yerba mate business was managed by the military commanders of the district, who could harvest yerba mate as a state enterprise or give concessions. The onset of the Paraguayan War (1864–1870) caused a sharp drop in the harvesting of yerba mate in Paraguay, estimated at 95% between 1865 and 1867, caused by enrolment.[15] It has been reported that during the war soldiers from all sides consumed yerba mate to calm the hunger and the combat anxiety.[3] After the Paraguayan War against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, Paraguay was demographically as well as economically ruined and foreign entrepreneurs came to control the yerba mate production and industry in Paraguay.[15] The 156.415 km2 lost by Paraguay in the war to Argentina and Brazil were mostly rich in yerba mate production.[15]

In Chile, where the habit of drinking mate had taken firm ground during colonial times, its popularity gave way after independence to drinks popular in Europe, coffee and tea that entered the country through its increasingly busy ports.[3] The spread of tea and coffee consumption in Chile, to the detriment of mate, began in the upper classes. The first coffee shop in Chile appeared in Santiago in 1808. German botanist Eduard Friedrich Poeppig described in 1827 a wealthy family in Chile where the old people drank yerba mate with bombilla while the younger preferred Chinese tea. The trend of decreasing mate consumption was noticed in 1875 by the British consul Rumbold who said that “imports of Paraguayan tea” were “steadily falling off”. Yerba mate was overall cheaper (price per kilo from 1871 to 1930) than tea and coffee and it remained popular in rural areas of Chile.[16]

Industrialization and spread to the Levant (1870–1950)

 Ukrainian immigrants harvest yerba mate in 1920. Despite its relative inhospitability, Misiones attracted considerable European immigration.

With the devastation of Paraguay and insignificant Argentine production, by the end of the 19th century Brazil became the leading producer of yerba mate.[3] In the 1890s yerba mate plantations regained prominence in the markets when plantations began to be developed in Mato Grosso do Sul.[3][6]

In the early 20th century Argentine production began to recover, rising from less than 1 million kg in 1898 to 20 million kg in 1929 in Misiones Province.[2] In the first half of the 20th century Argentina ran a state programme to populate Misiones Province and kick-start a mate industry. Family-sized parcels of land in Misiones were given to foreign settlers, most of them from Central and Eastern Europe.[17] In the 1930s Brazil changed from mate to coffee production, as it gave more income, leaving the resurrected Argentine industry as the biggest producer,[3] which benefited the Argentine economy as it was also the largest consumer of mate.

Syrian and Lebanese immigrants to Argentina spread the habit of drinking mate to their homelands, where it became particularly associated with the Druze.[3]

this pressed: What does “Schlong” means anyway?


//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

this pressed for Justice: Fara cuvinte — David Simpson (@davidiansimpso3) December 24, 2015


//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

this pressed for our soul: Where Christ Drove Demons into Sea: Archeological Proof


MOREby Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.17 Dec 2015373Evidence has been uncovered corroborating the site of one of Jesus’ most powerful and dramatic miracles: the casting out of demons into a herd of swine in the land of the Gadarenes (or Gerasenes). Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a 1,500-year-old marble slab with Hebrew inscriptions near Kursi, the spot traditionally associated with the miracle of Christ’s banishment of demons into a herd of swine. Archeologists believe the slab to be a commemoration tablet dating from around 500 AD. The inscription in Hebrew begins with the words “Remembered for good. ”The biblical description of the miracle is one of the most evocative in the entire Gospel. Recounted by Matthew, Mark, and Luke with different nuances, the Gospels depict Jesus in one of His most direct confrontations with Satan.  Mark describes the possessed man as fiercely strong and dangerous. Local citizens had tried in vain to restrain him with shackles and chains, but he broke them to pieces. The man lived among the tombs, howling night and day and gashing himself with stones. He terrified the people so much that no one dared go near. On seeing Jesus approach, the man ran and bowed down before him, while the demons inside him howled and begged Jesus not to torment them.Jesus, meanwhile, was ordering them, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit! ”When Jesus commanded the demons to identify themselves, they replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many. ”Jesus then cast the demons into a herd of about 2,000 swine grazing on a nearby hillside. The pigs rushed headlong down the steep bank into the sea, where they drowned, to the utter amazement and shock of the townspeople.The healed demoniac, now clothed and in his full senses, begged Jesus to take him back with him, but Jesus told him to stay and proclaim the mercy of God to his family and friends.  The University of Haifa researchers found the marble on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee, in Kursi, the historically Gentile district of the Decapolis.  On the slab, scientists also identified the words “amen” and “marmaria,” which could refer to marble or to Mary, Jesus’ mother.Kursi has been identified in Christian tradition with Gadarenes, where the Miracle of the Swine took place. In the fifth and sixth centuries, a Christian church was built to mark the spot of the biblical location but was destroyed by invading Persians in 614 AD and, after being rebuilt, was demolished by fire shortly afterward. The site remained abandoned for most of the following 1,300 years. The church was lost to history until it was uncovered by accident during the building of a new road in 1970. Archaeological excavations continued at the site from 1970-74.  Around the vicinity of the church, caves are still visible, and there is a mountain that drops down into the sea, such as described in the biblical account.Christ’s trip to the land of the Gadarenes (Kursi) was one of his rare visits to Gentile territory, which also explains the presence of the herd of pigs, which was forbidden to the Jews. Jesus Himself had said that He was sent only “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”Celebrated Christian apologist Steve Ray, a frequent visitor to Kursi who often leads groups through biblical sites in the Holy Land, told Breitbart News that since Kursi had the largest monastery in Israel, it was obviously held in high esteem by the first Christians. “The early Judeo-Christians remembered the places and events surrounding the life of Christ, and as soon as Christianity was legalized, churches were built on these different sites,” he said. “The more archaeology uncovers,” Ray said, “the more the Bible is confirmed.”Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.Read More Stories About:Big Government, National Security, Faith, Israel, Bible, satan, Jesus Christ, exorcism, demons, Kursi, archeology, Gadarenes, Gerasenes

Source: Where Christ Drove Demons into Sea: Archeological Proof

this pressed for our spirit!: Orthodox Rabbis Issue Groundbreaking Declaration Affirming ‘Partnership’ With Christianity


MOREA group of prominent Orthodox rabbis in Israel, the United States and Europe have issued a historic public statement affirming that Christianity is “the willed divine outcome and gift to the nations” and urging Jews and Christians to “work together as partners to address the moral challenges of our era.”“Jesus brought a double goodness to the world,” the statement reads. “On the one hand he strengthened the Torah of Moses majestically” and on the other hand “he removed idols from the nations,” instilling them “firmly with moral traits.
”This year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the declaration issued in 1965 by the Second Vatican Council, which marked a watershed in Jewish-Christian relations.In language unusual for its day, Nostra Aetate stated that “God holds the Jews most dear,” stressed the great “spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews,” and condemned “hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.”Now, a group of Jewish leaders has responded in kind, expressing their desire to accept “the hand offered to us by our Christian brothers and sisters.”

“Christians are congregations that work for the sake of heaven who are destined to endure, whose intent is for the sake of heaven and whose reward will not denied,” the text reads. The statement bears the title, “To Do the Will of Our Father in Heaven: Toward a Partnership between Jews and Christians,” and is signed by over 25 prominent Orthodox rabbis, who invite fellow Orthodox rabbis to join in signing the statement. “Now that the Catholic Church has acknowledged the eternal Covenant between G-d and Israel, we Jews can acknowledge the ongoing constructive validity of Christianity as our partner in world redemption, without any fear that this will be exploited for missionary purposes,” it says.

Echoing recent words by Pope Francis, the document states:

“We are no longer enemies, but unequivocal partners in articulating the essential moral values for the survival and welfare of humanity.”“Neither of us can achieve G-d’s mission in this world alone,” it says.

According to Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, one of the statement’s initiators, the “real importance of this Orthodox statement is that it calls for fraternal partnership between Jewish and Christian religious leaders, while also acknowledging the positive theological status of the Christian faith.”“This proclamation’s breakthrough is that influential Orthodox rabbis across all centers of Jewish life have finally acknowledged that Christianity and Judaism are no longer engaged in a theological duel to the death and that Christianity and Judaism have much in common spiritually and practically. Given our toxic history, this is unprecedented in Orthodoxy.” said Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn, Academic Director of CJCUC.Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsromeRead More Stories About:National Security, Faith, Breitbart Jerusalem, Vatican, Pope Francis, Christianity, Catholic Church, Judaism, Nostra Aetate, Jewish-Christian relations, orthodox rabbis

Source: Orthodox Rabbis Issue Groundbreaking Declaration Affirming ‘Partnership’ With Christianity

this pressed: How Enrique Marquez fit into the San Bernardino killers’ network of interest — Post Graphics (@PostGraphics) December 18, 2015


//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

this pressed For our confusing: The Fed Should Clean Up Excess Reserve Rather Than Raise Rates | Foreign Affairs


For the Fed, Mop Not HikeCleaning Up Excess Reserves Rather Than Raising RatesBy Richard C. KooBy the most recent forecast, the U.S. Federal Reserve is set to raise interet rates on December 16. That it’s happening in the midst of a global economic slowdown is bad news for markets and economies around the world. Even China’s yuan, which had remained stable alongside the strengthening U.S. dollar until recently, had to decouple from it in August to bolster the country’s faltering export industries; it was another decision that shook markets worldwide.Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has been warning of the coming interest rate hike for some time now. She wanted to sound the alarm sooner rather than later because the Fed has injected some $2.5 trillion in excess reserves—17.6 times more than the statutory reserves needed to support the present level of U.S. money supply and lending activity. When a central bank has created such an unprecedented degree of liquidity, particularly with the U.S. economy doing relatively well, inflation could accelerate much sooner than in the past once the private sector is ready to borrow money again. That could force the Fed into an abrupt tightening, which could be very damaging to the market and the economy. The Fed must also avoid creating the impression of being behind the curve on inflation lest it trigger a bond market crash that could send long-term interest rates rocketing.Kevin Lamarque / ReutersU.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 15, 2014.In spite of the United States’ relatively strong economy, inflation remained subdued because the private sector still maintained a financial surplus of over six percent of GDP, at least through the year ending in the third quarter of 2015, according to the flow of funds data. This is worrying because it means that the private sector continued to save in spite of zero interest rates, a disturbing trend that began when Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008. It also indicates that businesses and households are still recovering their balance sheets, which may have been hurt when the housing bubble burst in 2008. Their refusal to borrow means that the liquidity injected by the Fed remained with the financial institutions that received them and has not entered the real economy.The fact that the private sector as a whole is still saving money at zero interest rates is worrying because both Japan in 2000 and Europe in 2011 tried to raise rates under similar conditions but were ultimately forced to take them back to zero. In both cases, the economies turned out to be much weaker than some macro indicators had suggested.The Fed’s need to appear vigilant against inflation while facing a still weak global economy suggests that it should reverse the order of monetary policy normalization set forth in September 2014. At that time, it was decided to raise interest rates first before draining excess reserves because the market is more familiar with rate hikes, while a reserve-draining operation would be the first in history and might create unpredictable disruptions.Since the Fed’s September announcement, however, the dollar has skyrocketed and oil prices have collapsed. This means that inflation is likely to stay subdued, undermining the rationale behind rate hikes.Toru Hanai / ReutersA man is reflected on an electronic board displaying exchange rates, August 11, 2010.Meanwhile, reserve-draining operations generally require the Fed to sell bonds. Although that would tend to push bond prices lower and yields higher, the Bank of Japan’s decision in October 2014 to expand its liquidity injections and the European Central Bank’s decision to do so earlier this year have pushed interest rates in many countries to zero or subzero levels. That move boosted Japanese and European investors’ demand for higher-yielding dollar bonds.This means the Fed has the perfect opportunity right now to sell bonds to drain excess reserves—there is robust overseas demand for U.S. bonds, plenty of domestic savings (at least according to the flow of funds data) to absorb the bonds unloaded by the Fed, and a strong dollar and cheap oil keeping inflation concerns in check. These factors all suggest that any pressures that drive down bond prices and drive up bond yields from a reserve mop-up operation are likely to be modest.In other words, the Fed should drain excess reserves first before raising interest rates. If bond yields do climb excessively because the Fed unloads the bonds, the Fed could always calm the markets by announcing an extension of the zero interest rate policy. When the market realizes that the Fed has this fallback option to keep short-term rates low, long-term interest rates (that is, bond yields) are not likely to go that much higher.Enjoy this free article from Foreign AffairsAll visitors get access to one full-length article each month. Register for free to continue readi

Source: The Fed Should Clean Up Excess Reserve Rather Than Raise Rates | Foreign Affairs

This Pressed for Reality Check: Turkish MP reveals that ISIS used Turkey to access sarin gas for chemical attack— David Icke (@davidicke) December 16, 2015


//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

this pressed: Republican debate: Tweeters mock Trump’s internet call – BBC News |(No WIFI PASSWORD FOR ISIS, Donald Trump)


As the candidates in Tuesday’s Republican debate grappled over how to tackle the growing threat of the Islamic State group (also known as Isis), Donald Trump calmly reassured them “the answer is simple”.Rather than focus on a bombing campaign in Syria, or sending in ground troops, the billionaire offered a more novel, technological strategy: to “close off areas of the internet”.”Isis is using the internet better than we are using the internet, and it was our idea,” the 69-year-old entrepreneur told the audience in Las Vegas.”We should be able to penetrate the internet and find out exactly where Isis is and everything about Isis. “We can do that if we use our good people.”And indeed, the good people of the internet were quick to offer their help:

Source: Republican debate: Tweeters mock Trump’s internet call – BBC News

this pressed for remembering: 10 Rankings That Tell Us Everything We Need to Know About Los Angeles in 2015 — L.A. Weekly (@LAWeekly) December 16, 2015


//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

this pressed for our mind: Anti-Christian persecution isn’t all about Islam, @JohnLAllenJr writes — Crux (@Crux) December 16, 2015


//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

this pressed: Rusia avertizează că poate distruge elementele antibalistice NATO din România şi Polonia | adevarul.ro


Rusia deţine rachete care pot distruge orice element antibalistic instalat de Statele Unite, avertizează generalul rus Serghei Karakaiev, şeful Forţelor strategice ruse, referindu-se la sistemele antirachetă montate de NATO în România şi Polonia, relatează Mediafax.Ştiri pe aceeaşi temă Un general avertizează că Rusia a instalat rachete intercontinentale c… Ambasador rus: Toate ţările participante la sistemul antirachetă NATO … Vladimir Putin: Rusia intenţionează să-şi consolideze arsenalul nuclea…„Evaluările specialiştilor arată că sistemele antirachetă americane aflate în curs de instalare nu vor putea rezista unui atac intens efectuat de unităţi strategice ruse“, a declarat Serghei Karakaiev, citat de agenţii de ştiri ruse, potrivit Mediafax.Oficialul militar a dat asigurări că pe teritoriul Rusiei există sisteme moderne de rachete balistice ale căror poziţii nu sunt cunoscute de „inamici“.„Există sisteme de rachete pe teritoriul Rusiei – din regiunea centrală Tver până în Irkuţk, Siberia – care sunt ascunse de atacurile inamice“, a subliniat Karakaiev.„Rusia nu intenţionează să monteze rachete strategice în regiunea Arctica; nu sunt necesare“, a explicat şeful Forţelor strategice ruse.General rus: Moscova a mobilizat elemente ce pot distruge orice sistem de apărare antirachetăAcum câteva zile, un general a anunţat că armata rusă a instalat sisteme de rachete intercontinentale de tip Iars (SS-27 Mod 2, potrivit terminologiei NATO) la sud-vest de oraşul Moscova. Sistemele au fost instalate în localitatea Kozelsk, situată la circa 200 de kilometri sud-vest de Moscova.„Regimentul de rachete de la Kozelsk a fost plasat în stare deplină de luptă“, a declarat generalul Serghei Siver, comandantul Unităţii de rachete Vladimir.„Principala caracteristică a acestui sistem este capacitatea de a distruge orice sistem de apărare antirachetă şi producerea de daune ample inamicului“, a subliniat oficialul militar rus.Rachetele termonucleare intercontinentale RS-24 Iars (SS-27 Mod 2, potrivit terminologiei NATO) au o rază de acţiune de circa 11.000 de kilometri, atingând viteze de 24.500 de km/h.Vladimir Putin: Apropierea NATO, un scenariu „foarte periculos“Moscova a criticat dur, în ultimul timp, planul Alianţei Nord-Atlantice de a instala sisteme antibalistice în România şi Polonia.Preşedintele Vladimir Putin avertiza, în urmă cu o lună, că Rusia va consolida capacităţile nucleare strategice ca reacţie la sistemele antirachetă instalate de Statele Unite în Europa de Est, precizând că armata rusă a dezvoltat armament care poate distruge orice instalaţie antibalistică. „Rusia va lua măsuri de retorsiune în sensul consolidării capacităţilor forţelor nucleare. De asemenea, vom dezvolta propriile sisteme antirachetă. Am spus de la început că vom dezvolta sisteme de atac pentru distrugerea oricăror instalaţii antibalistice“, declara Vladimir Putin pe 10 noiembrie. Potrivit liderului de la Kremlin, pretextele conform cărora sistemele antirachetă din Europa de Est ar viza ameninţările balistice din partea Iranului şi Coreei de Nord ascund adevăratele intenţii ale Statelor Unite, de a dobândi superioritate militară. „Adevăratul scop este neutralizarea potenţialului nuclear al altor state, inclusiv al Rusiei şi al aliaţilor ei“, a subliniat Vladimir Putin.La sfârşitul lunii octombrie, Vladimir Putin atrăgea atenţia că extinderea sistemului antirachetă al Statelor Unite în Europa de Est reprezintă o ameninţare la adresa capacităţilor nucleare ruse, exprimând preocupare că infrastructura ofensivă a NATO se apropie de frontierele ruse şi evocând un scenariu „foarte periculos“. Rusia a avertizat că elementele antirachetă care urmează să fie instalate la Deveselu reprezintă încălcări ale Tratatului forţelor nucleare intermediare (INF), cerând României şi SUA să conştientizeze „responsabilitatea“ montării acestor sisteme şi să renunţe la plan „cât nu este prea târziu“.Decizia de instalare a sistemelor de tip MK-41 (n.red. – Aegis, conform terminologiei NATO) „riscă să devină o provocare gravă la adresa securităţii internaţionale“, declara recent şi Mihail Ulianov, director al Departamentului pentru neproliferare şi controlul armamentului din cadrul Ministerului rus de Externe. „Acest pas va fi o nouă încălcare flagrantă de către Statele Unite a Tratatului forţelor nucleare intermediare“, a acuzat oficialul rus. „Statele Unite şi România trebuie să înţeleagă amploarea reală a responsabilităţii acestui sistem şi să îşi dea seama că pot renunţa la acest plan cât nu este prea târziu“, adăuga Mihail Ulianov.Moscova acuză că sistemele antirachetă din România şi Polonia încalcă INFMoscova a acuzat de multe ori că sistemele antirachetă care urmează să fie instalate în România şi Polonia reprezintă încălcări ale prevederilor Tratatului forţelor nucleare intermediare (INF). În martie, Serghei Riabkov, adjunctul ministrului rus de Externe, afirma că sistemele MK-41 (Aegis) sunt utilizate pentru rachete cu rază medie şi lungă de ac

Source: Rusia avertizează că poate distruge elementele antibalistice NATO din România şi Polonia | adevarul.ro

this pressed: 1 Dead and Multiple Wounded in Shooting Near L.A. Hotel: Reports #ShootingVictims https://t.co/whIqoD7jf4 pic.twitter.com/IWOgFSjuU3 — Melody Rigo (@Melody407000) December 14, 2015


//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Egypt’s Mythology: ISIS


Isis-WikiIsis is a goddess in Egyptian mythology. She was most prominent mythologically as the wife and sister of Osiris and mother of Horus, and was worshipped as the archetypical wife and mother.

Her name literally means (female) of throne, i.e. Queen of the throne, which was portrayed by the emblem worn on her head, that of a throne. However, the hieroglyph for her name originally meant (female) of flesh, i.e. mortal, and she may simply have represented deified, historical queens.

Her origins are uncertain but are believed to have come from the Nile Delta; however, unlike other Egyptian deities, she did not have a centralised cult at any point throughout her worship. First mentions of Isis date back to the Fifth Dynasty which is when the first literary inscriptions are found, but her cult became prominent late in Egyptian history, when it began to absorb the cults of many other goddesses. It eventually spread outside Egypt throughout the Middle East and Europe, with temples dedicated to her built as far away as the British Isles. Pockets of her worship remained in Christian Europe as late as the 6th century.

Ägyptischer Maler um 1360 v. Chr. 001

The Goddess Isis, wall painting, ca. 1360 BC.

 

Origin of the name

Isis
in Hieroglyphs
st t
,
B1

The English pronunciation used for this deity, /ˈaɪ.sɪs/), is an anglicized pronunciation of the Greek name, Ίσις, which itself changed the original Egyptian name by the addition of a final -s because of the grammatical requirements of Greek noun endings.

The Egyptian name was recorded as ỉs.t or ȝs.t and meant ‘(She of the) Throne’. However the true Egyptian pronunciation remains uncertain because their writing system omitted vowels. Based on recent studies which present us with approximations based on contemporary languages and Coptic evidence, the reconstructed pronunciation of her name is *ʔŪsat (ooh-saht). Later, the name survived into Coptic dialects as Ēse or Ēsi, as well as in compound words surviving in names of later people like Har-si-Ese, literally “Horus, son of Isis”.

For convenience and arbitrarily, Egyptologists choose to pronounce the word as ee-set. Sometimes they may also say ee-sa because the final ‘t’ in her name was a feminine suffix which is known to have been dropped in speech during the last stages of the Egyptian language.

Temples

Most Egyptian deities started off as strictly local, and throughout their history retained local centers of worship, with most major cities and towns widely known as the hometowns to their deities. However, no traces of local Isis cults are found; throughout her early history there are also no known temples dedicated to her. Individual worship of Isis does not begin until as late as the 30th Dynasty; until that time Isis was depicted and apparently worshipped in temples of other deities. However, even then Isis is not worshipped individually, but rather together with Horus and Osiris– the latter of whom being both her brother and husband, as they fell deeply in love within their mother’s womb. Temples dedicated specifically to Isis become wide-spread only in the Roman times.

By this period, temples to Isis begin to spread outside of Egypt. In many locations, particularly Byblos, her cult takes over that of worship to the Semitic goddess Astarte, apparently due to the similarity of names and associations. During the Hellenic era, due to her attributes as a protector, and mother, and the lusty aspect originally from Hathor, she was also made the patron goddess of sailors.

Throughout the Graeco-Roman world, Isis becomes one of the most significant of the mystery religions, and many classical writers refer to her temples, cults and rites. Temples to Isis were built in Iraq, Greece, Rome, even as far north as England where the remains of a temple were discovered at Hadrian’s Wall. At Philae her worship persisted until the 6th century, long after the wide acceptance of Christianity- this was the last of the ancient Egyptian temples to be closed, and its fall is generally accepted to mark the end of ancient Egypt.

Priesthood

Little information on Egyptian priests of Isis survives; however it is clear there were both male and female priests of her cult throughout her early history. By the Graeco-Roman era, all priestesses of Isis are female. Many of them were healers and midwives, and were said to have many special powers, including dream interpretation and the ability to control the weather by braiding or combing their hair, the latter of which was because the Egyptians considered knots to have magical power.

Iconography

Associations

“tyet” –
Knot of Isis
in Hieroglyphs
V39

Because of the association between knots and magical power, a symbol of Isis was the tiet/tyet (meaning welfare/life), also called the Knot of Isis, Buckle of Isis, or the Blood of Isis. The tiet in many respects resembles an ankh, except that its arms curve down, and in all these cases seems to represent the idea of eternal life/resurrection. The meaning of Blood of Isis is more obscured, but the tyet was often used as a funerary amulet made of red wood, stone, or glass, so this may have simply been a description of its appearance.

The star Spica (sometimes called Lute Bearer), and the constellation which roughly corresponded to the modern Virgo, appeared at a time of year associated with the harvest of wheat and grain, and thus with fertility gods and goddesses. Consequently they were associated with Hathor, and hence with Isis through her later conflation with Hathor. Isis also assimilated Sopdet, the personification of Sirius, since Sopdet, rising just before the flooding of the Nile, was seen as a bringer of fertility, and so had been identified with Hathor. Sopdet still retained an element of distinct identity, however, as Sirius was quite visibly a star and not living in the underworld (Isis being the wife of Osiris, king of the underworld).

Titles

In the Book of the Dead Isis was described as She who gives birth to heaven and earth, knows the orphan, knows the widow, seeks justice for the poor, and shelter for the weak. Some of Isis’ many other titles were Queen of Heaven, Mother of the Gods, The One Who is All, Lady of Green Crops, The Brilliant One in the Sky, Star of the Sea, Great Lady of Magic, goddess of magic, fertility, nature, motherhood, and underworld, Mistress of the House of Life, She Who Knows How To Make Right Use of the Heart, Light-Giver of Heaven, Lady of the Words of Power, and Moon Shining Over the Sea.

Depictions

In art, originally Isis was pictured as a woman wearing a long sheath dress and crowned with the hieroglyphic sign for a throne, sometimes holding a lotus, as a sycamore tree. Occasionally depicted with outstretched wings, Isis is distinguished from the similarly portrayed Goddess Ma’at through the latter’s use of an ostrich feather in her headdress rather than the symbol for a throne as used with Isis. After her assimilation of Hathor, Isis’s headdress is replaced with that of Hathor: the horns of a cow on her head, and the solar disc between them. She was also sometimes symbolised by a cow, or a cow’s head. Usually, she was depicted with her son, the great god Horus, with a crown and a vulture, and sometimes as a kite bird flying above Osiris’s body.

Isis is most often seen holding only the generic ankh sign and a simple staff, but is sometimes seen with Hathor’s attributes, the sacred sistrum rattle and the fertility bearing menat necklace.

Isis in literature

Isis is the most important goddess in Egyptian mythology who transferred from a local goddess in the Nile Delta to a cosmic goddess all over the whole ancient world. The name Isis is still a beloved name among modern coptic Egyptians, and in Europe the name (Isadora)i.e. Gift of Isis is still common.

We know characters of the Goddess from Plutarch’s Isis and Osiris which considered the main source of this mythological story. Apuleius’ “Transformations of Lucius” gives us an understanding of Isis in the first century. The following paragraph is particularly significant. “You see me here, Lucius, in answer to your prayer. I am nature, the universal Mother, mistress of all the elements, primordial child of time, sovereign of all things spiritual, queen of the dead, queen also of the immortals, the single manifestation of all gods and goddesses that are, my nod governs the shining heights of Heavens, the wholesome sea breezes. though I am worshipped in many aspects, known by countless names. . . some know me as Juno, some as Bellona . . . the Egyptians who excel in ancient learning and worship call me by my true name..Queen Isis.”

Mythology

Early Isis

Isis
in Hieroglyphs
st t
,
H8
B1
 
or st t
,
y
I12

Throne queen

As the deification of the wife of the pharaoh, the first prominent role of Isis was as the assistant to the deceased king. Thus she gained a funerary association, her name appearing over 80 times in the Pyramid Texts, and was said to be the mother of the four gods who protected the Canopic Jars – more specifically, Isis was viewed as protector of the liver-jar-god Imsety. This association with the Pharaoh’s wife also brought the idea that Isis was considered the spouse of Horus, who was protector, and later the deification, of the Pharaoh himself. Consequently, on occasion, her mother was said to be Hathor, the mother of Horus. By the Middle Kingdom, as the funeral texts spread to be used by non-royals, her role also grows to protect the nobles and even the commoners.

By the New Kingdom, Isis gains prominence as the mother / protector of the Pharaoh. She is said to breastfeed the pharaoh with her milk, and is often depicted visually as such. The role of her name and her throne-crown is uncertain. Some egyptologists believe that being the throne-mother was Isis’ original function, however a more modern view states that aspects of the role came later by association. In many African tribes, the king’s throne is known as the mother of the king, and that fits well with either theories, giving us more insight into the thinking of ancient Egyptians.

Sister-wife to Osiris

In another area of Egypt, when the pantheon was formalised, Isis became one of the Ennead of Heliopolis, as a daughter of Nut and Geb, and sister to Osiris, Nephthys, and Set. As a funerary deity, she was associated with Osiris, god of the underworld (Aaru), and thus was considered his wife. The two females – Isis and Nephthys were often depicted on coffins, with wings outstretched, as protectors against evil.

A later legend, ultimately a result of the replacement of another god of the underworld when the cult of Osiris gained more authority, tells of the birth of Anubis. The tale describes how Nephthys became sexually frustrated with Set and disguised herself as the much more attractive Isis to try to seduce him. The ploy failed, but Osiris now found Nepthys very attractive, as he thought she was Isis. They coupled, resulting in the birth of Anubis. In fear of Set’s anger, Nephthys persuaded Isis to adopt Anubis, so that Set would not find out. The tale describes both why Anubis is seen as an underworld deity (he is a son of Osiris), and why he couldn’t inherit Osiris’ position (he was not a legitimate heir), neatly preserving Osiris’ position as lord of the underworld.

Assimilation of Hathor

Beliefs about Ra himself had been hovering around the identification of Ra, a sun god, with Horus, another sun god (as the compound Ra-Herakhty), and so for some time, Isis had intermittently been considered the wife of Ra, since she was the mother of Horus. Consequently, since there was not anything logically troubling by identifying Isis as Ra’s wife, Hathor unlike identifying Ra as his own son, she and Hathor became considered the same deity, Isis-Hathor. Sometimes the alternative consideration arose, that Isis, in the Ennead, was a child of Atum-Ra, and so should have been a child of Ra’s wife, Hathor, although this was less favoured as Isis had enough in common with Hathor to be considered one and the same.

Mother of Horus

It was this merger with Hathor that proved to be the most significant event in the history of Egyptian mythology. By merging with Hathor, Isis became the mother of Horus, rather than his Wife, and thus, when beliefs of Ra absorbed Atum into Atum-Ra, it also had to be taken into account that Isis was one of the Ennead, as the wife of Osiris. However, it had to be explained how Osiris, who as god of the dead, was dead, could be considered a father to Horus who was very much not considered dead. This led to the evolution of the idea that Osiris needed to be resurrected, and so to the Legend of Osiris and Isis, of which Plutarch’s De Iside et Osiride contains the most extensive account known today, a myth so significant that everything else paled in comparison. Yet another set of myths detail the adventures of Isis after the birth of Osiris‘ posthumous son, Horus. Many dangers faced Horus after birth, and Isis fled with the newborn to escape the wrath of Seth, the murderer of her husband. In one instance, Isis heals Horus from a lethal scorpion sting; she also performs other miracles in relation to the so-called cippi, or the plaques of Horus. Isis protected and raised Horus until he was old enough to face Seth, and subsequentally became the king of Egypt.

Magic

In order to resurrect Osiris for the purpose of having the child Horus, it was necessary for Isis to learn magic, and so it was that Isis tricked Ra (i.e. Amun-Ra/Atum-Ra) into telling her his “secret name”, by getting a snake to bite and poison him, so that he would use his “secret name” to survive. This aspect becomes central in magic spells, and Isis is often implored to use the true name of Ra while performing rituals. By the late Egyptian history, Isis becomes the most important, and most powerful magical deity of the Egyptian pantheon. Magic is central to the entire mythology of Isis; arguably more so than any other Egyptian deity.

In consequence of her deeply magical nature, Isis also became a goddess of magic. The prior goddess to hold the quadruple roles of healer, protector of the canopic jars, protector of marriage, and goddess of magic, Serket, became considered an aspect of her. Thus it is not surprising that Isis had a central role in Egyptian magic spells and ritual, especially those of protection and healing. In many spells, she is also completely merged even with Horus, where invocations of Isis are supposed to automatically involve Horus’ powers as well.

Assimilation of Mut

After the authority of Thebes had risen, and made Amun into a much more significant god, it later waned, and Amun was assimilated into Ra. In consequence, Amun’s consort, Mut, the doting, infertile, and implicitly virginal mother, who by this point had absorbed other goddesses herself, was assimilated into Ra’s wife, Isis-Hathor as Mut-Isis-Nekhbet. On occasion, Mut’s infertility and implicit virginity was taken into consideration, and so Horus, who was too significant to ignore, had to be explained by saying that Isis became pregnant with magic, when she transformed herself into a kite

Mut’s husband was Amun, who had by this time become identified with Min as Amun-Min (also known by his epithet – Kamutef). Since Mut had become part of Isis, it was natural to try to make Amun, part of Osiris, the husband of Isis, but this was not easily reconcilable, because Amun-Min was a fertility god and Osiris was the god of the dead. Consequently they remained regarded separately, and Isis was sometimes said to be the lover of Min. Subsequently, as at this stage Amun-Min was considered an aspect of Ra (Amun-Ra), he was also considered an aspect of Horus, since Horus was identified as Ra, and thus Isis’ son was on rare occasions said to be Min instead, which neatly avoided having confusion over Horus’s status as was held at being the husband and son of Isis.

Isis outside Egypt

The cult of Isis rose to prominence in the Hellenistic world, beginning in the last centuries BC, until it was eventually banned by the Christians in the 6th century. Despite the Isis mystery cult’s growing popularity, there is evidence to suggest that the Isis mysteries were not altogether welcomed by the ruling classes in Rome. Her rites were considered by the princeps Augustus to be “pornographic” and capable of destroying the Roman moral fibre.

Tacitus writes that after Julius Caesar’s assassination, a temple in honour of Isis had been decreed; Augustus suspended this, and tried to turn Romans back to the Roman gods who were closely associated with the state. Eventually the Roman emperor Caligula abandoned the Augustan wariness towards oriental cults, and it was in his reign that the Isiac festival was established in Rome. According to Josephus, Caligula himself donned female garb and took part in the mysteries he instituted, and Isis acquired in the Hellenistic age a “new rank as a leading goddess of the Mediterranean world.”

Roman perspectives on cult were syncretic, seeing in a new deity merely local aspects of a familiar one. For many Romans, Egyptian Isis was an aspect of Phrygian Cybele, whose orgiastic rites were long naturalized at Rome, indeed she was known as Isis of Ten Thousand Names.

Among these names of Roman Isis, Queen of Heaven is outstanding for its long and continuous history. Herodotus identified Isis with the Greek and Roman goddesses of agriculture, Demeter and Ceres. In Yorùbá mythology, Isis became Yemaya. In later years, Isis also had temples throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia, and as far away as the British Isles, where there was a temple to Isis on the River Thames by Southwark. In the book, the golden ass, Isis told Lucius:

“Here you see me, Lucius, in answer to your prayers. Know that I am a mother and universal nature, mistress of all the elements, primordial principle of time, sovereign of all things spiritual, queen of the dead, oceans, and queen also of the immortals. The only manifestation of gods and goddesses. My gesture commands the glittering heights of heaven, healthy sea water and cries secrets of hell. Though I am worshiped in many aspects, known by countless names … The Trojans, who were the first born in the world, call me Pesinuntica, mother of the gods, the Athenians natural born there, call me Minerva Cecropea, and also Cyprus, Venus Pafia I call the archers and Sagittarians, Diana, three languages ​​Sicilians Proserpina call me, the Eleusinian, the goddess Ceres and other old know me as Juno, others Bellona, ​​others Ecates, other Ranusia … But the Egyptians who excel in learning and ancient worship call me by my real name … Queen Isis.”

This is the translation of latin.

Links to Christianity

Many scholars believe that Isis worship in late Roman times was the primary influence behind Christianity’s adoption of the cult of the Virgin Mary. Evidence suggests that this allowed the Christian Church to absorb a huge number of converts who had formerly believed in Isis, and would not have converted unless Christianity offered them an “Isis-like” female focus for their faith. Iconographically the similarities between the seated Isis holding or suckling the child Horus (Harpocrates) and the seated Mary and the baby Jesus, is apparent.

Some Fundamentalist Christian writers find fault with these claims, and suggest that by the time the cult of the Virgin Mary arose, the worship of Isis had greatly evolved from the Egyptian myths, and her relationship with Horus was no longer a major factor. However, this view is overshadowed by the fact that Late Roman beliefs regarding the attributes of Isis, are almost identical to Early Christian beliefs regarding Mary. One has only to read the quote from Apuleius above, to see that Isis was worshiped in Roman Times as a Universal and merciful mother figure – precisely as was the Virgin Mary.

Isis in modern culture

During the modern era, older cultures, techniques and ideologies have become overshadowed as the present progresses. For centuries, the Ancient Egyptian culture was almost entirely forgotten. From the 19th century onward, Egyptologist’s have unlocked so many aspects of this time. With knowledge available, people from around the world have created organizations to praise this culture. For Isis in particular, organization such as Horus worshipers and Resurrect Isis have been established.

References

  1. Richard H. Wilkinson (2003), The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt.
  2. Spence, Lewis (1990), Ancient Egyptian Myths and Legends.
  3. Shaw, Ian (2000), The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt.
  4. Shaw, Ian (195), The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt.
  5. Rosalie David, (1998) Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt.

External links

Modern Isis worship

this pressed for your hearts and minds: STATELESS OF LEBANON | Linda Dorigo


The offspring of a Lebanese woman who is married to a non-Lebanese man cannot be considered Lebanese citizens. Even if they have been born and raised in the country. These children are Al-Maktum Qaid or “Stateless.” The stateless in Lebanon also consist of Palestinian refugees or descendants of Palestinians who rejected Lebanese citizenship in order to steer clear of military service when the country was under the French mandate in 1932. Unofficial estimates speak of 35,000 women married to foreigners, and a number of stateless that exceeds 100,000 out of a population of almost 4 million.The stateless have no passports, do not have access to public health care and cannot attend public schools. They are also unable to own private property. Even marriage and travel are incredible obstacles. Gender inequality in nationality laws can create statelessness in which children cannot acquire nationality from their fathers, and are forced to live an incomplete life.The Lebanese government has refused to discuss the archaic law, which dates back to 1925. Some critics say this is because a change in numerical terms by one group over another would result in a shift in political representation and the balance of power within the already vulnerable and sectarian-divided government. Granting women the right to pass on citizenship would lead to an increase in the number of Muslims within Lebanon and could possibly open the doors to Palestinian refugees too.Karim is 9 years old. Every 3 years he has to renew his resident visa to remain in Lebanon. He must study at a private school, since he is not allowed to attend public school. He says he would like to become a doctor to help his mother, Nadia, who is paying for his education. His father, who is also stateless and is of Kurdish origin, was born in Lebanon 55 years ago. Ibrahim lives with his mother in the Beqa‘ valley. He never knew his Syrian father because he left the family and never returned home. “I did not grow up with my real father,” he says. “My brothers and I can not even go to Syria because when we were born there was not enough money to register births, marriages and deaths.” Ibrahim went to school for only 4 years. He was engaged once, but she left him because of his social condition. Moustafa is the founder of the independent movement “Our rights group”. He is stateless, married and father of 3 children, who are therefore also stateless. “I started this campaign alone, without money, more or less two years ago,” he explains. “I suffered a lot for my condition. Today we need to be united because the inability to extend the nationality denies not only women their full rights as nationals, but also denies her children their basic rights as human beings. The same happened to Youssef: he is Palestinian, married to Nada, and they have 3 children. He and his wife are engineers, they work together, they have a studio, but officially he is her employee. The family house, cars, and properties belong to Nada because Youssef is not allowed to own anything. “Before opening the studio with Nada, I was project manager and I had 12 engineers under me,” Youssef says. “No one knew my origins, otherwise I would have been forced to leave the job. Our children understand the restrictions, and when they get married, we will be careful to choose the ‘right’ person”. The story of Samira is well known in Lebanon. She was married to an Egyptian man who passed away in 1994. She has 5 children. None are studying at university because education for non-Lebanese is very expensive. In 2009, for the first time in Lebanon, Judge John Azzi granted citizenship to her children, but two days later the government intervened and quashed the decision. Azzi, who was Head of the Court, lost his office and became a lawyer. He wrote his experience in “A Trip of a Lifetime to Nationality”. Many other families pay the consequences of the Lebanese law. Yousra for example is mother of 2 sons. Hani’s father is Jordanian, while Ali’s father is Lebanese. Yousra has been divorced twice. Since Hani, the youngest, has no nationality he cannot go to public school. The family pays $2.000 a year for his education and his residence permit needs to be renewed every 3 years. Lorenzo he is an Italian journalist married to a Lebanese woman. Their 2 sons can apply for Italian IDs but not Lebanese ones. “I did not think this could be a problem,” Lorenzo said “But talking with my wife I felt more involved, and discovered the injustice”.Links: Private Magazine, Cargo Collective

Source: STATELESS OF LEBANON | Linda Dorigo

this pressed for the Jubilee Year of Mercy: Meet the Christian Minorities of the Middle East | TIME


Ani, Turkey. Ani is the ancient capital of the Armenian empire, situated at the closed border between Armenia and Turkey. Nowadays Ani is a stack of churches’ ruins, homes and the Cathedral. August 2013.

Ani, Turkey. Ani is the ancient capital of the Armenian empire, situated at the closed border between Armenia and Turkey. Nowadays Ani is a stack of churches’ ruins, homes and the Cathedral. August 2013.

During a four-year journey throughout the Middle East – one that placed photographer Linda Dorigo and journalist Andrea Milluzzi on the trail of Christian minorities in countries where Christianity originated and took root – the two reporters, often against their will, adopted what might be considered a theatrical disguise: they were welcomed as academic researchers in Iran, confused for a newlywed couple in Syria, and even referred to as a priest and nun in Gaza.This speaks for only a fraction of the adventures that marked their extensive “pilgrimage” on the trail of secluded Christian minorities, as the reporters sought them out in the capital cities of Muslim countries such as Damascus, or in remote Assyrian towns like Qaraqosh, Iraq. Their interest in this subject was sparked by a dramatic event – a suicide bomb attack that shocked a Coptic Christian Mass in Alexandria, Egypt, on New Year’s Eve 2011. After the news made headlines, it quickly faded from broader media attention, prompting Dorigo and Milluzzi to start their project.The result is Rifugio – Christians of the Middle East, a black-and-white photobook and journalistic reportage that documents their project chronicling the life of Christian communities in nine countries – Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Milluzzi’s essays and Dorigo’s photographs complement each other seamlessly, grouped into six chapters, describing what they say is the burdensome and often heart-rending plight that these minorities endure. Dorigo’s subtle but eloquent photographs – often blurry, elusive, at time dramatic – capture both joyful moments and oppressions encountered, illustrating a reality suspended between the cultural heritage that these communities embody and their minority nature.“It has been a discovery, a never-ending discovery really, because surely we began our journey with an idea in mind of what we were going to look for,” Dorigo says. “But it is [only] when you travel that you realize that, comparing the reality of each country, that you can’t equate Christians in Egypt with Christians in Iran,” she adds.As they toured the area, their research brought them to some of the most remote places in the region, covering events so extraordinary that they seem part of a different era: In the Old City of Jerusalem, they watched the enactment of the Via Crucis staged by Capuchin monks in the streets of the Christian Quarter. In Rojava, in the Syrian Kurdistan, Dorigo photographed the ruins of the last church in Gharduka, which ISIS jihadists bombed. In Iran’s west Azerbaijan province, they witnessed the annual Armenian pilgrimage to Saint Thaddeus monastery, a custom dating back to 68 AD. On that occasion, the ancient church became their dwelling.Planning their trip, Dorigo and Milluzzi avoided hotels and opted for local lodging. “The more you share, the more you are actually able to go deep in what you’re documenting,” Dorigo says. “We sought the real stories, inside the houses, inside the families.”Some destinations, however, proved difficult to explore. To reach Syria’s far east region from its capital, they bypassed ISIS-controlled territories only by returning to Lebanon, flying to Turkey, taking a bus to Iraq and finally entering Syria’s east border all in the same day. On another occasion, as Iranian authorities were after them, they left the country in a couple of days (but returned after a few months.) They gained access to Christian minorities through religious gatherings, local priests or through the encounters in cosmopolitan Beirut. Surprisingly to them, more than once the Muslims themselves introduced the reporters to their Christian neighbors. “That was a beautiful thing,” Dorigo says, “and it really testifies that a spirit of friendship and brotherhood does exist, despite being often flattened and even obstructed by a series of propagandistic efforts in the name of a religious conflict.

Linda Dorigo is an independent documentary photojournalist and Andrea Milluzzi is a freelance journalist. They are based both in Italy and in the Middle East. Their latest work, Rifugio – Christians of the Middle East, is published by Schilt Publishing.

Paul Moakley, who edited this photo essay, is TIME’s Deputy Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise. Follow him on Twitter @paulmoakley.

Lucia De Stefani is a writer and contributor at TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Follow TIME LightBox on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Source: Meet the Christian Minorities of the Middle East | TIME

this pressed: Périple : à la rencontre des derniers Chrétiens du Moyen-Orient |— L’important (@Limportant_fr) December 11, 2015


//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

this pressed for our future: Donald Trump’s Muslim ban proposal throws Republican party into chaos | US news | The Guardian


Donald Trump speaks during a rally coinciding with Pearl Harbor Day aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown on Monday. Photograph: Mic Smith/AP

Tom McCarthy in New York, Ben Jacobs in Washington, Ryan Felton in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Kate Lamb in Jakarta, Indonesia

Tuesday 8 December 2015 15.19 EST

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was disowned by his own party’s top leadership on Tuesday and faced calls to drop his White House bid as the world reacted with outrage to his plan for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

The billionaire frontrunner’s plan tipped the Republican presidential race into chaos, with party leaders from the chairman of the Republican National Committee to former US vice-president Dick Cheney condemning the idea as “un-American”.
How does Trump do it? Understanding the psychology of a demagogue’s rally

Trump toured the US television studios in unrepentant form, unmoved by the gale of criticism that followed his speech aboard an aircraft carrier on Monday evening. Speaking aboard the USS Yorktown, he acknowledged that his proposal was “probably not politically correct”, before whipping up a cheering crowd and adding: “But. I. Don’t. Care.”

“We need a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on,” Trump said. “We are out of control.”

But for perhaps the first time of the election cycle, Trump seemed at risk of being drowned out by voices raised on all sides in protest against him.

Horrified Muslims in the United States heard in Trump’s rhetoric an echo of Nazism, and they joined the Republican condemnation of Trump as un-American.

“He’s trampling on our constitution and packaging it as a snake oil cure for our security concerns,” said Kassem Allie, executive administrator of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan, one of the largest mosques in the US. “He’s using fear-mongering reminiscent of Nazi Germany and Stalin.”
Advertisement

A significant silence that had followed past outrageous statements by Trump – in which Republican elders have declined direct confrontation, and the targets of his remarks have seemed humiliated or intimidated – seemed finally shattered at the billionaire’s latest offense.

Republican establishment figures from Cheney to rivals like Jeb Bush and RNC chairman Reince Priebus ramped up their condemnations.

“Well, I think this whole notion that somehow we need to say no more Muslims and just ban a whole religion goes against everything we stand for and believe in,” Cheney told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I mean, religious freedom’s been a very important part of our, our history.”

House speaker Paul Ryan said Trump’s remarks violated the constitution and were “not who we are as a party”.

“This is not conservatism,” the Wisconsin representative said, adding: “Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islam terror are Muslims.”

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, backed Ryan, his former running mate, adding on Twitter: “On Muslims, @realDonaldTrump fired before aiming…@SpeakerRyan is on target.”

Party chairman Preibus said of Trump’s remarks: “I don’t agree. We need to aggressively take on radical Islamic terrorism but not at the expense of our American values.”

There were signs that Trump was not deaf to the Republican insurrection. He appeared to make a veiled threat on Twitter on Tuesday to run as an independent. “A new poll indicates that 68% of my supporters would vote for me if I departed the GOP & ran as an independent,” he wrote.
Advertisement

While such a bid would face logistical barriers that differ from state to state, experts have said an independent run would be possible for a candidate with money to spend on lawyers and signature-collection campaigns. Such a move would have a potentially disastrous effect on Republican hopes of winning back the White House.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest called Trump’s remarks “incendiary” and “morally reprehensible”, adding: “What Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president.”

In Congress, a Florida Republican spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to make a passionate demand for Trump to quit the presidential race.

“It should be heartbreaking to every American that we have a frontrunner in the presidential race that suggests there will be a religious test for anybody who wishes to come to our shores,” said Representative David Jolly. “It is an affront to the principles upon which our nation was founded.”

Bush, a would-be presidential rival of Trump who has been trailing him badly in the polls, said the real estate mogul was “unhinged”. An outside political group supporting Bush, meanwhile, announced a $3.7m ad campaign featuring a video calling Trump “impulsive and reckless”.

The outrage was not limited to the United States. British prime minister David Cameron issued a statement that said he “completely disagrees” with Trump’s comments and regards them as “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong”.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage released a statement saying Trump had “gone too far”.

Muslim groups around the world expressing outrage at Trump’s proposal included Dar al-Ifta, the state religious body in Egypt.

“Such hostile attitudes towards Islam and Muslims will increase tensions within the American society of which Muslims represent around 8 million peaceful and loyal American citizens,” the group said in a statement.

The call was echoed by Muslims in the United States.

“This statement is pretty much un-American, and goes against every value and principle that we hold dear as American citizens,” said Adam Soltani, executive of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Oklahoma. “And it’s not a stance we should be taking as a country, and it’s definitely not a stance that an individual running for the highest office in our country should adopt.”

Trump followed up the speech with a media blitz Tuesday morning, in which he claimed the mantle of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, citing the internment of Japanese Americans during the second world war as precedent for his policy.

“This is a president highly respected by all, he did the same thing,” Trump said on ABC News. “If you look at what he was doing, it was far worse.”

However, Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist who has been a vocal critic of Trump, told the Guardian: “There was a whiff of fascism around this guy. Now there’s a reek of fascism”.
‘I. Don’t. Care’: Trump brushes off horrified reaction to his Muslim ban
Read more

Wilson noted with horror that Trump has been evasive on whether his ban applies to American citizens, something which would be grotesquely unconstitutional. “I wanted to hear that explicitly stated,” Wilson said. “American citizens are exempted from this, and in order to satisfy his supporters, he can’t and won’t say that.”

Wilson thought that Trump posed a profound challenge for the future of the Republican party. “We are going to end up having a point where there’s going to be a ‘come to Jesus’ moment about whether this party can survive Donald Trump.” Wilson also noted: “A lot of Trump’s fans and supporters don’t want the party to survive. They want to form a populist, nationalist party that isn’t about limited government and the constitution.”

When the point comes, Wilson said, “we have to decide if this going to be the troll party or the Republican party”.
Advertisement

Reactions elsewhere in the national politics ranged from amused to exasperated. The Philadelphia Daily News put a picture of Trump delivering a stiff wave on its cover, with the caption “The New Furor”.

The Democratic mayor of St Petersburg, Florida, Rick Kriseman, tweeted that Trump was not welcome in the city. “I am hereby barring Donald Trump from entering St. Petersburg until we fully understand the dangerous threat posed by all Trumps,” he wrote.

In a meeting with local church groups in Baltimore, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders expressed general frustration with the conversation around Trump.

Sanders was questioned in a press conference about why his staff had instructed journalists not to ask him about him about Islamic State.

“What about Isis, guys?” Sanders asked as he laughed and he turned to the black church leaders standing next to him. “How often are these people talking about the issues that we talked about today?”

Source: Donald Trump’s Muslim ban proposal throws Republican party into chaos | US news | The Guardian

 

this pressed for our future: Christians as “Soft Targets” – The Catholic Thing


Christians as “Soft Targets”

The gun lobby and their sympathizers (and some cartoonists) have recently been bringing public attention to the fact that “gun-free” signs on the entrances of museums, schools, churches, shopping malls, etc. can be an unintended invitation to homicidal maniacs or suicidal nihilists who want to take as many possible souls with them in exiting the world.

Christianity is in a sense a “gun-free” zone. The Christian religion is so devoted to peace that it could incite similar agressive responses in malevolent persons or systems.

There are, of course, violent Christians and Christian leaders. But in all of the New Testament, there is not one sentence that could reasonably incite a Christian to violence or to forced conversions.

Quakers and other Christian pacifists are in part justified for interpreting Christianity as going even further than Buddhism in avoiding all types of violence. They focus on Jesus’ messages to “turn the other cheek” (Mt. 5:39), “go the extra mile” (Mt. 5:41), “forgive seventy times seven times” (Mt. 18:22), “lend without expecting repayment” (Lk. 6:35), “give them your coat also” (Lk. 6:29), and “put away the sword (Mt. 26:52).” Ethicists now would call such rules “supererogatory” – going far beyond the basic requirements of duty and justice.

There is nothing in the New Testament about the basic rights of self-defense. St. Augustine and other theologians thus needed to wrestle with questions about the justification of wars. They came up with the strict criteria of “just war theory,” requiring multiple conditions for declaring wars and multiple restrictions of conduct when engaging in wars.

Just war theory is rational. The New Testament goes beyond, but does not abrogate, the natural law of self-preservation and its corollaries. An individual may go over and above duty in certain cases to “turn the other cheek,” but social and political duties of those in authority may call for use of force to preserve lives and sustenance.

gunfree

There is, however, a special problem for a “soft-target” religion: it could be a proverbial “sitting duck” – not only for unscrupulous cultures and governments, but also for a militant political religious cult. As I mentioned in a previous column, the Islam we are dealing with in the contemporary world harbors no supererogatory exhortations to non-violence. The fact that Islam is constantly referred to as a “religion of peace” is an anomaly, a species of Orwellian “new-speak” – in the same way that murdering the unborn is called a “reproductive right,” institutionalized sodomy is called “marriage,” and sex has been replaced with “gender.”

gunfreeThe stark difference between the concept of martyrdom in Christianity and Islam helps to bring out the dangers for “soft targets.” For Christianity, the martyr deserving of eternal bliss through the vision of God is one willing to suffer and die as a witness for his faith. For Islam, the martyr deserving of an eternal bliss of sensual pleasure is one who is killed while killing “unbelievers” (Quran 9:111) – even unknown crowds of men, women, and children – thus advancing the jihadist movement in the world.

New Testament apocalyptic passages in the Book of Revelation about final battles between the powers of good and evil are hard to interpret, but Christians may be faced with the possibility of a strange “Armageddon.” Instead of (as usually depicted) two massive armies facing each other in a final decisive battle, another scenario in which billions of sincere Christians, the greatest “soft target” ever produced in the world, are abandoned to the devices of billions of Muslims. Indeed, Muslim eschatology involves the destruction and subjugation of all “unbelievers” in a final battle in which the rather far-fetched Muslim version of Jesus (Isa, the son of Maryam, the sister of Moses’ brother, Aaron [Quran 19:27-28]) would come and break all Christian crosses, exterminate pigs as the supply of pork, and grant the laurels of victory to Islam.

But events during the last hundred years make such a lopsided Armageddon scenario less fantastic – millions of Christians massacred in Armenia, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere; a million killed in just the first thirteen years of the 21st century; more martyrdoms than in all previous centuries – not to mention the pillaging and destruction of hundreds of churches in Iraq, Egypt, and Nigeria in the last few years; in formerly tolerant Indonesia, according to a report of the Gatestone Institute, more than 1,000 Christian churches have been shut down, torn down or burned down since 2006. (If you follow only the mainstream media, you may be excused for not knowing about such things.)

At present, with the “Islamic State” (ISIS), we have the advent of a new “caliph,” Caliph Ibrahim (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi). For most Muslims, the caliph, if he manages to survive threats from alternative claimants, is not just a figurehead. His existence could dramatically change the eschatological views of obedient and traditional Muslims. While “defensive” war is always permitted to Muslims, only the Caliph has the authority to order an offensive war of conquest and destruction. This is being done now, with tens of thousands of young Muslims rushing to join ISIS in Syria and other strongholds.

Catholics call themselves the “Church Militant,” but this is just a metaphor, and meant spiritually. The days when a pope could order or bless a crusade are long gone, especially in view of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, which offer fulsome praises of Islam as an “Abrahamic” religion which adores the same God and submits to His hidden decrees. And it goes without saying, that no nation now would be willing to defend the Christians being murdered or exiled by Islamists, since for “enlightened” moderns this would be a “religious war,” repeating pre-Enlightenment mistakes of the past.

The combination of the surrender to modernism in the “developed world” and Christians’ helpless exposure to violence and subjugation in Muslim-dominated regions leads to a possible alternative vision of Armageddon and victory: a final martyrdom of the Church.

Howard Kainz

Howard Kainz

Howard Kainz is emeritus professor of philosophy at Marquette University. His most recent publications include Natural Law: an Introduction and Reexamination (2004), Five Metaphysical Paradoxes (The 2006 Marquette Aquinas Lecture), The Philosophy of Human Nature (2008), and The Existence of God and the Faith-Instinct (2010).

Source: Christians as “Soft Targets” – The Catholic Thing

this pressed for History: Istoria sumbră a Braşovului: oraşul a purtat numele lui Stalin timp de zece ani pentru a celebra comunismul | adevarul.ro


Timp de zece ani, pe Muntele Tâmpa a stat scris „Stalin“. FOTO prinbrasov.ro Între 1950 şi 1960, Braşovul s-a numit oraşul Stalin.

Timp de zece ani, pe Muntele Tâmpa a stat scris „Stalin“. FOTO prinbrasov.ro Între 1950 şi 1960, Braşovul s-a numit oraşul Stalin. Toată clasa muncitoare de atunci trebuia să se arate fericită de „onoarea“ care i se făcea. În plus, au fost şi apariţii în ziare cum că schimbarea denumirii oraşului a venit direct din popor.Ştiri pe aceeaşi temă Statuia uriaşă a căpeteniei maghiare Árpád de pe Muntele Tâmpa: dinami… Cum a ajuns Braşovul să fie oraşul din România care să poarte numele lui Stalin? Există o legendă care circulă de peste o jumătate de secol, dar până acum nu a fost şi dovedită. Aceasta spune că în România ar fi fost vizat iniţial Sibiul, dar comuniştii au considerat că nu sună bine Salam de Stalin şi astfel „onoarea“ a revenit Braşovului. Se întâmpla în 1950, când în toată Europa de Est se „sărbătorea“ instalarea comunismului şi se recunoştea puterea rusească. Astfel, 14 oraşe din tot atâtea ţări au ajuns să fie redenumite Stalin. În România a fost Braşovul. În ziare s-a scris că muncitorii au dorit acest lucruCa să nu se creadă cumva că ruşii au impus acest lucru, s-a fabricat un document print care muncitorii din Braşov cereau insistent ca oraşul să poarte denumirea de Stalin. Practic s-a dorit să se creadă că poporul este cel care vrea acest lucru cu ardoare. Pe 19 august 1950, cererea muncitorilor apărea în ziarul Drum Nou, pe 22 august 1950 era dat decretul de schimbare al numelui, iar pe 25 august, în acelaşi an, Drum nou publică “salutul călduros” al Guvernului şi Comitetului Central al Partidului Muncitoresc Român (viitor Partid Comunist Român) vizavi de schimbarea numelui din Braşov în Oraşul Stalin.„Dragi Tovarăşi, la iniţiativa C.F.R.-iştilor, noi, oamenii muncii din oraşul Braşov am hotărât să propunem ca numele oraşului nostru să fie schimbat dându-i-se numele marelui geniu al omenirii muncitoare, scumpului şi iubitului prieten al poporului muncitor din ţara noastră, învăţătorului şi eliberatorului nostru – marelui Stalin.Oraşul nostru este unul dintre principalele centre industriale ale ţării; marile sale întreprinderi, ca uzinele de tractoare „Sovromtractor”, ca întreprinderea metalurgică „Steagul Roşu” şi multe altele, sunt binecunoscute oamenilor muncii din întreaga ţară. În oraşul nostru convieţuiesc frăţesc, muncind şi lucrând cot la cot, muncitorii români cu muncitorii unguri şi cu muncitori de alte naţionalităţi.Suntem convinşi că conducerea Partidului şi Guvernului Republicii Populare Române vor satisface dorinţa noastră înflăcărată şi vor acorda oraşului nostru înalta cinste de a purta numele de oraşul Stalin“, se scria în articolul apărut în Drum Nou.Oamenilor le era frică să vorbeascăPe muntele Tâmpa a fost scris din Brazi numele lui Stalin pentru ca toată lumea să salute schimbarea. Toţi muncitorii ştiau că este o făcătură, dar nimeni nu avea curajul să spună nimic. „Nu muncitorii au cerut schimbarea numelui. A fost impusă de comunişti, care îi preaslăveau pe ruşi. Noi trebuia să tăcem. Dacă ne întreba cineva spuneam că aşa este, noi am vrut. Frica era mare atunci. Nimeni nu avea opinii proprii. Dacă aduceai critici comuniştilor familia ta era persecutată. Puteai fi rapid deportat sau băgat la închisoare. Aşa a fost atunci. Aşa erau vremurile“, spune Valentin Oproiu, fost muncitor la Steagu Roşu, acum pensionar. Braşovul a fost ales pentru că avea mulţi muncitoriIstoricii spun că Braşovul a fost ales de comunişti pentru că era un exemplu de oraş unde industria mergea foarte bine. „ Ideea cu redenumirea numelor oraşelor a fost un mod de a le gâdila orgoliul ruşilor. Există zvonuri să iniţial a fost vizat Sibiul, dar eu cred că Braşovul a fost ales pentru că era unul dintre cele mai puternice centre industriale în ale vremii, erau aici zeci-sute de mii de muncitori. Oricum a fost o perioadă sumbră, când oraşul a fost la un pas să-şi piară identitatea. Exista tentinţa ca tot ceea ce era dinaintea comunismului, orice credinţă, orice obicei să fie îndepărtat“, a spus Iosif Domora, istoric.Îndoctrinarea Braşovului a durat un deceniu. Chiar dacă comunismul a rezistat până în decembrie 1989, la 24 decembrie 1960 Braşovul şi-a recăpătat denumirea original, iar de pe Tâmpa a fost şters numele lui Stalin.citeste totul despre: Brasov orasul stalin comunisti muncitori steagu rosu

Source: Istoria sumbră a Braşovului: oraşul a purtat numele lui Stalin timp de zece ani pentru a celebra comunismul | adevarul.ro

This pressed for clarification: Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving|Via CounterPoint


Telling Facts and Naming Names
Since 1993

Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving once again: that day, every year, when we are all gluttonous to celebrate the fact that ‘Pilgrims and Indians’ had a harmonious meal — at least that is how it has been framed historically.
Let’s be honest. On the last Thursday of November, every year, we celebrate the beginning of an European invasion that ends with the death or relocation of millions of native people. While many have tried to redefine the meaning of Thanksgiving into a time wherein we cultivate a sense of gratitude, the undeniable truth is that the blood of native people stains the genesis of the holiday. The colonial origins of Thanksgiving – or what many natives often refer to as Thankskilling or Thankstaking – is not something to celebrate. While we cannot pinpoint one specific or original “Thanksgiving” celebration, President Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday in 1863 and conceived it as a national day of thanksgiving. “Pilgrims and Indians” weren’t included in the tradition until 1890. The national mythos surrounding this holiday does not take into consideration the long and violent history of contact between European settlers (in this case English pilgrims – puritans) and indigenous populations that already inhabited the land. It is in these forgotten histories that we see the history of this holiday for what it truly is: English pilgrims, unprepared to survive on the land and unfamiliar with the vegetation, waterways, and others food sources, stranded on Turtle Island who survive those early winters and ultimately engage in a brutal campaign of colonialism and genocidal activity. It is important that we think clearly and honestly about how the beatified pilgrims saw the natives. Five time Plymouth County Governor William Bradford said the natives were “savage people, who are cruel, barbarous, and most treacherous.” Clearly not the people you would like to feast with, yet our national narrative surrounding this holiday celebrates the first Thanksgiving as a moment of harmonious bridge building. This is clearly not the case. Especially when we learn about the Pequot Massacre of 1637. This is just one in a multitude of genocidal tactics employed against the indigenous peoples of this land since white Europeans arrived in 1492. Of this event, Governor Bradford said, Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire…horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them. The occupiers celebrated the genocide — and thanked God for the victory. Immediately following the Pequot Massacre of 1637, the occupiers worked diligently to whitewash history. The name of the tribe was erased from the map. The Pequot River became the Thames, and the geographic space the Pequot inhabited became known as New London. It is as if they never existed. The whitewashing and erasure of indigenous histories is not unique to this holiday, but it is, perhaps, one of the most ironic instances of indigenous mass murder in service of white European colonial expansion. The idea that we celebrate the notion that indigenous peoples and the white European occupiers who literally sought their extinction were able to put their differences to the side long enough to sit down and feast upon food, in relative peace and harmony, is deeply problematic. Even more so is the idea that it was the white European occupiers who had to teach and demonstrate “civility” to these “barbarous savages.” With the Pequot massacre in mind, it is clear which group in the Thanksgiving picture were the real “barbarous savages” and who were the ones practicing civility.

The language and the rhetoric surrounding the holiday erase the true history of settler-colonialism. The Pequot Massacre is just one mere instance in the long history of evil acts that began with the white European occupation of Turtle Island. This is also not the first time we have seen the descendants of the occupiers attempt to create a new civic identity by whitewashing history and silencing indigenous voices while erasing indigenous bodies. We see this unfolding in Oklahoma (Okla-humma, Choctaw for “Red People”), where non-native occupiers see no shame in calling themselves “Sooners” (those who stole land prior to the Oklahoma Land Runs — a territory that was, by treaty, set aside specifically and solely for tribal communities “so long as the rivers run and the sun shines…”).

However, indigenous peoples and our co-conspirators cannot stand idly by as those who continue to employ colonial and, ultimately, genocidal tactics against our communities, rewrite, and revise history to justify both their actions and the actions of their ancestors. We must thoughtfully and intentionally intervene because while “Boomer Sooner,” “R*dsk*ns,” and “Thanksgiving” may seem inconsequential to some, the historical context that gave rise to these terms and celebrations contribute to real life consequences that still impact native people in this country.

Native women are the group most likely to be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, with low estimates suggesting 1-in-3 in her lifetime. Upwards of 80% or more of these cases are perpetrated by non-native males. There are 2,000 reports of missing and murdered Indigenous Women from Turtle Island, and suicide in native communities far surpasses the national average for every age group. Natives have the shortest lifespan of any group living in the United States, and this rate is even lower for those living on reservations. Historical or intergenerational trauma is literally embedded in native DNA, and many of our parents and grandparents were stolen from their families and forced into boarding schools that had the expressed mission to “civilize the savage” and “kill the Indian but save the man.”

Physical torture, sexual assault, murder, public shaming, and stealing the culture of native children accomplished this. Psychological studies have demonstrated that native mascots negatively affect the psyche and wellbeing of native youth and many of these children have a difficult time making it through K-12, never mind college. Further, native people are virtually helpless when a non-native perpetrates a crime on native land. The victims have no jurisdiction over non-natives and the only way they could ever achieve justice is if the already overloaded federal government decides the case is worth pursuing. The silencing of native voices not only happened historically, but also continues today.

Whitewashing history, revising history, and developing rhetoric that celebrates the creation of a new civic identity for European occupiers—these all contribute to the oppression of indigenous peoples and tribal communities. The stories like those told about the Indians and Pilgrims at Thanksgiving ingrain a false sense of truth into the mind of the general public. These stories tell the populace that “everything is okay,” and, in fact, the “Indians owe a lot to the Pilgrims.” A closer examination and orientation with actual history, however, will negate these ideas and will enable the public to see how and, more importantly, why these stories – Columbus, Thanksgiving, Boomer Sooner – are told the way they are. These stories are extensions of colonialism and are in fact genocidal tactics. By erasing and replacing the true stories with those of “Thanksgiving,” the occupier continues to remain complicit in genocide.

So enjoy that turkey…but remember that you are doing so in a land that was stolen. Honor the dead by remembering their stories and their sacrifice.

Ashley Nicole McCray is a member of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe (Li-Si-Wi-Nwi) and the Oglala Lakota Nation (Oceti Sakowin). She is a Ph.D student/Graduate Assistant in the History of Science, Technology, & Medicine at the University of Oklahoma. She is a 2015 White House WHO Champion of Change: Young Women Empowering their Communities, a 2015 Norman Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Award Recipient, and a CoreAlign Speaking Race to Power Fellow. Lawrence Ware is an Oklahoma State University Division of Institutional Diversity Fellow. He teaches in OSU’s philosophy department and is the Diversity Coordinator for its Ethics Center. A frequent contributor to the publication The Democratic Left and contributing editor of the progressive publication RS: The Religious Left, he has also been a commentator on race and politics for the Huffington Post Live, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and PRI’s Flashpoint. He can be reached at law.writes@gmail.com

Source: Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving|Via CounterPoint

this pressed for reality check: France – French PM Valls says ‘no room for more refugees’ in Europe – France 24


© AFP | French Prime Minister Manuel Valls wants to limit the number of refugees coming into Europe Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2015-11-25European countries are stretched to their limits in the refugee crisis and cannot take in any more new arrivals, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was quoted as saying in a German newspaper on Wednesday. Europe is grappling with its worst refugee crisis since World War Two. Germany so far has taken in the bulk of some 1 million people expected to arrive this year.“We cannot accommodate any more refugees in Europe, that’s not possible,” Valls told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, adding that tighter control of Europe’s external borders would determine the fate of the European Union. “If we don’t do that, the people will say: Enough of Europe,” Valls warned.The comments were published only hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to meet French President Francois Hollande in Paris. Merkel was initially celebrated at home and abroad for her welcoming approach to the refugees, many of whom are fleeing conflict in the Middle East. But as the flow has continued the chancellor has come under increasing criticism.Some conservatives say Merkel’s decision to open up Germany’s borders to Syrian refugees in September has spurred more migrants to come.The refugee debate has become more politically charged after the deadly attacks in Paris that stoked fears Islamic State militants could exploit the migrant crisis to send extremists to Europe. Valls avoided criticising Merkel directly for having suspended European asylum rules to allow in Syrian refugees stranded in Hungary. “Germany has made an honourable choice there,” he said.But he signalled that Paris was taken by surprise by Merkel’s decision: “It was not France that said: Come!” French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron and his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, have proposed setting up a 10 billion euro fund to pay for tighter security, external border controls and caring for refugees.The United Nations on Tuesday condemned new restrictions on refugees that have left around 1,000 migrants stuck at the main border crossing into Macedonia from Greece.(REUTERS)Date created : 2015-11-25

Source: France – French PM Valls says ‘no room for more refugees’ in Europe – France 24

this pressed for your sensibility: Europe – Russia accuses Turkey of ‘planned provocation’ in downing jet – France 24


Russia on Wednesday accused Turkey of a “planned provocation” in downing one of its planes on the Syrian border, killing one pilot, amid fears the incident could escalate into a wider geopolitical conflict. As the diplomatic fallout from Tuesday’s incident continued, Moscow said Russian and Syrian special forces had rescued one of the pilots who ejected from the burning Russian plane but confirmed the second airman was dead. The jet downing has threatened ties between two major rival players in the Syrian war. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ratcheted up the pressure after talking to Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu by phone in the first contact between the two sides since the plane went down. “We have serious doubts about this being an unpremeditated act, it really looks like a planned provocation,” Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow. But the Russian response was also carefully calibrated. There was no sign Russia wanted a military escalation, or to jeopardise its main objective in the region: to rally international support for its view on how the conflict in Syria should be resolved. “We do not plan to go to war with Turkey, our attitude towards the Turkish people has not changed,” Lavrov said, but warned that Moscow would “seriously reevaluate” relations with Ankara. Turkey has sought to turn down the heat, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisting Ankara was simply defending its border. “We have no intention to escalate this incident. We are just defending our security and the rights of our brothers,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul.Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called Russia “our friend and our neighbour” and said Ankara did not want to strain ties with Moscow. Second airman rescued The Russian Su-24 jet downed on Tuesday was hit by missile fire from Turkish aircraft as it flew a mission over Syria near the Turkish border, where the Russian air force has been bombing rebel targets.Turkey said the plane had encroached on Turkish air space and was warned repeatedly to change course, but Russian officials said the plane was at no time over Turkey. The crew ejected, and one pilot was shot dead by rebels as he parachuted to the ground. A Russian marine sent to recover the crew was also killed in an attack by rebels, Moscow said.Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday that the second member of the plane’s crew had been rescued by Russian special forces alongside Syrian troops and that the serviceman was now safe at a Russian air base in Syria.”The operation ended successfully. The second pilot has been brought to our base. He is alive and well,” he said.In an apparent response to Turkey’s action, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday also ordered the dispatch of an advanced weapons system to Russia’s Khmeimim air base in Syria’s Latakia province. “I hope that this, along with other measures that we are taking, will be enough to ensure (the safety) of our flights,” Putin told reporters on a trip to the Ural mountains city of Nizhny Tagil. The dispatch of the weapons, which officials later said would be the S-400 missile system, is likely to be viewed as a stark warning to Turkey not to try to shoot down any more Russian planes. Threat to Syria peace efforts. The shooting risks derailing efforts to bring peace to Syria that were gaining tentative momentum following the November 13 Paris attacks claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group, which controls swathes of northern Syria. Ankara and Moscow are already on starkly opposing sides in the four-year Syrian civil war, with Turkey wanting to see the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad while Russia is one of his last remaining allies.Assad’s other key ally Iran also slammed Ankara. Turkey’s behaviour “sends the wrong message to the terrorists” in Syria, its Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Lavrov.There has been fears of such a mid-air incident since Russia launched air strikes in Syria in September, to the consternation of nations already involved in a US-led anti-IS group coalition. Turkey had protested that Russia’s campaign was aimed at hitting Syrian rebels and buttressing the Assad regime rather than hurting IS group jihadists.(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)Date created : 2015-11-25

Source: Europe – Russia accuses Turkey of ‘planned provocation’ in downing jet – France 24

this pressed: Ninge! Braşovul începe să devină oraşul de poveste | adevarul.ro


În această dimineaţă am fost întâmpinaţi de fulgi mari de zăpadă care nu se mai opresc. Zăpada începe să se aşterne pe acoperiş, maşini şi în parcuri.Ştiri pe aceeaşi temă Mesaj emoţionant al fiului pilotului Mircea Crăciun prăbuşit cu planor… Braşovul, în coaliţie a oraşelor împotriva radicalizării şi a extremis… Teatrul Sică Alexandrescu a câştigat majoritatea premiilor de la Festi…Totul începe să capete înfăţişarea pe care ne-o dorim pentru sărbătorile de iarnă. În Poiana Braşov, ninge mult mai serios. Din păcate, ieri nu a putut fi ridicată cu un elicopter epava planorului prăbuşit, iar vremea de astăzi face această misiune aproape imposibilă.La ora şase, trei utilaje de deszăpezire de la Primăria Braşov au intervenit pe drumul spre Poiana Braşov, „În partea de sus, unde a început să se adune zăpada pe carosabiol, au intervenit şi cu lama, iar pe întreg traseul s-a împrăştiat material antiderapant”, a declarat purtătorul de cuvânt al Primăriei Braşov, Sorin Toarcea. Braşov – Ninge în oraşul de poveste 00 (0 voturi)Vizionez mai târziuImagini din aceeasi galerieDistribuie imaginea 0 share Tweet 0 inShare Liveciteste totul despre: brasov zapada ninsoare

Source: Ninge! Braşovul începe să devină oraşul de poveste | adevarul.ro

trecut prin presa…pentru posteritate: Perle ale absolvenţilor de Drept care vor să ajungă magistraţi: „Ca judecător nu trebuie să fiu imparţial”/„Prin verbul a discredita înţeleg a înjura” | adevarul.ro


Unii absolvenţi de Drept care participă la concursul de admitere la Institutul Naţional al Magistraturii „se exprimă cu dificultate accentuată, comit numeroase erori gramaticale şi de comunicare, sunt inabili de a purta un dialog, nu au proprietatea termenilor sau sunt în imposibilitate de a formula definiţia unora”. Aceasta este concluzia unui raport al Consiliului Superior al Magistraturii (CSM).Ştiri pe aceeaşi temă VIDEO Descinderi în nordul Republicii Moldova. O grupare paramilitară … Moment de excepţie pentru handbalul românesc: CSM şi HCM sunt în Runda… Imunitatea lui Dan Şova, primul examen pentru Liviu Dragnea. Ce şanse …“În şedinţa Plenul CSM de marţi, 24 noiembrie 2015, am validat concursul de admitere la Institutului Naţional al Magistraturii (INM) desfăşurat în această vară. Cea mai discutată – dar nu şi discutabilă, zic eu – probă a fost cea a interviului. Membrii comisiilor în faţa cărora s-a susţinut această probă au formulat în scris un punct de vedere pe care, cu acordul lor, am ales să îl dau publicităţii”, a scris judecătorul Cristi Danileţ pe blogul său, într-o postare intitulată “Deficienţe în pregătirea candidaţilor pentru magistratură”.Judecătorul arată că susţinerile constituie o atenţionare foarte serioasă asupra stadiului educaţiei unor tineri şi a calităţii învăţământului românesc – „desigur, ne referim la tinerii candidaţi la concursul de admitere la INM sau la admiterea directă în magistratură, care este probabil cel mai greu şi mai serios concurs desfăşurat în România pentru o instituţie public”.Cristi Danileţ a precizat că în cadrul probei interviului se examinează trei aspecte: motivaţia, aptitudini specifice profesiei de magistrat (comunicarea, gândirea autonomă, cooperarea, înţelegerea realităţii sociale, folosirea corectă a limbii române), elemente de etică specifică persoanei (identificarea dilemei etice, identificarea opţiunilor, analiza valorii acestora alegerea justificată a variantei optime a acţiunii umane, implicarea subiectului în argumentarea alternativelor).Concluziile ComisieiComisia prin faţa căreia anul acesta s-au perindat sute de candidaţi a ajuns la anumite concluzii cu privire la candidaţi şi cu privire la măsuri necesare pentru îmbunătăţirea concursurilor următoare. Iată câteva constatări: din cei 3.297 de candidaţi la INM, 285 candidaţi au reuşit la probele anterioare, iar dintre aceştia 217 au trecut de proba interviului, astfel că în final au fost selectaţi primii 140 în ordinea mediilor; dintre cei respinşi 29 se situau pe primele 150 locuri, iar 39 în ultimele 135 locuri după parcurgerea primelor două probe; unii candidaţi au un nivel redus de instruire educaţională, de cultură generală, lipsă de orizont şi de repere culturale, profesionale, morale; unii se exprimă cu dificultate accentuată, comit erori gramaticale şi de comunicare, sunt inabili în a purta un dialog, nu au proprietatea termenilor folosiţi; unii au demonstrat o incapacitate de a înţelege problemele şi realităţile sociale; unii învaţă grile sau învaţă mecanic coduri; unii au anumite activităţi, dar nu dobândesc experienţa cuvenită în exercitarea acestora; unora le lipseşte gândirea logică, alţii simulează abilităţi, deprinderi sau calităţi inexistente.Potrivit raportului CSM, un semnal autentic de alarmă este acela că mulţi candidaţi se exprimă cu dificultate accentuată, comit numeroase erori gramaticale şi de comunicare, sunt inabili de a purta un dialog, nu au proprietatea termenilor sau sunt în imposibilitate de a formula definiţia unora.”Persoanele care se sacrifică pentru idealuri, principii sunt fanatice”Cu titlu exemplificativ, redăm câteva fragmente din răspunsurile formulate de candidaţi, exemple care relevă necunoaşterea semnificaţiei unor termeni:”Ignoranţa presupune, în viziunea mea, a nu acorda atenţie fiecărui element care construieşte drumul către realizarea ”justiţiei”. La insistenţele comisiei de a da un sinonim pentru ignoranţă, a afirmat că ”înseamnă a nu avea disponibilitatea de a te perfecţiona.””Libertatea este o valoare fundamentală a unui stat de drept, un atribut al tuturor oamenilor, care dacă îşi cultivă stăpânirea de sine pe un drum ce nu tot timpul este uşor o vor găsi în forma ei cea mai autentică.” Întrebare: O calitate? Răspuns: ” Perseveritatea.””Persoanele care se sacrifică pentru idealuri, principii sunt fanatice.”„Cunoaşterea de sine presupune cunoaşterea limitelor şi atunci eşti un om moral”.”Un prieten adevărat nu mi-ar putea cere aşa ceva, el cunoaşte etica mea faţă de justiţie.””Totodată, după trecerea în nefiinţă, din viaţa unui om rămân realizările sale, iar pentru el însuşi amintirile şi experienţele trăite pe parcursul vieţii.””Procurorii au prea mult liber-arbitru, iar eu nu o să tolerez aşa ceva ca judecător”.”Sunt foarte corectă, dar cu excepţii.””Prin verbul a discredita înţeleg a înjura.”

Source: Perle ale absolvenţilor de Drept care vor să ajungă magistraţi: „Ca judecător nu trebuie să fiu imparţial”/„Prin verbul a discredita înţeleg a înjura” | adevarul.ro

this pressed for Jolly Roger: Activists ‘glue themselves to immigration centre gate’ in deportation protest – Telegraph


Activists ‘glue themselves to immigration centre gate’ in deportation protest Two protesters attempt to stop departure of charter flight deporting people from UK back to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone 11 0 1 12 Email By Agency1:21AM GMT 25 Nov 2015Two people are believed to have glued themselves to the gate of an immigration centre in an attempt to stop the departure of a charter flight deporting people from the UK.Ten anti-deportation activists gathered to protest at Colnbrook immigration removal centre near Heathrow airport, the Unity centre said.The protesters formed a blockade in a bid to stop a bus carrying deportees from the centre being taken to Stansted airport for a flight to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone, the group added.Police attended the scene on Tuesday evening for around five-and-a-half hours but no arrests were made.London Fire Brigade also sent a fire engine to the scene.A Met police spokesman said: “There were a small number of demonstrators in attendance at the immigration centre who had been there since 5.30pm.”We were on the scene with the fire brigade in a monitoring role and there have been no arrests.”

Source: Activists ‘glue themselves to immigration centre gate’ in deportation protest – Telegraph

this pressed for posterity: “Turkey, like every country has a right to defend its territory and airspace” — Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) November 25, 2015


//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

this pressed for Jolly-Rogers=ISIS: Honduras judge rules five Syrians to face charges of falsifying documents


Honduras judge rules five Syrians to face charges of falsifying documentsHonduras judge rules five Syrians to face charges of falsifying documentsTEGUCIGALPA A judge in Honduras on Tuesday ordered that five Syrians allegedly caught traveling with fake Greek documents as they tried to head north to the United States must remain behind bars as they await trial to face charges of falsifying documents.The Syrians were caught last week after crossing continents from war-torn Syria, traveling through South America and ending up in Honduras. The five men, aged 19 to 30, acquired forged passports in Brazil, a U.S. source said.The judge decided that the five men, who have asked to be granted refugee status, should remain behind bars pending the trial, said judicial spokeswoman Barbara Castillo.

Source: Honduras judge rules five Syrians to face charges of falsifying documents

this pressed…so you too can remember…: Flashback September 5th 2014 – ISIS: McCain says everyone in the National Security Team recommended arming ISIS | David Icke


Listen at the 1:40 mark

Listen at the 1:40 mark

Source: Flashback September 5th 2014 – ISIS: McCain says everyone in the National Security Team recommended arming ISIS | David Icke

this pressed for…”Wake up and start thinking people”: Nato and UN seek calm over Turkish downing of Russian jet | World news | The Guardian


Turkmen militiamen in Syria claimed to have shot the pilots as they descended on parachutes from the stricken Su-24 bomber. The Turkmen rebels, who are supported by Ankara and who have been the target of earlier Russian bombing, broadcast a video of what appeared to be a dead Russian pilot.The rebels also posted footage appearing to show one of their missiles destroying a helicopter while it was on the ground, which they said was a Russian aircraft sent to rescue the downed Su-24 crew, although it was not possible to verify the footage.A Russian military spokesman later said one of the rescue helicopters had been forced to make an emergency landing after being hit by fire from the ground and a marine on board had been killed.Within hours of the jet’s downing, the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, announced the first reprisal, warning Russian tourists not to go to Turkey, a potentially significant loss of revenue for Ankara. Lavrov compared the terrorist threat there to Egypt, where a Russian airliner was brought down by a bomb earlier this month, and he cancelled a planned trip to Ankara on Wednesday.Mute Current Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:53Loaded: 0%Progress: 0cebookTwitterPinterestRussia cancels Turkey meeting and warns its citizens not to visit The Russian defence ministry said on its website that it considered the “actions of the Turkish air force as an unfriendly act”, adding that it was “designing a complex of measures directed to respond such incidents”. In his remarks, Putin complained in particular that Turkey had contacted its Nato allies before getting in touch with Moscow, “as if we shot down their plane and not they ours”. Analysis Is Vladimir Putin right to label Turkey ‘accomplices of terrorists’?The relationship hinted at by Russian leader after warplane was shot down is a complex one, and includes links between senior Isis figures and Turkish officials Read more Ankara summoned an emergency meeting of Nato ambassadors in the North Atlantic Council on Tuesday evening to share information about the incident. However, the Turkish government stopped short of calling the meeting under article 4 of the alliance’s founding treaty, which would have represented a more formal response to a threat to a member state’s territorial integrity and security.Turkey said one of its US-made F-16 fighters fired on the Russian plane when it entered Turkish airspace after having been warned on its approach to the Turkish border.In a letter to the British ambassador to the United Nations, currently serving as the president of the UN security council, the Turkish government wrote: “This morning, two Su-24 planes have approached Turkish national airspace in Yayladaga/Hatay region. The planes in question have been warned 10 times during a period of five minutes via ‘emergency’ channels and asked to change their headings south immediately. Disregarding these warnings, both planes, at an altitude of 19,000 feet violated Turkish airspace to a depth of 1.36 miles and 1.15 miles for 17 seconds from 9.24.05 local time.

Source: Nato and UN seek calm over Turkish downing of Russian jet | World news | The Guardian

this pressed as very expensive ($ 5,000,000): Richard Dawkins links Isis child who beheaded man and ‘clock boy’ Ahmed Mohamed | Science | The Guardian


Richard Dawkins links Isis child who beheaded man and ‘clock boy’ Ahmed Mohamed, The scientist and leading atheist faces a barrage of criticism after posting comments on Twitter about the Muslim teenager Richard Dawkins appears to have linked a grisly video of a Islamic State child soldier beheading a man and the case of ‘clock boy’, Ahmed Mohamed.Richard Dawkins appears to have linked a grisly video of a Islamic State child soldier beheading a man and the case of ‘clock boy’, Ahmed Mohamed. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian Elle Hunt and Michael Safi Tuesday 24 November 2015 20.26 EST Last modified on Tuesday 24 November 2015 20.42 EST Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+Shares1Comments5Save for later Richard Dawkins has sparked a wave of criticism after appearing to draw a tenuous link between Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas Muslim teenager whose homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb, and a child forced by Islamic State militants to behead his victim. Dawkins tweeted a link to an International Business Times report on a video posted to YouTube that appears to show a child of about ten being forced by Isis fighters to decapitate a Syrian regime army officer early on Wednesday morning.‘“But he’s only a kid.’ Yes, a ‘kid’ old enough to sue for $15m those whom he hoaxed,” tweeted Dawkins.Then after a paragraph break, as though the question had occurred to him just before he went to click “Tweet” – “And how old is this ‘kid’?”Dawkins was referring to Mohamed’s family’s demanding $15m in damages – $10m from the city of Irving, and $5m from the school district – and an apology after the 14-year-old was arrested in September, when his homemade clock was taken for a bomb.Family of Texas boy arrested over clock demands $15m in damagesRead moreHe denied comparing – in the words of another Twitter user responding to Dawkins’ initial post – a “child trained to kill people to the kid that made the shitty clock”.“No. Just fed up with people saying of the click [sic] hoax boy, ‘He’s only a kid’, as though that means he can’t be criticized.”In subsequent responses, he clarified that the two were “comparable in NO other respect than that they are both young”, and that he “[didn’t] hate Muslims”.

Source: Richard Dawkins links Isis child who beheaded man and ‘clock boy’ Ahmed Mohamed | Science | The Guardian

this pressed for “WAKE UP PEOPLE”: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (from WIKIPEDIA)


 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“ISIL”, “ISIS”, “Daesh”, and “Islamic State group” redirect here. For other uses, see ISIL (disambiguation), ISIS (disambiguation), Daish (disambiguation), and Islamic state (disambiguation).
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام
ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī ‘l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām

Participant in the Syrian Civil War, Iraq War (2003–2011), Iraqi insurgency, Iraq War (2014–present), Second Libyan Civil War, Boko Haram insurgency, War in North-West Pakistan, War in Afghanistan, Yemeni Civil War, and other conflicts


Primary target of Operation Inherent Resolve and of the military intervention against ISIL: in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Nigeria.

AQMI Flag.svg

Active 1999–present

  • Joined al-Qaeda: October 2004
  • Declaration of an Islamic state in Iraq: 13 October 2006
  • Claim of territory in the Levant: 8 April 2013
  • Separated from al-Qaeda:[1][2] 3 February 2014[3]
  • Declaration of caliphate: 29 June 2014
  • Claim of territory in: Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen: 13 November 2014
    • Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of India: 29 January 2015[4]
    • Nigeria: 12 March 2015[5][6]
    • North Caucasus: 23 June 2015[7]
Ideology
Leaders
Headquarters Ar-Raqqah, Syria
(de facto capital)
Area of operations Syrian, Iraqi, and Lebanese insurgencies.pngMilitary situation as of 18 November 2015, in the Iraqi, Syrian, and Lebanese conflicts.

  Controlled by the Iraqi government
  Controlled by the Syrian government
  Controlled by the Lebanese government
  Controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
  Controlled by Iraqi Kurdistan forces
  Controlled by Syrian Kurdistan forces
  Controlled by Syrian opposition forces
  Controlled by al-Nusra Front
  Controlled by Hezbollah

Note: Iraq and Syria contain large desert areas with limited populations. These areas are mapped as under the control of forces holding roads and towns within them.

Detailed map of the Syrian Civil War
Detailed map of the Iraqi insurgency
Detailed map of the Lebanese insurgency
Detailed map of the Libyan Civil War
Detailed map of the Nigerian insurgency
Detailed map of the Sinai insurgency
Detailed map of the Yemeni Civil War

Strength Inside Syria and Iraq
200,000[24] (Kurdish claim)
100,000[25] (Jihadist claim)
20,000–31,000[26] (CIA estimate)
Outside Syria and Iraq
32,600–57,900 (See Military of ISIL for more detailed estimates.)
Estimated total
52,600–257,900
Originated as Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād (1999)[27]

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL; Arabic: الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام‎), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, /ˈsɨs/), the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham,[28] Daesh, or simply Islamic State (IS),[29] is a Wahhabi/Salafi jihadist extremist militant group. It is led by and mainly composed of Sunni Arabs from Iraq and Syria. As of March 2015, it has control over territory occupied by 10 million people in Iraq and Syria, and through loyal local groups, has control over small areas of Libya, Nigeria and Afghanistan. The group also operates or has affiliates in other parts of the world, including North Africa and South Asia.[30][31][32][33][34][35]

The group is known in Arabic as ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī ‘l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām, leading to the acronym Da’ish or Daesh (داعش, Arabic pronunciation: [ˈdaːʕiʃ]),[36][37] the Arabic equivalent of “ISIL”. On 29 June 2014, the group proclaimed itself to be an Islamic state and worldwide caliphate, with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi being named its caliph, and renamed itself ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah (الدولة الإسلامية, “Islamic State” (IS). As a caliphate, it claims religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide, and that “the legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organisations, becomes null by the expansion of the khilāfah’s [caliphate’s] authority and arrival of its troops to their areas”.[28][38][39][40] The United Nations has held ISIL responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes, and Amnesty International has reported ethnic cleansing by the group on a “historic scale”. The group has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations, the European Union and member states, the United States, India, Indonesia, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria and other countries. Over 60 countries are directly or indirectly waging war against ISIL.

The group originated as Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in 1999, which pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2004. The group participated in the Iraqi insurgency that followed the March 2003 invasion of Iraq by Western forces. In January 2006, it joined other Sunni insurgent groups to form the Mujahideen Shura Council, which proclaimed the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in October 2006. After the Syrian Civil War began in March 2011, the ISI, under the leadership of al-Baghdadi, sent delegates into Syria in August 2011. These fighters named themselves Jabhat an-Nuṣrah li-Ahli ash-Shām—al-Nusra Front—and established a large presence in Sunni-majority areas of Syria, within the governorates of Ar-Raqqah, Idlib, Deir ez-Zor, and Aleppo. In April 2013, al-Baghdadi announced the merger of the ISI with al-Nusra Front and that the name of the reunited group was now the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). However, Abu Mohammad al-Julani and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leaders of al-Nusra and al-Qaeda respectively, rejected the merger. After an eight-month power struggle, al-Qaeda cut all ties with ISIL on 3 February 2014, citing its failure to consult and “notorious intransigence”. In Syria, the group has conducted ground attacks on both government forces and rebel factions in the Syrian Civil War. The group gained prominence after it drove Iraqi government forces out of key cities in western Iraq in an offensive initiated in early 2014. Iraq’s territorial loss almost caused a collapse of the Iraqi government and prompted a renewal of US military action in Iraq.[3][41][42][43]

ISIL is adept at social media, posting Internet videos of beheadings of soldiers, civilians, journalists and aid workers, and is known for its destruction of cultural heritage sites. Muslim leaders around the world have condemned ISIL’s ideology and actions, arguing that the group has strayed overwhelmingly from the path of true Islam and that its actions do not reflect the religion’s true teachings or virtues.[44][45] The group’s adoption of the name “Islamic State” and idea of a caliphate have been widely criticised, with the United Nations, NATO, various governments, and mainstream Muslim groups rejecting both.

Contents

Names

The group has had various names since it began.[46]

  1. The group was founded in 1999 by Jordanian radical Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād, “The Organisation of Monotheism and Jihad” (JTJ).[27]
  2. In October 2004, al-Zarqawi swore loyalty to Osama bin Laden and changed the group’s name to Tanẓīm Qāʻidat al-Jihād fī Bilād al-Rāfidayn, “The Organisation of Jihad’s Base in Mesopotamia“, commonly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).[46][47] Although the group has never called itself al-Qaeda in Iraq, this has been its informal name over the years.[48]
  3. In January 2006, AQI merged with several other Iraqi insurgent groups to form the Mujahideen Shura Council.[49] Al-Zarqawi was killed in June 2006.
  4. On 12 October 2006, the Mujahideen Shura Council merged with several more insurgent factions, and on 13 October the establishment of the ad-Dawlah al-ʻIraq al-Islāmiyah, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), was announced.[50] The leaders of this group were Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri.[51] After they were killed in a US–Iraqi operation in April 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi became the new leader of the group.
  5. On 8 April 2013, having expanded into Syria, the group adopted the name Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, which more fully translates as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant[citation needed] or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.[52][53][54] These names are translations of the Arabic name ad-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah fī-l-ʻIrāq wa-sh-Shām,[55][56] al-Shām being a description of the Levant or Greater Syria.[28] The translated names are commonly abbreviated as ISIL or ISIS, with a debate over which of these acronyms should be used.[28][56] The Washington Post concluded that the distinction between the two “is not so great”.[28]
  6. The name Da’ish is often used by ISIL’s Arabic-speaking detractors. It is based on the Arabic letters Dāl, alif, ʻayn, and shīn, which form the acronym (داعش) of ISIL’s Arabic name al-Dawlah al-Islamīyah fī al-ʻIrāq wa-al-Shām.[57][58] There are many spellings of this acronym, with “Daesh” gaining acceptance. ISIL considers the acronym Da’ish derogatory because with the appropriate grammatical conjugation it sounds similar to the Arabic words Daes, “one who crushes something underfoot”, and Dahes, “one who sows discord”.[36][59] ISIL reportedly uses flogging[60][61] and the cutting out of tongues[62] to punish those who use the term in areas under its control. In 2015, over 120 British parliamentarians asked the BBC to use the name Daesh, following the example of John Kerry and Laurent Fabius.[36][63]
  7. On 14 May 2014, the United States Department of State announced its decision to use Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as the group’s primary name.[57] However, in late 2014, top US officials shifted toward using Daesh, since this was the name that their Arab allies preferred to use.[36]
  8. On 29 June 2014, the group renamed itself ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah (الدولة الإسلامية, Islamic State (IS)), and declared itself a worldwide caliphate.[38][64][65] Accordingly, “Iraq and Shām” was removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name became the Islamic State from the date of the declaration. The name Islamic State and the claim of a caliphate have been widely criticised, with the UN, various governments, and mainstream Muslim groups refusing to use the new name.[63][66][67][68][69][70][71][72]

History

Foundation, 1999–2006

Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Jordanian Salafi jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his militant group Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, founded in 1999, achieved notoriety in the early stages of the Iraqi insurgency for the suicide attacks on Shia Islamic mosques, civilians, Iraqi government institutions and Italian soldiers partaking in the US-led ‘Multi-National Force‘. Al-Zarqawi’s group officially pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden‘s al-Qaeda network in October 2004, changing its name to Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (تنظيم قاعدة الجهاد في بلاد الرافدين, “Organisation of Jihad’s Base in Mesopotamia“), also known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).[1][73][74] Attacks by the group on civilians, Iraqi government and security forces, foreign diplomats and soldiers, and American convoys continued with roughly the same intensity. In a letter to al-Zarqawi in July 2005, al-Qaeda’s then deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri outlined a four-stage plan to expand the Iraq War. The plan included expelling US forces from Iraq, establishing an Islamic authority as a caliphate, spreading the conflict to Iraq’s secular neighbours, and clashing with Israel, which the letter says “was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity”.[75]

In January 2006, AQI joined with several smaller Iraqi insurgent groups under an umbrella organisation called the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC). According to Brian Fishman, this was little more than a media exercise and an attempt to give the group a more Iraqi flavour, and perhaps to distance al-Qaeda from some of al-Zarqawi’s tactical errors, more notably the 2005 bombings by AQI of three hotels in Amman.[76] On 7 June 2006, a US airstrike killed al-Zarqawi, who was succeeded as leader of the group by the Egyptian militant Abu Ayyub al-Masri.[77][78]

On 12 October 2006, the MSC united with three smaller groups and six Sunni Islamic tribes to form the “Mutayibeen Coalition”. It swore by Allah “to rid Sunnis from the oppression of the rejectionists (Shi’ite Muslims) and the crusader occupiers … to restore rights even at the price of our own lives … to make Allah’s word supreme in the world, and to restore the glory of Islam”.[79][80] A day later, the MSC declared the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), comprising Iraq’s six mostly Sunni Arab governorates.[81] Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was announced as its emir,[50][82] and al-Masri was given the title of Minister of War within the ISI’s ten-member cabinet.[83]

As Islamic State of Iraq, 2006–13

Main article: Islamic State of Iraq

According to a study compiled by United States intelligence agencies in early 2007, the ISI—also known as AQI—planned to seize power in the central and western areas of Iraq and turn it into a Sunni caliphate.[84] The group built in strength and at its height enjoyed a significant presence in the Iraqi governorates of Al Anbar, Diyala and Baghdad, claiming Baqubah as a capital city.[85][86][87][88]

The Iraq War troop surge of 2007 supplied the United States military with more manpower for operations targeting the group, resulting in dozens of high-level AQI members being captured or killed.[89]

Between July and October 2007, al-Qaeda in Iraq was reported to have lost its secure military bases in Al Anbar province and the Baghdad area.[90] During 2008, a series of US and Iraqi offensives managed to drive out AQI-aligned insurgents from their former safe havens, such as the Diyala and Al Anbar governorates, to the area of the northern city of Mosul.[91]

By 2008, the ISI was describing itself as being in a state of “extraordinary crisis”.[92] Its violent attempts to govern its territory led to a backlash from Sunni Arab Iraqis and other insurgent groups and a temporary decline in the group, which was attributable to a number of factors,[93] notably the Anbar Awakening.

In late 2009, the commander of US forces in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, stated that the ISI “has transformed significantly in the last two years. What once was dominated by foreign individuals has now become more and more dominated by Iraqi citizens”.[94] On 18 April 2010, the ISI’s two top leaders, Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, were killed in a joint US-Iraqi raid near Tikrit.[95] In a press conference in June 2010, General Odierno reported that 80% of the ISI’s top 42 leaders, including recruiters and financiers, had been killed or captured, with only eight remaining at large. He said that they had been cut off from al-Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan.[96][97][98]

On 16 May 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was appointed the new leader of the Islamic State of Iraq.[99][100] Al-Baghdadi replenished the group’s leadership, many of whom had been killed or captured, by appointing former Ba’athist military and intelligence officers who had served during Saddam Hussein‘s rule.[101] These men, nearly all of whom had spent time imprisoned by the US military, came to make up about one third of Baghdadi’s top 25 commanders. One of them was a former colonel, Samir al-Khlifawi, also known as Haji Bakr, who became the overall military commander in charge of overseeing the group’s operations.[102][103] Al-Khlifawi was instrumental in doing the ground work that led to the growth of ISIL.[104]

In July 2012, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement online announcing that the group was returning to former strongholds from which US troops and the Sons of Iraq had driven them in 2007 and 2008.[105] He also declared the start of a new offensive in Iraq called Breaking the Walls, aimed at freeing members of the group held in Iraqi prisons.[105] Violence in Iraq had begun to escalate in June 2012, primarily with AQI’s car bomb attacks, and by July 2013, monthly fatalities exceeded 1,000 for the first time since April 2008.[106]

Syrian Civil War

In March 2011, protests began in Syria against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. In the following months, violence between demonstrators and security forces led to a gradual militarisation of the conflict.[107] In August, al-Baghdadi began sending Syrian and Iraqi ISI members experienced in guerilla warfare across the border into Syria to establish an organisation there. Led by a Syrian known as Abu Muhammad al-Julani, this group began to recruit fighters and establish cells throughout the country.[108][109] In January 2012, the group announced its formation as Jabhat al-Nusra li Ahl as-Sham—Jabhat al-Nusra—more commonly known as al-Nusra Front. Al-Nusra grew rapidly into a capable fighting force, with popular support among Syrians opposed to the Assad government.[108]

As Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, 2013–14

On 8 April 2013, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement in which he announced that al-Nusra Front had been established, financed, and supported by the Islamic State of Iraq,[110] and that the two groups were merging under the name “Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham”.[52] Al-Julani issued a statement denying the merger, and complaining that neither he nor anyone else in al-Nusra’s leadership had been consulted about it.[111] In June 2013, Al Jazeera reported that it had obtained a letter written by al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, addressed to both leaders, in which he ruled against the merger, and appointed an emissary to oversee relations between them to put an end to tensions.[112] That same month, al-Baghdadi released an audio message rejecting al-Zawahiri’s ruling and declaring that the merger was going ahead.[113] Meanwhile, the ISIL campaign to free imprisoned ISIL members culminated in July 2013, with the group carrying out simultaneous raids on Taji and Abu Ghraib prisons, freeing more than 500 prisoners, many of them veterans of the Iraqi insurgency.[106][114] In October 2013, al-Zawahiri ordered the disbanding of ISIL, putting al-Nusra Front in charge of jihadist efforts in Syria,[115] but al-Baghdadi contested al-Zawahiri’s ruling on the basis of Islamic jurisprudence,[113] and his group continued to operate in Syria. In February 2014, after an eight-month power struggle, al-Qaeda disavowed any relations with ISIL.[42]

According to journalist Sarah Birke, there are “significant differences” between al-Nusra Front and ISIL. While al-Nusra actively calls for the overthrow of the Assad government, ISIL “tends to be more focused on establishing its own rule on conquered territory”. ISIL is “far more ruthless” in building an Islamic state, “carrying out sectarian attacks and imposing sharia law immediately”. While al-Nusra has a “large contingent of foreign fighters”, it is seen as a home-grown group by many Syrians; by contrast, ISIL fighters have been described as “foreign ‘occupiers'” by many Syrian refugees.[116] It has a strong presence in central and northern Syria, where it has instituted sharia in a number of towns.[116] The group reportedly controlled the four border towns of Atmeh, al-Bab, Azaz and Jarablus, allowing it to control the entrance and exit from Syria into Turkey.[116] Foreign fighters in Syria include Russian-speaking jihadists who were part of Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (JMA).[117] In November 2013, the JMA’s Chechen leader Abu Omar al-Shishani swore an oath of allegiance to al-Baghdadi;[118] the group then split between those who followed al-Shishani in joining ISIL and those who continued to operate independently in the JMA under new leadership.[119]

In January 2014, rebels affiliated with the Islamic Front and the US-trained Free Syrian Army[120] launched an offensive against ISIL militants in and around the city of Aleppo.[121][122] In May 2014, Ayman al-Zawahiri ordered the al-Nusra Front to stop its attacks on its rival, ISIL.[123][not in citation given] In June 2014, after continued fighting between the two groups, al-Nusra’s branch in the Syrian town of Al-Bukamal pledged allegiance to ISIL.[124][125] In mid-June 2014, ISIL captured the Trabil crossing on the Jordan–Iraq border,[126] the only border crossing between the two countries.[127] ISIL has received some public support in Jordan, albeit limited, partly owing to state repression there.[128] ISIL has undertaken a recruitment drive in Saudi Arabia,[129] where tribes in the north are linked to those in western Iraq and eastern Syria.[130]

As Islamic State, 2014–present

On 29 June 2014, the organisation proclaimed itself to be a worldwide caliphate.[131] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—known by his supporters as Amir al-Mu’minin, Caliph Ibrahim—was named its caliph, and the group renamed itself ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah (الدولة الإسلامية, “Islamic State” (IS)).[38] As a “Caliphate”, it claims religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide.[40][132] The concept of it being a caliphate and the name “Islamic State” have been rejected by governments and Muslim leaders worldwide.[66][67][68][69][70][71][72]

In June and July 2014, Jordan and Saudi Arabia moved troops to their borders with Iraq, after Iraq lost control of, or withdrew from, strategic crossing points that then came under the control of ISIL, or tribes that supported ISIL.[127][133] There was speculation that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had ordered a withdrawal of troops from the Iraq–Saudi crossings in order “to increase pressure on Saudi Arabia and bring the threat of ISIS over-running its borders as well”.[130]

In July 2014, ISIL recruited more than 6,300 fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, some of whom were thought to have previously fought for the Free Syrian Army.[134] On 23 July 2014, Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Totoni Hapilon and some masked men swore loyalty to al-Baghdadi in a video, giving ISIL a presence in the Philippines.[35][135] In September 2014, the group began kidnapping people for ransoming, in the name of ISIL.[136]

Yazidi refugees and American aid workers on Mount Sinjar in August 2014

On 3 August 2014, ISIL captured the cities of Zumar, Sinjar, and Wana in northern Iraq.[137] Thousands of Yazidis fled up Mount Sinjar, fearful of the approaching hostile ISIL militants. The stranded Yazidis’ need for food and water, the threat of genocide to them and to others announced by ISIL, along with the desire to protect US citizens in Iraq and support Iraq in its fight against ISIL, were all reasons for the 2014 American intervention in Iraq on 7 August[138] and an aerial bombing campaign in Iraq which started on 8 August.

On 11 October 2014, it was reported that ISIL had dispatched 10,000 militants from Syria and Mosul to capture the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad,[139] and Iraqi Army forces and Anbar tribesmen threatened to abandon their weapons if the US did not send in ground troops to halt ISIL’s advance.[140] On 13 October, ISIL fighters advanced to within 25 kilometres (16 mi) of Baghdad Airport.[141]

At the end of October 2014, 800 radical militants gained partial control of the Libyan city of Derna and pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, thus making Derna the first city outside Syria and Iraq to be a part of the “Islamic State Caliphate”.[142] On 2 November 2014, according to the Associated Press, in response to the coalition airstrikes, representatives from Ahrar ash-Sham attended a meeting with al-Nusra Front, the Khorasan Group, ISIL, and Jund al-Aqsa, which sought to unite these hard-line groups against the US-led coalition and moderate Syrian rebel groups.[143] However, by 14 November 2014, it was revealed that the negotiations had failed.[144] On 10 November 2014, a major faction of the Egyptian militant group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis also pledged its allegiance to ISIL.[145]

 Coalition airstrike on ISIL position, October 2014

ISIL has often used water as a weapon of war. The closing of the gates of the smaller Nuaimiyah dam in Fallujah in April 2014, resulted in the flooding of surrounding regions, while water supply was cut to the Shia-dominated south. Around 12,000 families lost their homes and 200 km² of villages and fields were either flooded or dried up. The economy of the region also suffered with destruction of cropland and electricity shortages.[146]

In mid-January 2015, a Yemeni official said that ISIL had “dozens” of members in Yemen, and that they were coming into direct competition with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula with their recruitment drive.[147]

In January 2015, Afghan officials confirmed that ISIL had a military presence in Afghanistan,[148] recruiting over 135 militants by late January. However, by the end of January 2015, 65 of the militants were either captured or killed by the Taliban, and ISIL’s top Afghan recruiter, Mullah Abdul Rauf, was killed in a US drone strike in February 2015.[149][150][151]

In late January 2015, it was reported that ISIL members had infiltrated the European Union and disguised themselves as civilian refugees who were emigrating from the war zones of Iraq and the Levant.[152] An ISIL representative claimed that ISIL had successfully smuggled 4,000 fighters, and that the smuggled fighters were planning attacks in Europe in retaliation for the airstrikes carried out against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria. However, experts believe that this claim was exaggerated to boost their stature and spread fear, although they acknowledged that some Western countries were aware of the smuggling.[153]

In early February 2015, ISIL militants in Libya managed to capture part of the countryside to the west of Sabha, and later, an area encompassing the cities of Sirte, Nofolia, and a military base to the south of both cities.

In February 2015, it was reported that some Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen members had broken from al-Qaeda and pledged allegiance to ISIL.[154]

On 16 February 2015, Egypt conducted airstrikes in Libya, in retaliation against ISIL’s beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians. By the end of that day, 64 ISIL militants in Libya had been killed by the airstrikes, including 50 militants in Derna.[155] However, by early March, ISIL had captured additional Libyan territory, including a city to the west of Derna, additional areas near Sirte, a stretch of land in southern Libya, some areas around Benghazi, and an area to the east of Tripoli.

On 7 March 2015, Boko Haram swore formal allegiance to ISIL, giving ISIL an official presence in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.[6][156][157] On 13 March 2015, a group of militants from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan swore allegiance to ISIL;[158] the group released another video on 31 July 2015 containing its spiritual leader also pledging allegiance.[159] On 30 March 2015, the senior sharia official of Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, Abdullah Al-Libi, defected to ISIL.[160]

From March through mid-April 2015, advances by Iraqi forces into ISIL-controlled territory were focused on Tikrit and the Saladin Governorate.[161]

In June 2015, the US Deputy Secretary of State announced that ISIL had lost more than 10,000 members in airstrikes over the preceding nine months.[162]

In the same month, three simultaneous attacks occurred: two hotels were attacked by gunmen in Tunisia, a man was decapitated in France, and a bomb was detonated at a Shia mosque in Kuwait. ISIL claimed responsibility for the attacks in Kuwait and Tunisia. ISIL flags were present at the crime scene in France, but ISIL has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

Responsibility for the November 2015 Paris attacks was also claimed by ISIL.[163]

Worldwide caliphate aims

Goals

Since at least 2004, a significant goal of the group has been the foundation of a Sunni Islamic state.[164][165] Specifically, ISIL has sought to establish itself as a caliphate, an Islamic state led by a group of religious authorities under a supreme leader—the caliph—who is believed to be the successor to Prophet Muhammad.[166] In June 2014, ISIL published a document in which it claimed to have traced the lineage of its leader al-Baghdadi back to Muhammad,[166] and upon proclaiming a new caliphate on 29 June, the group appointed al-Baghdadi as its caliph. As caliph, he demands the allegiance of all devout Muslims worldwide, according to Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh).[167]

ISIL has detailed its goals in its Dabiq magazine, saying it will continue to seize land and take over the entire Earth until its:

Blessed flag…covers all eastern and western extents of the Earth, filling the world with the truth and justice of Islam and putting an end to the falsehood and tyranny of jahiliyyah [state of ignorance], even if American and its coalition despise such.
— 5th edition of Dabiq, the Islamic State’s English-language magazine [168]

According to German journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer, who spent ten days embedded with ISIL in Mosul, the view that he kept hearing was that ISIL wants to “conquer the world” and all who do not believe in the group’s interpretation of the Koran will be killed. Todenhöfer was struck by the ISIL fighters’ belief that “all religions who agree with democracy have to die”,[169] and by their “incredible enthusiasm”—including enthusiasm for killing “hundreds of millions” of people.[170]

A map circulated around the internet purporting to show historical areas of former Islamic states in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, that ISIL planned to expand to, was created by outside supporters and had no official connection to ISIL.[171][172][173][174][175][176][177]

When the caliphate was proclaimed, ISIL stated: “The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organisations becomes null by the expansion of the khilafah’s [caliphate’s] authority and arrival of its troops to their areas.”[166] This was a rejection of the political divisions in the Middle East that were established by European countries during World War I in the Sykes–Picot Agreement.[178][179][180]

Ideology and beliefs

ISIL is a Salafi or Wahhabi group.[11][181][182] It follows an extremist interpretation of Islam, promotes religious violence, and regards Muslims who do not agree with its interpretations as infidels or apostates.[8] According to Hayder al Khoei, ISIL’s philosophy is represented by the symbolism in the Black Standard variant of the legendary battle flag of Prophet Muhammad that it has adopted: the flag shows the Seal of Muhammad within a white circle, with the phrase above it, “There is no God but Allah“.[183] Such symbolism has been said to point to ISIL’s belief that it represents the restoration of the caliphate of early Islam, with all the political, religious and eschatological ramifications that this would imply.[184]

According to some observers, ISIL emerged from the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, the first post-Ottoman Islamist group dating back to the late 1920s in Egypt.[185] It adheres to global jihadist principles and follows the hard-line ideology of al-Qaeda and many other modern-day jihadist groups.[8][3] However, other sources trace the group’s roots to Wahhabism.

For their guiding principles, the leaders of the Islamic State … are open and clear about their almost exclusive commitment to the Wahhabi movement of Sunni Islam. The group circulates images of Wahhabi religious textbooks from Saudi Arabia in the schools it controls. Videos from the group’s territory have shown Wahhabi texts plastered on the sides of an official missionary van.

— David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times[12]

According to The Economist, dissidents in the ISIL capital of Ar-Raqqah report that “all 12 of the judges who now run its court system … are Saudis”. Saudi Wahhabi practices also followed by the group include the establishment of religious police to root out “vice” and enforce attendance at salat prayers, the widespread use of capital punishment, and the destruction or re-purposing of any non-Sunni religious buildings.[186] Bernard Haykel has described al-Baghdadi’s creed as “a kind of untamed Wahhabism”.[12]

ISIL aims to return to the early days of Islam, rejecting all innovations in the religion, which it believes corrupts its original spirit. It condemns later caliphates and the Ottoman Empire for deviating from what it calls pure Islam,[171] and seeks to revive the original Wahhabi project of the restoration of the caliphate governed by strict Salafist doctrine. Following Salafi-Wahhabi tradition, ISIL condemns the followers of secular law as disbelievers, putting the current Saudi Arabian government in that category.[187]

Salafists such as ISIL believe that only a legitimate authority can undertake the leadership of jihad, and that the first priority over other areas of combat, such as fighting non-Muslim countries, is the purification of Islamic society. For example, ISIL regards the Palestinian Sunni group Hamas as apostates who have no legitimate authority to lead jihad and see fighting Hamas as the first step toward confrontation by ISIL with Israel.[12][188]

Eschatology

One difference between ISIL and other Islamist and jihadist movements, including al-Qaeda, is the group’s emphasis on eschatology and apocalypticism—that is, a belief in a final Day of Judgment by God, and specifically, a belief that the arrival of one known as Imam Mahdi is near. ISIL believes that it will defeat the army of “Rome” at the town of Dabiq, in fulfilment of prophecy.[189] Following its interpretation of the Hadith of the Twelve Successors, ISIL also believes that after al-Baghdadi there will be only four more legitimate caliphs.[189]

The noted scholar of militant Islamism William McCants writes:

References to the End Times fill Islamic State propaganda. It’s a big selling point with foreign fighters, who want to travel to the lands where the final battles of the apocalypse will take place. The civil wars raging in those countries today [Iraq and Syria] lend credibility to the prophecies. The Islamic State has stoked the apocalyptic fire. […] For Bin Laden’s generation, the apocalypse wasn’t a great recruiting pitch. Governments in the Middle East two decades ago were more stable, and sectarianism was more subdued. It was better to recruit by calling to arms against corruption and tyranny than against the Antichrist. Today, though the apocalyptic recruiting pitch makes more sense.

Territorial claims and international presence

 Areas controlled (as of 21 October 2015)     Remaining territory in countries with ISIL presence

In Iraq and Syria, ISIL uses many of those countries’ existing governorate boundaries to subdivide its claimed territory; it calls these divisions wilayah or provinces.[191] As of June 2015, it had established official branches in Libya, Egypt (Sinai Peninsula), Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and the North Caucasus.[192] Outside Iraq and Syria, it controls territory only in Sinai, Afghanistan, and Libya.[32] ISIL also has members in Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey & Israel, but does not have official branches in those areas.[193]

Libyan Provinces

 Current military situation in Libya:

  Under the control of ISIL and Ansar al-Sharia

ISIL divides Libya into three historical provinces, claiming authority over Cyrenaica in the east, Fezzan in the desert south, and Tripolitania in the west, around its capital Tripoli.[194]

On 5 October 2014, the Shura Council of Islamic Youth and other militants in Libya were absorbed and designated the Cyrenaica Province of ISIL.[195][196] The Libyan branch of ISIL has been the most active and successful of all ISIL branches outside Iraq and Syria. It has been active mainly around Derna and Gaddafi’s hometown Sirte.[197][198]

On 4 January 2015, ISIL forces in Libya seized control of the eastern countryside of Sabha, executing 14 Libyan soldiers in the process.[199][200] They temporarily controlled part of Derna before being driven out in mid-2015.[201] Reports from Sirte suggest ISIL militants based there are a mixture of foreign fighters and ex-Gaddafi loyalists.[202] An initiative between pro-Dawn forces associated with Misrata and Operation Dawn clashed with these IS militants in Sirte.[citation needed][203][204] Fighting between Libya Dawn forces and ISIL militants was also reported in the Daheera area west of the city of Sirte, and at the Harawa vicinity east of Sirte.[205]

One unconfirmed source has claimed that ISIL uses its bases in Libya to smuggle its fighters into the European Union posing as refugees.[206][207]

Sinai Province

On 10 November 2014, many members of the group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis took an oath of allegiance to al-Baghdadi.[145] Following this, the group assumed the designation Sinai Province (Wilayat Sinai).[195][208][209][210] They are estimated to have 1,000–2,000 fighters.[35][211] A faction of the Sinai group also operates in the Gaza Strip, calling itself the Islamic State in Gaza.[212] On 19 August 2015, members of the group bombed an Egyptian security headquarters building in northern Cairo, injuring 30 people.[213] It is also speculated to be behind the crash of Russian Metrojet Flight 9268, which killed all 224 people on board. The group has claimed responsibility for the attack in audio recordings, though Egyptian officials deny there is enough evidence for the claim.[214]

Algerian Province

Members of Jund al-Khilafah swore allegiance to ISIL in September 2014.[215] ISIL in Algeria gained notoriety when it beheaded French tourist Herve Gourdel in September 2014. Since then, the group has largely been silent, with reports that its leader Khalid Abu-Sulayman was killed by Algerian forces in December 2014.[192]

Khorasan Province

On 26 January 2015, Khorasan Province (Wilayat Khorasan) was established, with Hafiz Saeed Khan named as Wāli (Governor) and Abdul Rauf as his deputy after both swore an oath of allegiance to al-Baghdadi. The name Khorasan refers to a historical region that includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, and “other nearby lands”.[4][151][216][217]

On 9 February 2015, Mullah Abdul Rauf was killed by a NATO airstrike.[151] On 18 March 2015, Hafiz Wahidi, ISIL’s replacement deputy Emir in Afghanistan, was killed by the Afghan Armed Forces, along with nine other ISIL militants who were accompanying him.[218] In June, Reuters received reports that villages in several districts of Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar Province had been captured from the Taliban by ISIL sympathisers.[32] On 10 July 2015, Hafiz Saeed Khan, the Emir of ISIL’s Khorasan Province, was reportedly killed in U.S. drone strike in eastern Afghanistan.[219] However Khorasan Province released an audio tape claimed to be of Hafiz Saeed Khan on 13 July 2015,[220] and he was sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury on 29 September 2015.[221]

Yemen

On 13 November 2014, unidentified militants in Yemen pledged allegiance to ISIL.[215] By December of that year, ISIL had built an active presence inside Yemen, with its recruitment drive bringing it into direct competition with al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).[147][222] In February 2015, it was reported that some members of Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen had split from AQAP and pledged allegiance to ISIL.[223] As the Yemeni Civil War escalated in March 2015, at least seven ISIL Wilayat, named after existing provincial boundaries in Yemen, claimed responsibility for attacks against the Houthis, including the Hadhramaut Province, the Shabwah Province, and the Sana’a Province.[224][225]

Shi’a Houthis (Revolutionary Committee) are principal enemies of Yemen’s ISIL branch.[226][227] U.S. supports the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen against the Houthis,[228] but many in U.S. SOCOM reportedly favor Houthis, as they have been an effective force in rolling back al-Qaeda and recently ISIL in Yemen, “something that hundreds of U.S. drone strikes and large numbers of advisers to Yemen’s military had failed to accomplish”.[229] The Guardian reported: “As another 50 civilians die in the forgotten war, only Isis and al-Qaida are gaining from a conflict tearing Yemen apart and leaving 20 million people in need of aid.”[230]

West African Province

Main article: Boko Haram

On 7 March 2015, Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant via an audio message posted on the organisation’s Twitter account.[231][232] On 12 March 2015, ISIL’s spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani released an audio tape in which he welcomed the pledge of allegiance, and described it as an expansion of the group’s caliphate into West Africa.[5] ISIL publications from late March 2015 began referring to members of Boko Haram as part of Wilayat Gharb Afriqiya (West Africa Province).[225]

North Caucasus Province

Some commanders of the Caucasus Emirate in Chechnya and Dagestan switched their allegiance to ISIL in late 2014 and early 2015.[233] On 23 June 2015, ISIL spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani accepted the pledges of allegiance and announced a new Caucasus Province (Wilayat al-Qawqaz) under the leadership of Rustam Asildarov.[7][192]

Southeast Asia

Main article: Abu Sayyaf

On 23 July 2014, Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Totoni Hapilon in the Philippines swore an oath of loyalty to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL.[135] In September 2014, the group began kidnapping people to ransom, in the name of ISIL.[136]

Other areas of operation

  • Unidentified militants in Saudi Arabia pledged allegiance to ISIL – designated as a province of ISIL.[215]
  • The Free Sunnis of Baalbek Brigade (Lebanon) pledged allegiance to ISIL.[35]
  • Sons of the Call for Tawhid and Jihad (Jordan) pledged allegiance to ISIL.[234]

Leadership and governance

 Mugshot of al-Baghdadi by U.S. armed forces while in detention at Camp Bucca in 2004

The group is headed and run by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, with a cabinet of advisers. There are two deputy leaders, Abu Muslim al-Turkmani (KIA) for Iraq and Abu Ali al-Anbari for Syria, and 12 local governors in Iraq and Syria. A third man, Abu Ala al-Afri, is also believed to hold a prominent position within the group, having been rumored to be the deputy leader of ISIL. All three are believed to be ethnic Turkmen. The former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein was also said to have had senior Turkmen within his inner circle.[235][236] While al-Baghdadi has told followers to “advise me when I err” in sermons, according to observers “any threat, opposition, or even contradiction is instantly eradicated”.[237] Beneath the leaders are councils on finance, leadership, military matters, legal matters—including decisions on executions—foreign fighters’ assistance, security, intelligence and media. In addition, a shura council has the task of ensuring that all decisions made by the governors and councils comply with the group’s interpretation of sharia.[238] The majority of ISIL’s leadership is dominated by Iraqis, especially former members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath government who lost their jobs and pensions in De-Ba’athification when his regime was overthrown.[103][239] It has been reported that Iraqis and Syrians have been given greater precedence over other nationalities within ISIL because the group needs the loyalties of the local Sunni populations in both Syria and Iraq in order to be sustainable.[240][241] However, other reports have indicated that Syrians are at a disadvantage to foreign members of ISIL, with some native Syrian fighters resenting “favoritism” allegedly shown towards foreigners over pay and accommodation.[242][243]

In September 2014, The Wall Street Journal estimated that eight million Iraqis and Syrians live in areas controlled by ISIL.[244] Ar-Raqqah in Syria is the de facto capital, and is said to be a test case of ISIL governance.[245] As of September 2014, governance in Ar-Raqqah has been under the total control of ISIL where it has rebuilt the structure of modern government in less than a year. Former government workers from the Assad government have maintained their jobs after pledging allegiance to ISIL. Institutions, restored and restructured, provide their respective services. The Ar-Raqqah dam continues to provide electricity and water. Foreign expertise aids Syrian officials in the running of civilian institutions. Only the police and soldiers are ISIL fighters, who receive confiscated lodging previously owned by non-Sunnis and others who have fled. Welfare services are provided, price controls are established, and taxes are imposed on the wealthy. ISIL runs a soft power programme in the areas under its control in Iraq and Syria, which includes social services, religious lectures and da’wah—proselytising—to local populations. It also performs public services, such as repairing roads and maintaining the electricity supply.[246]

British security expert Frank Gardner concluded that ISIL’s prospects of maintaining control and rule were greater in 2014 than they had been in 2006, and that despite being as brutal as before, ISIL had become “well entrenched” among the population and was not likely to be dislodged by ineffective Syrian or Iraqi forces. It has replaced corrupt governance with functioning locally controlled authorities, services have been restored and there are adequate supplies of water and oil. With Western-backed intervention being unlikely, the group will “continue to hold their ground” and rule an area “the size of Pennsylvania for the foreseeable future”, he said.[191][247] ISIL has maintained food production, crucial to governance and popular support,[248] and its 40% control of Iraq’s wheat production has further solidified its rule.

Monetary system

Main article: Modern gold dinar

On 11 November 2014, ISIL announced its intent to mint its own gold, silver, and copper coins, based on the coinage used by the Umayyad Caliphate in the 7th century. Following the announcement, the group began buying up gold, silver, and copper in markets throughout northern and western Iraq, according to precious metal traders in the area. Members of the group also reportedly began stripping the insulation off electrical power cables to obtain the copper wiring.[249][250] The announcement included designs of the proposed coins, which displayed imagery including a map of the world, a sword and shield, the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and a crescent moon. Economics experts, such as Professor Steven H. Hanke of Johns Hopkins University, were skeptical of the plans.[250][251] A subsequent report alleged that coins released in Mosul were only gold plated and not worth their stated value in precious metal.[252]

Non-combatants

Although ISIL attracts followers from different parts of the world by promoting the image of holy war, not all of its recruits end up in combatant roles. There have been several cases of new recruits expecting to be mujahideen who have returned from Syria disappointed by the everyday jobs that were assigned to them, such as drawing water or cleaning toilets, or by the ban imposed on use of mobile phones during military training sessions.[253]

ISIL publishes material directed at women. Although women are not allowed to take up arms, media groups encourage them to play supportive roles within ISIL, such as providing first aid, cooking, nursing and sewing skills, in order to become “good wives of jihad”.[254] In a document entitled Women in the Islamic State: Manifesto and Case Study released by the media wing of ISIL’s all-female Al-Khanssaa Brigade, emphasis is given to the paramount importance of marriage and motherhood (as early as nine-years-old). Women should live a life of “sedentariness”, fulfilling her “divine duty of motherhood” at home, with a few exceptions like teachers and doctors.[255][256] Equality for women is opposed, as is education on non-religious subjects, the “worthless worldly sciences”[256]

Strategy

A 2004 work published online entitled Management of Savagery[257] (Idarat at Tawahoush), described by several media outlets as influential on ISIL,[258][259][260] and intended to provide a strategy to create a new Islamic caliphate,[261] recommended a strategy of attack outside its territory in which fighters would:

Diversify and widen the vexation strikes against the Crusader-Zionist enemy in every place in the Islamic world, and even outside of it if possible, so as to disperse the efforts of the alliance of the enemy and thus drain it to the greatest extent possible.
— Scott Atran, Paris: The War ISIS Wants[262]

Terror attacks on soft targets like resorts will require expenditures for security that will weaken the “crusaders”.

If a tourist resort that the Crusaders patronize…is hit, all of the tourist resorts in all of the states of the world will have to be secured by the work of additional forces, which are double the ordinary amount, and a huge increase in spending,
— Scott Atran, Paris: The War ISIS Wants[262]

while inspiring disaffected youth who are naturally rebellious and energetic. The terror will

motivate crowds drawn from the masses to fly to the regions which we manage, particularly the youth… [For] the youth of the nation are closer to the innate nature [of humans] on account of the rebelliousness within them.
— Scott Atran, Paris: The War ISIS Wants[262]

and will also draw the “Crusaders” into a quagmire of military conflict:

Work to expose the weakness of America’s centralized power by pushing it to abandon the media psychological war and war by proxy until it fights directly.
— Scott Atran, Paris: The War ISIS Wants[262]

One observer has described ISIL’s publicizing of its mass executions and killing of civilians as part of “a conscious plan designed to instill among believers a sense of meaning that is sacred and sublime, while scaring the hell out of fence-sitters and enemies.”[262] Another describes it purpose as to “break” psychologically those under its control “so as to ensure their absolute allegiance through fear and intimidation”, while generating “outright hate and vengeance” by its enemies.[263]

Designation as a terrorist organisation

Organisation Date Body References
Multinational organisations
 United Nations 18 October 2004 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)
30 May 2013 (after separation from al‑Qaeda)
United Nations Security Council [264][265][266]
 European Union 2004 EU Council (via adoption of UN al-Qaeda Sanctions List) [267]
Nations
 United Kingdom March 2001 (as part of al-Qaeda)
20 June 2014 (after separation from al‑Qaeda)
Home Secretary of the Home Office [268]
 United States 17 December 2004 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq) United States Department of State [269]
 Australia 2 March 2005 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)
14 December 2013 (after separation from al‑Qaeda)
Attorney-General for Australia [270]
 Canada 20 August 2012 Parliament of Canada [271]
 Turkey 30 October 2013 Grand National Assembly of Turkey [272][273]
 Saudi Arabia 7 March 2014 Royal decree of the King of Saudi Arabia [274]
 Indonesia 1 August 2014 National Counter-terrorism Agency BNPT [275]
 United Arab Emirates 20 August 2014 United Arab Emirates Cabinet [276]
 Malaysia 24 September 2014 Ministry of Foreign Affairs [277]
 Egypt 30 November 2014 The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters [278][279]
 India 16 December 2014 Ministry of Home Affairs [280][281]
 Russia 29 December 2014 Supreme Court of Russia [282]
 Kyrgyzstan 25 March 2015 Kyrgyz State Committee of National Security [283]
 Syria     [284]
 Jordan     [285]
 Pakistan 29 August 2015 Ministry of Interior [286]

The United Nations Security Council in its Resolution 1267 (1999) described Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda associates as operators of a network of terrorist training camps.[287] The UN’s Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee first listed ISIL in its Sanctions List under the name “Al-Qaida in Iraq” on 18 October 2004, as an entity/group associated with al-Qaeda. On 2 June 2014, the group was added to its listing under the name “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant”. The European Union adopted the UN Sanctions List in 2002.[267]

 People lay flowers outside the French embassy in Moscow in memory of the victims of the November 2015 Paris attacks.

Many world leaders and government spokespeople have called ISIL a terrorist group or banned it, without their countries having formally designated it as such. The following are examples:

The Government of Germany banned ISIL in September 2014. Activities banned include donations to the group, recruiting fighters, holding ISIL meetings and distributing its propaganda, flying ISIL flags, wearing ISIL symbols and all ISIL activities. “The terror organisation Islamic State is a threat to public safety in Germany as well”, said German politician Thomas de Maizière. He added, “Today’s ban is directed solely against terrorists who abuse religion for their criminal goals.” The ban does not mean that ISIL has been outlawed as a foreign terrorist organisation in Germany, as that requires a court judgement.[288]

In October 2014, Switzerland banned ISIL’s activities in the country, including propaganda and financial support of the fighters, with prison sentences as potential penalties.[289]

In mid-December 2014, India banned ISIL after the arrest of an operator of a pro-ISIL Twitter account.[290]

Pakistan designated ISIL as a banned organisation in late August 2015, under which all elements expressing sympathy for the group would be blacklisted and sanctioned.[286]

Media sources worldwide have described ISIL as a terrorist organisation.[28][103][275][291][292][293]

Human rights abuse and war crime findings

In July 2014, the BBC reported the United Nations’ chief investigator as stating: “Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) may be added to a list of war crimes suspects in Syria.”[294] By June 2014, according to United Nations reports, ISIL had killed hundreds of prisoners of war[295] and over 1,000 civilians.

In November 2014, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that ISIL was committing crimes against humanity.[296][297] A report by Human Rights Watch in November 2014 accused ISIL groups in control of Derna, Libya of war crimes and human rights abuses and of terrorizing residents. Human Rights Watch documented three apparent summary executions and at least ten public floggings by the Islamic Youth Shura Council, which joined ISIL in November. It also documented the beheading of three Derna residents and dozens of seemingly politically motivated assassinations of judges, public officials, members of the security forces and others. Sarah Leah Watson, Director of HRW Middle East and North Africa, said: “Commanders should understand that they may face domestic or international prosecution for the grave rights abuses their forces are committing.”[298]

Speaking of ISIL’s methods, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has stated that the group “seeks to subjugate civilians under its control and dominate every aspect of their lives through terror, indoctrination, and the provision of services to those who obey”.[299]

Religious and minority group persecution

 Yazidi refugees on Mount Sinjar in August 2014

ISIL compels people in the areas that it controls to live according to its interpretation of sharia law.[291][300] There have been many reports of the group’s use of death threats, torture and mutilation to compel conversion to Islam,[291][300] and of clerics being killed for refusal to pledge allegiance to the so-called “Islamic State”.[301] ISIL directs violence against Shia Muslims, Alawites, Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac and Armenian Christians, Yazidis, Druze, Shabaks and Mandeans in particular.[302]

ISIL fighters are targeting Syria’s minority Alawite sect.[303][304] The Islamic State and affiliated jihadist groups reportedly took the lead in an offensive on Alawite villages in Latakia Governorate of Syria in August 2013.[305][306]

Amnesty International has held ISIL responsible for the ethnic cleansing of ethnic and religious minority groups in northern Iraq on a “historic scale”. In a special report released on 2 September 2014, it describes how ISIL has “systematically targeted non-Arab and non-Sunni Muslim communities, killing or abducting hundreds, possibly thousands, of individuals and forcing more than 830,000 others to flee the areas it has captured since 10 June 2014”. Among these people are Assyrian Christians, Turkmen Shia, Shabak Shia, Yazidis, Kaka’i and Sabean Mandeans, who have lived together for centuries in Nineveh province, large parts of which came under ISIL’s control.[307][308]

Among the known killings of religious and minority group civilians carried out by ISIL are those in the villages and towns of Quiniyeh (70–90 Yazidis killed), Hardan (60 Yazidis killed), Sinjar (500–2,000 Yazidis killed), Ramadi Jabal (60–70 Yazidis killed), Dhola (50 Yazidis killed), Khana Sor (100 Yazidis killed), Hardan (250–300 Yazidis killed), al-Shimal (dozens of Yazidis killed), Khocho (400 Yazidis killed and 1,000 abducted), Jadala (14 Yadizis killed)[309] and Beshir (700 Shia Turkmen killed),[310] and others committed near Mosul (670 Shia inmates of the Badush prison killed),[310] and in Tal Afar prison, Iraq (200 Yazidis killed for refusing conversion).[309] The UN estimated that 5,000 Yazidis were killed by ISIL during the takeover of parts of northern Iraq in August 2014.[311] In late May 2014, 150 Kurdish boys from Kobani aged 14–16 were abducted and subjected to torture and abuse, according to Human Rights Watch.[312] In the Syrian towns of Ghraneij, Abu Haman and Kashkiyeh 700 members of the Sunni Al-Shaitat tribe were killed for attempting an uprising against ISIL control.[313][314] The UN reported that in June 2014 ISIL had killed a number of Sunni Islamic clerics who refused to pledge allegiance to it.[301]

Christians living in areas under ISIL control who want to remain in the “caliphate” face three options: converting to Islam, paying a religious levy—jizya—or death.[315][316] “We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword”, ISIL said.[317] ISIL had already set similar rules for Christians in Ar-Raqqah, once one of Syria’s more liberal cities.[318][319]

On 23 February 2015, in response to a major Kurdish offensive in the Al-Hasakah Governorate, ISIL abducted 150 Assyrian Christians from villages near Tal Tamr (Tell Tamer) in northeastern Syria, after launching a large offensive in the region.[320][321]

It was claimed that ISIL campaigns against Kurdish and Yezidi enclaves in Iraq and Syria were a part of organised Arabization plans. For instance, a Kurdish official in Iraqi Kurdistan claimed that the ISIL campaign in Sinjar was a case of Arabization campaign.[322]

Treatment of civilians

During the Iraqi conflict in 2014, ISIL released dozens of videos showing its ill treatment of civilians, many of whom had apparently been targeted on the basis of their religion or ethnicity. Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, warned of war crimes being committed in the Iraqi war zone, and disclosed a UN report of ISIL militants murdering Iraqi Army soldiers and 17 civilians in a single street in Mosul. The UN reported that in the 17 days from 5 to 22 June, ISIL killed more than 1,000 Iraqi civilians and injured more than 1,000.[323][324][325] After ISIL released photographs of its fighters shooting scores of young men, the UN declared that cold-blooded “executions” by militants in northern Iraq almost certainly amounted to war crimes.[326]

ISIL’s advance in Iraq in mid-2014 was accompanied by continuing violence in Syria. On 29 May, ISIL raided a village in Syria and at least 15 civilians were killed, including, according to Human Rights Watch, at least six children.[327] A hospital in the area confirmed that it had received 15 bodies on the same day.[328] The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that on 1 June, a 102-year-old man was killed along with his whole family in a village in Hama province.[329] According to Reuters, 1,878 people were killed in Syria by ISIL during the last six months of 2014, most of them civilians.[330]

In Mosul, ISIL has implemented a sharia school curriculum which bans the teaching of art, music, national history, literature and Christianity. Although Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution has never been taught in Iraqi schools, the subject has been banned from the school curriculum. Patriotic songs have been declared blasphemous, and orders have been given to remove certain pictures from school textbooks.[331][332][333][334] Iraqi parents have largely boycotted schools in which the new curriculum has been introduced.[335]

After capturing cities in Iraq, ISIL issued guidelines on how to wear clothes and veils. ISIL warned women in the city of Mosul to wear full-face veils or face severe punishment.[336] A cleric told Reuters in Mosul that ISIL gunmen had ordered him to read out the warning in his mosque when worshippers gathered. ISIL ordered the faces of both male and female mannequins to be covered, in an order which also banned the use of naked mannequins.[337] In Ar-Raqqah the group uses its two battalions of female fighters in the city to enforce compliance by women with its strict laws on individual conduct.[338]

ISIL released 16 notes labelled “Contract of the City”, a set of rules aimed at civilians in Nineveh. One rule stipulated that women should stay at home and not go outside unless necessary. Another rule said that stealing would be punished by amputation.[246][339] In addition to the Muslim custom of banning the sale and use of alcohol, ISIL has banned the sale and use of cigarettes and hookah pipes. It has also banned “music and songs in cars, at parties, in shops and in public, as well as photographs of people in shop windows”.[340]

According to The Economist, Saudi practices also followed by the group include the establishment of religious police to root out “vice” and enforce attendance at salat prayers, the widespread use of capital punishment, and the destruction of Christian churches and non-Sunni mosques or their conversion to other uses.[186]

ISIL carried out executions on both men and women who were accused of various acts and found guilty of crimes against Islam such as homosexuality, adultery, watching pornography, usage and possession of contraband, rape, blasphemy, witchcraft,[341] renouncing Islam and murder. Before the accused are executed their charges are read toward them and the spectators. Executions take various forms, including stoning to death, crucifixions, beheadings, burning people alive, and throwing people from tall buildings.[342][343][344][345]

Child soldiers

According to a report by the magazine Foreign Policy, children as young as six are recruited or kidnapped and sent to military and religious training camps, where they practice beheading with dolls and are indoctrinated with the religious views of ISIL. Children are used as human shields on front lines and to provide blood transfusions for Islamic State soldiers, according to Shelly Whitman of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative. The second installment of a Vice News documentary about ISIL focused on how the group is specifically grooming children for the future. A spokesman told VICE News that those under the age of 15 go to sharia camp to learn about religion, while those older than 16 can go to military training camp. Children are also used for propaganda. According to a UN report, “In mid-August, ISIL entered a cancer hospital in Mosul, forced at least two sick children to hold the ISIL flag and posted the pictures on the internet.” Misty Buswell, a Save the Children representative working with refugees in Jordan, said, “It’s not an exaggeration to say we could lose a whole generation of children to trauma.”[346]

Sexual violence and slavery

Sexual violence perpetrated by ISIL includes: using rape as a weapon of war;[347] instituting forced marriages to its fighters;[348] and trading women and girls as sex slaves.[349]

There are many reports of sexual abuse and enslavement in ISIL-controlled areas of women and girls, predominantly from the minority Christian and Yazidi communities.[350][351] Fighters are told that they are free to have sex with or rape non-Muslim captive women.[352] Haleh Esfandiari from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has highlighted the abuse of local women by ISIL militants after they have captured an area. “They usually take the older women to a makeshift slave market and try to sell them. The younger girls … are raped or married off to fighters”, she said, adding, “It’s based on temporary marriages, and once these fighters have had sex with these young girls, they just pass them on to other fighters.”[353]

The capture of Iraqi cities by the group in June 2014 was accompanied by an upsurge in crimes against women, including kidnap and rape.[354][355][356] According to Martin Williams in The Citizen, some hard-line Salafists apparently regard extramarital sex with multiple partners as a legitimate form of holy war and it is “difficult to reconcile this with a religion where some adherents insist that women must be covered from head to toe, with only a narrow slit for the eyes”.[357]

As of August 2015, the trade in sex slaves appeared to remain restricted to Yazidi women and girls.[349] It has reportedly become a recruiting technique to attract men from conservative Muslim societies, where dating and casual sex are not allowed.[349] Nazand Begikhani said of the Yazidi victims, “These women have been treated like cattle … They have been subjected to physical and sexual violence, including systematic rape and sex slavery. They’ve been exposed in markets in Mosul and in Raqqa, Syria, carrying price tags.”[358] According to UN Reports the price list for IS sex slaves range from 40 to 160 US-Dollars. The younger the slave the more expensive. Girls and boys between the age 1–9 are referred to as the most expensive, with the cheapest being women between 40 to 50 years old.[359] According to another source the price of a slave equals the price of an AK-47.[360]

A United Nations report issued on 2 October 2014, based on 500 interviews with witnesses, said that ISIL took 450–500 women and girls to Iraq’s Nineveh region in August, where “150 unmarried girls and women, predominantly from the Yazidi and Christian communities, were reportedly transported to Syria, either to be given to ISIL fighters as a reward or to be sold as sex slaves”.[351] In mid-October, the UN confirmed that 5,000–7,000 Yazidi women and children had been abducted by ISIL and sold into slavery.[311][361] In November 2014 The New York Times reported on the accounts given by five who escaped ISIL of their captivity and abuse.[362] In December 2014, the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights announced that ISIL had killed over 150 women and girls in Fallujah who refused to participate in sexual jihad.[363][364] Non-Muslim women have reportedly been married off to fighters against their will. ISIL claims the women provide the new converts and children necessary to spread ISIL’s control.[365]

Shortly after the death of US hostage Kayla Mueller was confirmed on 10 February 2015,[366] several media outlets reported that the US intelligence community believed she may have been given as a wife to an ISIL fighter.[367][368][369] In August 2015 it was confirmed that she had been forced into marriage[370] to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who raped her repeatedly.[371][372][373][374][375][376][377] The Mueller family was informed by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had sexually abused Ms. Mueller, and that Ms. Mueller had also been tortured.[376] Abu Sayyaf‘s widow, Umm Sayyaf, confirmed that it was her husband who had been Mueller’s primary abuser.[378]

In its digital magazine Dabiq, ISIL explicitly claimed religious justification for enslaving Yazidi women.[379][380][381] According to The Wall Street Journal, ISIL appeals to apocalyptic beliefs and claims “justification by a Hadith that they interpret as portraying the revival of slavery as a precursor to the end of the world”.[382] ISIL appeals to the Hadith and Qur’an when claiming the right to enslave and rape captive non-Muslim women.[379][383][384] According to Dabiq, “enslaving the families of the kuffar and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Sharia’s that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur’an and the narration of the Prophet … and thereby apostatizing from Islam.” Captured Yazidi women and children are divided among the fighters who captured them, with one fifth taken as a tax.[384][385] ISIL has received widespread criticism from Muslim scholars and others in the Muslim world for using part of the Qur’an to derive a ruling in isolation, rather than considering the entire Qur’an and Hadith.[379][383][384] According to Mona Siddiqui, ISIL’s “narrative may well be wrapped up in the familiar language of jihad and ‘fighting in the cause of Allah’, but it amounts to little more than destruction of anything and anyone who doesn’t agree with them”; she describes ISIL as reflecting a “lethal mix of violence and sexual power” and a “deeply flawed view of manhood”.[365] Dabiq describes “this large-scale enslavement” of non-Muslims as “probably the first since the abandonment of Shariah law”.[384][385]

In late 2014, ISIL released a pamphlet that focused on the treatment of female slaves.[386][387] It claims that the Quran allows fighters to have sex with captives, including adolescent girls, and to beat slaves as discipline. The pamphlet’s guidelines also allow fighters to trade slaves, including for sex, as long as they have not been impregnated by their owner.[386][387][388] Charlie Winter, a researcher at the counter-extremist think tank Quilliam, described the pamphlet as “abhorrent”.[388][389] In response to this document Abbas Barzegar, a religion professor at Georgia State University, said Muslims around the world find ISIL’s “alien interpretation of Islam grotesque and abhorrent”.[390] Muslim leaders and scholars from around the world have rejected the validity of ISIL’s claims, claiming that the reintroduction of slavery is un-Islamic, that they are required to protect “People of the Scripture” including Christians, Jews, Muslims and Yazidis, and that ISIL’s fatwas are invalid due to their lack of religious authority and the fatwas’ inconsistency with Islam.[391][392]

The Independent reported in 2015 that the usage of Yazidi sex slaves had created ongoing friction among fighters within ISIL. Sajad Jiyad, a Research Fellow and Associate Member at the Iraqi Institute for Economic Reform, told the newspaper that many ISIL supporters and fighters had been in denial about the trafficking of kidnapped Yazidi women until a Dabiq article justifying the practice was published.[393][394] The New York Times said in August 2015 that “[t]he systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution.”[349] The article claims that ISIL is not merely exonerating but sacralising rape, and illustrated this with the testimony of escapees. One 15-year-old victim said that, while she was being assaulted, her rapist “kept telling me this is ibadah“; a 12-year-old victim related how her assailant claimed that, “by raping me, he is drawing closer to God”;[349] and one adult prisoner told how, when she challenged her captor about repeatedly raping a 12 year old, she was met with the retort, “No, she’s not a little girl, she’s a slave and she knows exactly how to have sex and having sex with her pleases God.”[349]

Attacks on members of the press

The Committee to Protect Journalists states: “Without a free press, few other human rights are attainable.”[395] ISIL has tortured and murdered local journalists,[396][397] creating what Reporters Without Borders calls “news blackholes” in areas controlled by ISIL. ISIL fighters have reportedly been given written directions to kill or capture journalists.[398]

In December 2013, two suicide bombers stormed the headquarters of TV station Salaheddin and killed five journalists, after accusing the station of “distorting the image of Iraq’s Sunni community”. Reporters Without Borders reported that on 7 September 2014, ISIL seized and on 11 October publicly beheaded Raad al-Azzawi, a TV Salaheddin cameraman from the village of Samra, east of Tikrit.[399] As of October 2014, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, ISIL is holding nine journalists and has nine others under close observation in Mosul and Salahuddin province.[398]

During 2013 and part of 2014, an ISIL unit nicknamed the Beatles acquired and held 12 Western journalists hostage, along with aid workers and other foreign hostages, totalling 23 or 24 known hostages. A Polish journalist Marcin Suder was captured in July 2013 but escaped four months later.[400] The unit executed American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and released beheading videos. Eight of the other journalists were released for ransom: Danish journalist Daniel Rye Ottosen, French journalists Didier François, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Hénin, and Pierre Torres, and Spanish journalists Marc Marginedas, Javier Espinosa, and Ricardo García Vilanova. The unit continues to hold hostage British journalist John Cantlie and a female aid worker.[401]

Cyber-security group the Citizen Lab released a report finding a possible link between ISIL and a digital attack on the Syrian citizen media group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RSS). Supporters of the media group received an emailed link to an image of supposed airstrikes, but clicking on the link introduced malware to the user’s computer that sends details of the user’s IP address and system each time it restarts. That information has been enough to allow ISIL to locate RSS supporters. “The group has been targeted for kidnappings, house raids, and at least one alleged targeted killing. At the time of that writing, ISIL was allegedly holding several citizen journalists in Raqqa”, according to the Citizen Lab report.[402]

On 8 January 2015, ISIL members in Libya claimed to have executed Tunisian journalists Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari who disappeared in September 2014.[403] Also in January 2015, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto was kidnapped and beheaded, after a demand for a $200 million ransom payment was not met.[404]

Beheadings and mass executions

An unknown number of Syrians and Iraqis, several Lebanese soldiers, at least ten Kurds, two American journalists, one American and two British aid workers, and three Libyans have been beheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[citation needed] ISIL uses beheadings to intimidate local populations and has released a series of propaganda videos aimed at Western countries.[405] They also engage in public and mass executions of Syrian and Iraqi soldiers and civilians,[304] sometimes forcing prisoners to dig their own graves before shooting lines of prisoners and pushing them in.[406][407] ISIL was reported to have beheaded about 100 foreign fighters as deserters who tried to leave Raqqa.[408]

Use of chemical weapons

Kurds in northern Iraq reported being attacked by ISIS with chemical weapons in August 2015.[409] At Kobanî, it is highly likely that ISIS used chlorine gas there. These chemical weapons may be from a chemical weapons storage site at Al-Muthanna, which contained 2,500 chemical rockets. Although the rockets’ chemical contents were deteriorated, ISIS may have used them in a concentrated manner.[410]

Destruction of cultural and religious heritage

UNESCO‘s Director-General Irina Bokova has warned that ISIL is destroying Iraq’s cultural heritage, in what she has called “cultural cleansing“. “We don’t have time to lose because extremists are trying to erase the identity, because they know that if there is no identity, there is no memory, there is no history”, she said. Referring to the ancient cultures of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities, she said, “This is a way to destroy identity. You deprive them of their culture, you deprive them of their history, their heritage, and that is why it goes hand in hand with genocide. Along with the physical persecution they want to eliminate – to delete – the memory of these different cultures. … we think this is appalling, and this is not acceptable.”[411] Saad Eskander, head of Iraq’s National Archives said, “For the first time you have cultural cleansing… For the Yazidis, religion is oral, nothing is written. By destroying their places of worship … you are killing cultural memory. It is the same with the Christians – it really is a threat beyond belief.”[412]

 In July 2014, ISIL demolished the mosque dedicated to Jonah in Mosul

To finance its activities, ISIL is stealing artifacts from Syria[413] and Iraq and sending them to Europe to be sold. It is estimated that ISIL raises US$200 million a year from cultural looting. UNESCO has asked for United Nations Security Council controls on the sale of antiquities, similar to those imposed after the 2003 Iraq War. UNESCO is working with Interpol, national customs authorities, museums, and major auction houses in attempts to prevent looted items from being sold.[412] ISIL occupied Mosul Museum, the second most important museum in Iraq, as it was about to reopen after years of rebuilding following the Iraq War, saying that the statues were against Islam and threatening to destroy the museum’s contents.[414][415]

ISIL considers worshipping at graves tantamount to idolatry, and seeks to purify the community of unbelievers. It has used bulldozers to crush buildings and archaeological sites.[415] Bernard Haykel has described al-Baghdadi’s creed as “a kind of untamed Wahhabism”, saying, “For Al Qaeda, violence is a means to an ends; for ISIS, it is an end in itself”.[12] The destruction by ISIL in July 2014 of the tomb and shrine of the prophet YunusJonah in Christianity—the 13th-century mosque of Imam Yahya Abu al-Qassimin, the 14th-century shrine of prophet Jerjis—St George to Christians—and the attempted destruction of the Hadba minaret at the 12th-century Great Mosque of Al-Nuri have been described as “an unchecked outburst of extreme Wahhabism”.[416] “There were explosions that destroyed buildings dating back to the Assyrian era“, said National Museum of Iraq director Qais Rashid, referring to the destruction of the shrine of Yunus. He cited another case where “Daesh (ISIL) gathered over 1,500 manuscripts from convents and other holy places and burnt all of them in the middle of the city square”.[417] In March 2015, ISIL reportedly bulldozed the 13th-century BC Assyrian city of Nimrud, believing its sculptures to be idolatrous. UNESCO head, Irina Bokova, deemed this to be a war crime.[418]

Criticism

Islamic criticism

Main article: Khawarij

Extremism within Islam goes back to the 7th century to the Kharijites. From their essentially political position, they developed extreme doctrines that set them apart from both mainstream Sunni and Shiʿa Muslims. The Kharijites were particularly noted for adopting a radical approach to Takfir, whereby they declared other Muslims to be unbelievers and therefore deemed them worthy of death.[419][420][421]

ISIL has received severe criticism from other Muslims, especially religious scholars and theologians. In late August 2014, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh, condemned the Islamic State and al-Qaeda saying, “Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on Earth, destroying human civilization, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims”.[422] In late September 2014, 126 Sunni imams and Islamic scholars—primarily Sufi[423]—from around the Muslim world signed an open letter to the Islamic State’s leader al-Baghdadi, explicitly rejecting and refuting his group’s interpretations of Islamic scriptures, the Qur’an and hadith, used by it to justify its actions.[392][424] “[You] have misinterpreted Islam into a religion of harshness, brutality, torture and murder … this is a great wrong and an offence to Islam, to Muslims and to the entire world”, the letter states.[391] It rebukes the Islamic State for its killing of prisoners, describing the killings as “heinous war crimes” and its persecution of the Yazidis of Iraq as “abominable”. Referring to the “self-described ‘Islamic State'”, the letter censures the group for carrying out killings and acts of brutality under the guise of jihad—holy struggle—saying that its “sacrifice” without legitimate cause, goals and intention “is not jihad at all, but rather, warmongering and criminality”.[391][425] It also accuses the group of instigating fitna—sedition—by instituting slavery under its rule in contravention of the anti-slavery consensus of the Islamic scholarly community.[391] Other scholars have described the group as not Sunnis, but Khawarij.[419]

 Kurdish demonstration against ISIL in Vienna, Austria, 10 October 2014

According to The New York Times, “All of the most influential jihadist theorists are criticizing the Islamic State as deviant, calling its self-proclaimed caliphate null and void” and have denounced it for its beheading of journalists and aid workers.[12] ISIL is widely denounced by a broad range of Islamic clerics, including al-Qaeda-oriented and Saudi clerics.[11][12]

Sunni critics, including Salafi and jihadist muftis such as Adnan al-Aroor and Abu Basir al-Tartusi, say that ISIL and related terrorist groups are not Sunnis, but modern-day Khawarij—Muslims who have stepped outside the mainstream of Islam—serving an imperial anti-Islamic agenda.[426][427] Other critics of ISIL’s brand of Sunni Islam include Salafists who previously publicly supported jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda, for example the Saudi government official Saleh Al-Fawzan, known for his extremist views, who claims that ISIL is a creation of “Zionists, Crusaders and Safavids”, and the Jordanian-Palestinian writer Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, the former spiritual mentor to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was released from prison in Jordan in June 2014 and accused ISIL of driving a wedge between Muslims.[427]

The group’s declaration of a caliphate has been criticised and its legitimacy disputed by Middle Eastern governments, other jihadist groups,[428] and Sunni Muslim theologians and historians. Qatar-based TV broadcaster and theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi stated: “[The] declaration issued by the Islamic State is void under sharia and has dangerous consequences for the Sunnis in Iraq and for the revolt in Syria”, adding that the title of caliph can “only be given by the entire Muslim nation”, not by a single group.[429] The group’s execution of Muslims for breach of traditional sharia law while violating it itself (encouraging women to emigrate to its territory, traveling without a Wali—male guardian—and in violation of his wishes) has been criticized;[430] as has its love of archaic imagery (horsemen and swords) while engaging in bid‘ah (religious innovation) in establishing female religious police (known as Al-Khansaa Brigade).[431]

Two days after the beheading of Hervé Gourdel, hundreds of Muslims gathered in the Grand Mosque of Paris to show solidarity against the beheading. The protest was led by the leader of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, Dalil Boubakeur, and was joined by thousands of other Muslims around the country under the slogan “Not in my name”.[432][433] French president François Hollande said Gourdel’s beheading was “cowardly” and “cruel”, and confirmed that airstrikes would continue against ISIL in Iraq. Hollande also called for three days of national mourning, with flags flown at half-mast throughout the country and said that security would be increased throughout Paris.[432]

An Islamic Front Sharia Court Judge in Aleppo Mohamed Najeeb Bannan stated “The legal reference is the Islamic Sharia. The cases are different, from robberies to drug use, to moral crimes. It’s our duty to look at any crime that comes to us. . . After the regime has fallen, we believe that the Muslim majority in Syria will ask for an Islamic state. Of course, it’s very important to point out that some say the Islamic Sharia will cut off people’s hands and heads, but it only applies to criminals. And to start off by killing, crucifying etc. That is not correct at all.” In response to being asked what the difference between the Islamic Front’s and ISIL’s version of sharia would be, he said “One of their mistakes is before the regime has fallen, and before they’ve established what in Sharia is called Tamkeen [having a stable state], they started applying Sharia, thinking God gave them permission to control the land and establish a Caliphate. This goes against the beliefs of religious scholars around the world. This is what [IS] did wrong. This is going to cause a lot of trouble. Anyone who opposes [IS] will be considered against Sharia and will be severely punished.”[434][435]

Al-Qaeda & Al-Nusra have been trying to take advantage of ISIL’s rise by trying to present itself as “moderate” compared to “extremist” ISIL while it has the same aim of establishing sharia and a caliphate but doing it in a more gradual manner.[436][437][438][439][440] Al-Nusra criticized the way ISIL fully and immediately instituted Sharia since it alienated people too much, with a gradual, slower approach favored by Al-Qaeda by preparing society to accept it and indoctrinating people through education before implementing the hudud aspects of Sharia like tossing gays off buildings, chopping limbs off, and public stoning .[168] Nusra and ISIL are both against the Druze, the difference being the that Nusra is apparently satisfied with destroying Druze shrines and making them become Sunnis while ISIL wants to violently annihilate them like it did to Yazidis.[441]

Ayman al-Zawahiri called for the use of consultation (shura) within the “prophetic method” to be used when establishing the caliphate, criticizing Baghdadi for not following the required steps, Zawahiri called upon ISIL members to close ranks and join Al-Qaeda to fight against Assad, Shia, Russia, Europe, and America and stop the infighting between jihadist groups, calling for jihadists to establish Islamic entities in Egypt and the Levant, slowly implementing Sharia before establishing a caliphate and calling for violent assaults against America and the West.[442]

 Great Pyramid of Giza lit up by images of the flags of France, Lebanon and Russia in solidarity with victims of recent terrorist attacks, 16 November 2015

The Jaysh al-Islam group within the Islamic Front criticized ISIL, saying: “They killed the people of Islam and leave the idol worshippers” and “They use the verses talking about the disbelievers and implement it on the Muslims”.[443] The main criticism of defectors from ISIL has been that the group is fighting and killing other Sunni Muslims,[444] as opposed to just non-Sunnis being brutalized.[445][446] Some defectors from ISIL are in fact spies and operatives who continue working for ISIL and faking their defections.[447]

The current Grand Imam of al-Azhar and former president of al-Azhar University, Ahmed el-Tayeb has strongly condemned the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant stating that is acting “under the guise of this holy religion and have given themselves the name ‘Islamic State’ in an attempt to export their false Islam”[448][449] and (citing the Quran) that: “The punishment for those who wage war against God and his Prophet and who strive to sow corruption on earth is death, crucifixion, the severing of hands and feet on opposite sides or banishment from the land. This is the disgrace for them in this world and in the hereafter they will receive grievous torment.” Although El-Tayeb has been criticized for not expressly stating that the Islamic State was heretical,[450][451] the Ash’ari school of Islamic theology – to which El-Tayeb belongs – does not allow calling a person who follows the shahada an apostate.[450] El-Tayeb has strongly come out against the practice of takfirism (declaring a Muslim an apostate) which is used by the Islamic State to “judge and accuse anyone who doesn’t tow their line with apostasy and outside the realm of the faith” declaring “Jihad on peaceful Muslims” using “flawed interpretations of some Qur’anic texts, the prophet’s Sunna, and the Imams’ views believing incorrectly, that they are leaders of Muslim armies fighting infidel peoples, in unbelieving lands.”[452]

Mehdi Hasan, a political journalist in the UK, said in the New Statesman,

Whether Sunni or Shia, Salafi or Sufi, conservative or liberal, Muslims – and Muslim leaders – have almost unanimously condemned and denounced ISIL not merely as un-Islamic but actively anti-Islamic.[453]

Hassan Hassan, an analyst at the Delma Institute, wrote in The Guardian that because the Islamic State “bases its teachings on religious texts that mainstream Muslim clerics do not want to deal with head on, new recruits leave the camp feeling that they have stumbled on the true message of Islam”.[181] In mid-February 2015, Graeme Wood, a lecturer in political science at Yale University, said in The Atlantic, “The religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.”[189]

International criticism

The group has attracted widespread criticism internationally for its extremism, from governments and international bodies such as the United Nations and Amnesty International. On 24 September 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated: “As Muslim leaders around the world have said, groups like ISIL – or Da’ish – have nothing to do with Islam, and they certainly do not represent a state. They should more fittingly be called the ‘Un-Islamic Non-State’.”[454] The group was described as a cult in a Huffington Post column by notable cult authority Steven Hassan.[455]

Criticism of the name “Islamic State” and “caliphate” declaration

The group’s declaration of a new caliphate in June 2014 and adoption of the name “Islamic State” have been criticised and ridiculed by Muslim scholars and rival Islamists both inside and outside the territory it controls.[66][67][68][456] In a speech in September 2014, President Obama said that ISIL is not “Islamic” on the basis that no religion condones the killing of innocents and that no government recognises the group as a state,[72] while many object to using the name “Islamic State” owing to the far-reaching religious and political claims to authority which that name implies. The United Nations Security Council, the United States, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Russia, the United Kingdom[69][70][71][72][457][458][459] and other countries generally call the group “ISIL”, while much of the Arab world uses the Arabic acronym “Dāʻish”. France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said “This is a terrorist group and not a state. I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists. The Arabs call it ‘Daesh’ and I will be calling them the ‘Daesh cutthroats.'”[460] Retired general John Allen, the U.S. envoy appointed to co-ordinate the coalition, U.S. military Lieutenant General James Terry, head of operations against the group, and Secretary of State John Kerry had all shifted toward use of the term DAESH by December 2014.[461]

 Battle of Kobani

In late August 2014, a leading Islamic educational institution, Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah in Egypt, advised Muslims to stop calling the group “Islamic State” and instead refer to it as “Al-Qaeda Separatists in Iraq and Syria” or “QSIS”, because of the militant group’s “un-Islamic character”.[462][463] When addressing the United Nations Security Council in September 2014, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott summarised the widespread objections to the name “Islamic State” thus: “To use this term [Islamic State] is to dignify a death cult; a death cult that, in declaring itself a caliphate, has declared war on the world”.[464] The group is very sensitive about its name. “They will cut your tongue out even if you call them ISIS – you have to say ‘Islamic State'”, said a woman in ISIL-controlled Mosul.[465]

In mid-October 2014, representatives of the Islamic Society of Britain, the Association of British Muslims and the UK’s Association of Muslim Lawyers proposed that “‘Un-Islamic State’ (UIS) could be an accurate and fair alternative name to describe this group and its agenda”, further stating, “We need to work together and make sure that these fanatics don’t get the propaganda that they feed off.”[466][467] The “Islamic State” is mocked on social media websites such as Twitter and YouTube, with the use of hashtags, mock recruiting ads, fake news articles and YouTube videos.[468]

In the media

By 2014, ISIL was increasingly being viewed as a militia rather than a terrorist group.[469] As major Iraqi cities fell to ISIL in June 2014, Jessica Lewis, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer at the Institute for the Study of War, described ISIL as

not a terrorism problem anymore, [but rather] an army on the move in Iraq and Syria, and they are taking terrain. They have shadow governments in and around Baghdad, and they have an aspirational goal to govern. I don’t know whether they want to control Baghdad, or if they want to destroy the functions of the Iraqi state, but either way the outcome will be disastrous for Iraq.[469]

Lewis has called ISIL

an advanced military leadership. They have incredible command and control and they have a sophisticated reporting mechanism from the field that can relay tactics and directives up and down the line. They are well-financed, and they have big sources of manpower, not just the foreign fighters, but also prisoner escapees.[469]

While officials fear that ISIL may inspire attacks in the United States from sympathisers or those returning after joining ISIL, U.S. intelligence agencies have found no specific plots or any immediate threat. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel saw an “imminent threat to every interest we have”, but former top counter-terrorism adviser Daniel Benjamin has derided such alarmist talk as a “farce” that panics the public.[470]

Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband concluded that the 2003 invasion of Iraq caused the creation of ISIL.[471]

Some news commentators, such as international newspaper columnist Gwynne Dyer,[472] and samples of American public opinion, such as surveys by NPR,[473] have advocated a strong but measured response to ISIL’s recent provocative acts. Writing for The Guardian, Pankaj Mishra rejects that the group is a resurgence of medieval Islam and rather expresses that,

In actuality, Isis is the canniest of all traders in the flourishing international economy of disaffection: the most resourceful among all those who offer the security of collective identity to isolated and fearful individuals. It promises, along with others who retail racial, national and religious supremacy, to release the anxiety and frustrations of the private life into the violence of the global.[474]

Conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theorists in the Arab world have advanced rumours that the U.S. is secretly behind the existence and emboldening of ISIL, as part of an attempt to further destabilize the Middle East. After such rumors became widespread, the U.S. embassy in Lebanon issued an official statement denying the allegations, calling them a complete fabrication.[475] The rumours claim that ISIL leader al-Baghdadi is an Israeli Mossad agent and actor called Simon Elliot and that NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal this connection. Snowden’s lawyer has called the story “a hoax.”[476]

According to The New York Times, many in the Middle East believe that an alliance of the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia is directly responsible for the creation of ISIL. Egyptian, Tunisian, Palestinian, Jordanian and Lebanese news organisations have reported on the conspiracy theory.[477][478]

Countries and groups at war with ISIL

ISIL’s expanding claims to territory have brought it into armed conflict with many governments, militias and other armed groups. International rejection of ISIL as a terrorist entity and rejection of its claim to even exist have placed it in conflict with countries around the world.

Opposition within Asia and Africa

Iraq and the Levant Africa Other Asia
 
Iraq-based opponents

Iraq Iraqi Armed Forces

Iraqi Kurdistan Iraqi Kurdistan

Protection Force of Sinjar (HPŞ)[479]

Koma Civakên Kurdistan

Popular Mobilization Forces

Iraqi Turkmen Front[482]

Shabak Militia[483]

Other Levant-based opponents
Hezbollah[484]

Lebanon Lebanese Armed Forces[485]

Jordan Jordanian Armed Forces[486]

Turkey Turkish Armed Forces[487]

Syria-based opponents
Syria Syrian Armed Forces[488]

National Defence Force

Ba’ath Brigades

Syrian Resistance

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command

Palestine Liberation Army

Fatah al-Intifada

Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas

Syria Syrian Opposition[489][490][491]

Rojava Syrian Kurdistan[493]

al-Qaeda

North Africa-based opponents

Egypt Egyptian Armed Forces[499]

Libya Libyan Armed Forces

Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade (Libyan militia)[502]

Fajr Libya battalion (Libyan militia)[503]

Algeria Algerian Armed Forces[504]

West Africa-based opponents

Nigeria Nigerian Armed Forces[157]
Niger Niger Armed Forces[505]
Chad Chadian Armed Forces[506]
Cameroon Cameroonian Armed Forces[505]
Benin Benin Armed Forces[505]

Arabian peninsula-based opponents

Yemen Yemeni Armed Forces[147]
Saudi Arabia Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia[507]
Bahrain Bahrain Defence Force[citation needed]
Kuwait Kuwaiti Armed Forces[citation needed]
Oman Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces[citation needed]
United Arab Emirates Union Defence Force (UAE)[508]
al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula[147]
Houthis[509]

South Asia-based opponents
Afghanistan Afghan Armed Forces[148]
India Indian Armed Forces[510]
Taliban[150][511][512]
Pakistan Pakistan Armed Forces[513][514]

Southeast Asia-based opponents
Indonesia Indonesian National Armed Forces[515]
Malaysia Malaysian Armed Forces[515]
Myanmar Tatmadaw[515]
Philippines Armed Forces of the Philippines[135][516][517]
Singapore Singapore Armed Forces[515]
Thailand Royal Thai Armed Forces[515]

The Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

 Airstrikes in Syria by 24 September 2014

The Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also referred to as the Counter-ISIL Coalition or Counter-DAESH Coalition,[518] is a US-led group of nations and non-state actors that have committed to “work together under a common, multifaceted, and long-term strategy to degrade and defeat ISIL/Daesh”. According to a joint statement issued by 59 national governments and the European Union on 3 December 2014, participants in the Counter-ISIL Coalition are focused on multiple lines of effort:[519]

  1. Supporting military operations, capacity building, and training;
  2. Stopping the flow of foreign terrorist fighters;
  3. Cutting off ISIL/Daesh’s access to financing and funding;
  4. Addressing associated humanitarian relief and crises; and
  5. Exposing ISIL/Daesh’s true nature (ideological delegitimisation).

Operation Inherent Resolve is the operational name given by the US to military operations against ISIL and Syrian al-Qaeda affiliates. Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) is co-ordinating the military portion of the response.

The following multi-national organisations are part of the Counter-ISIL Coalition:[519]
 Arab League — coordinating member response[520]
 European Union – declared to be part, 27 members are participating, Malta not participating;[519]
 NATO – all 28 members are taking part;
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf or GCC – all six current members and the two pending members, Jordan and Morocco, are taking part.

Military operations in or over Iraq and/or Syria
airstrikes, air support, and ground forces performing training
Supplying military equipment to opposition forces
within Iraq and/or Syria in co-operation with EU/NATO/partners
Humanitarian and other contributions
to identified coalition objectives
 
NATO members: