Now this is interesting. Der Spiegel reports that IS is the product of a calculated strategy led by a former Baathist intelligence officer. The implication is that Islamist ideology is being used to manipulate people by a leadership that has purely secular objectives -- to regain power lost when the U.S. invaded Iraq. The mastermind was Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi, who used the pseudonym Haji Bakr. He was killed in a firefight in the Syrian town of Tal Rifaat in January, 2014. Documents in his possession were secretly kept their and have now been seen by Der Spiegel reporters. Money quotes:
What Bakr put on paper, page by page, with carefully outlined boxes for individual responsibilities, was nothing less than a blueprint for a takeover. It was not a manifesto of faith, but a technically precise plan for an "Islamic Intelligence State" -- a caliphate run by an organization that resembled East Germany's notorious Stasi domestic intelligence agency. . . .
Sharia, the courts, prescribed piety -- all of this served a single goal: surveillance and control. Even the word that Bakr used for the conversion of true Muslims, takwin, is not a religious but a technical term that translates as "implementation," a prosaic word otherwise used in geology or construction. .. .
There is a simple reason why there is no mention in Bakr's writings of prophecies relating to the establishment of an Islamic State allegedly ordained by God: He believed that fanatical religious convictions alone were not enough to achieve victory. But he did believe that the faith of others could be exploited.Not that these revelations will change anything, I suppose. Faith is impervious to facts. But it does clarify where the responsibility for this historic disaster truly lies.