I have lost count of the times we have been assured Man Haron Monis’ actions were un-Islamic, an outrage perpetrated by a lone wolf of dubious sanity. Mad or not, the Lindt hostage-taker insisted he was acting in support of ISIS in Syria, and he requested an ISIS flag to demonstrate that commitment to a national and international audience. This was the propaganda moment ISIS had demanded. The clear motive was to intimidate Australia and other Western nations into butting out of Syria, and since the political and religious motives of Islam are identical, the religious aspects cannot be ignored.
While we have heard much about the supposedly un-Islamic nature of ISIS, surely it cannot be a coincidence that every action, strategy and tactic followed by ISIS is modeled almost exactly on the same tactics, strategy and actions employed by Mohammad in his seventh-century campaigns of conquest. The forced conversions, the beheadings, the rapes, the executions, the selling women into slavery were Mohammad’s stock in trade. The Agenda of the Caliphate is Mohammad’s agenda. ISIS appears to be strictly following Islamic precedents, as set out by the Prophet himself. Since Mohammad is regarded as the “perfect man”, nothing could be more Islamic than following his example, both in daily life and war.
Further, no less an authority than Allah Himself, writing in the Qur’an, addresses the duty of the good Muslim to take up the sword.
9:38 “Believers, why is it that you linger slothfully in the land? Are you content with this life, in preference to the life to come? Few indeed are the blessings of this life, compared with those of the life to come. If you do not go to war, He will punish you sternly, and will replace you by other men.”
9:81: “Those that stayed at home, for they had no wish to fight for the cause of God with their wealth and with their persons said to each other: Do not go to war, the heat is fierce. Say to them: ‘More fierce is the heat of Hellfire!’ Would that they understood.”
4:74 “Let those who would exchange life of this world for the hereafter, fight for the cause of God; whoever fights for the cause of God, whether he dies or triumphs, on him We shall bestow a rich recompense. “
The fighters in Iraq and Syria and their supporters could not be more Islamic if they tried; to attempt to dismiss them as un-Islamic lunatics is quite silly. Muslims lack doctrinal support for the much vaunted “moderate” position, but there is an ample case for the warlike one. In Mecca, when Mohammad was politically weak and isolated, he professed a conciliatory attitude toward the non-Muslim population in which he lived. In such an environment Muslims dissembled, and generally identified themselves as “moderate”. After the Hijrah, the move to Medina in 622 AD, Mohammad’s political and military strength increased and the Caliphate agenda of world domination began. As for those “moderates”, they just drifted away.
Islam slips seamlessly between its Meccan and Median personae, depending on the political winds of the time. This is why Monis’ demand for an ISIS flag is so important. The thing about a flag is that it shows which way the political wind is blowing. Is it Meccan or Median today? Let this quote from the Sydney Morning Herald serve as a troubling indication. They are the words of a Muslim community leader, presumably a moderate, who was asked by police to locate the official Isis flag that Monis was demanding. The emphasis is mine:
“I must have called 50 people trying to find an IS flag. I found plenty of people who had one, but they didn’t want to give them up. They also believed that the police were trying set them up,” the leader said.
Could this clandestine ownership of IS flags, not to mention the loathing of police, suggest that there are many more firebrand Muslims than we have been led to believe? No doubt police are making inquiries as to the names of those who thought it worthwhile to spend good money on a butchers’ banner. After Martin Place, one would certainly hope so.