Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Christmas message or two from the religion of peace.

Islamic State leader Baghdadi goads West in rare audio statement

In what is believed to be his first public message in seven months, Isil chief warns Israel attacks are imminent 

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivers a sermon at a mosque in Iraq
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivers a sermon at a mosque in Iraq Photo: AP
The leader of Islamic State has released an alternative Christmas message goading the West, saying the do not dare send troops to their territory. 
In a rare audio statement - his first in seven months - Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said Western countries have "learned from" previous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
"Crusaders and Jews don't dare to come on the ground because they were defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said in his 23-minute statement. 
The leader, who has rarely been pictured and has not been heard from since he was believed to have been injured in an airstrike by Iraqi forces in October, Russian or US-led airstrikes had failed to weaken the group, which was only "expanding and getting stronger". 
"Be confident that God will grant victory to those who worship him, and hear the good news that our state is doing well. The more intense the war against it, the purer it becomes and the tougher it gets," he said. 
He also called on Saudi citizens - the biggest contributor to Isil ranks - to "rise up" against their government as he dimissed the kingdom's newly formed Muslim coalition against the caliphate. 
He also said Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) would soon be in Palestine to establish an Islamic state there. "Jews, soon you shall hear from us in Palestine which will become your grave," the voice, purporting to be Baghdadi, is heard saying. 
File photo: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivers a sermon at a mosque in IraqFile photo: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi  Photo: AP
"The Jews thought we forgot Palestine and that they had distracted us from it," he says in the recording. "Not at all, Jews. We did not forget Palestine for a moment. With the help of Allah, we will not forget it… The pioneers of the jihadist fighters will surround you on a day that you think is distant and we know is close. We are getting closer every day." 
Baghdadi had reportedly been seriously injured in a Iraqi airstrike in October. 
The leader is thought to constantly move between Isil's strongholds of Raqqa, northeastern Syria, and Mosul, in Iraq, in a bid to avoid airstrikes. 
In the statement titled "Wait for we as well are waiting with you", Bagdadi boasted that the group had fought off advances in both Syria and Iraq. 
On Saturday, however, Isil suffered a major blow after a US-backed alliance of Syrian Kurds and Arab rebel groups, backed by coalition planes, captured a dam from its fighters, cutting a main supply route of the militants across the Euphrates. 
Colonel Talal Selo said the rapid advance overnight by thousands of troops from the Democratic Forces of Syria had brought the dam, 15 miles upstream from the militants' de facto capital Raqqa, under their control on Saturday afternoon. 
Since the US-backed alliance was formed last October, its fighters have opened several major offensives against Islamic State with the ultimate goal of capturing Raqqa.

The Islamic State's religious scholars have ruled that taking the
  organs of non-Muslims is permissible under Islamic law to save the life of a Muslim, because killing apostates to eat their flesh has previously been allowed.
The revelation comes in a January 2015 document that was capured by U.S. special forces in Syria in May and obtained by Reuters.
The news agency posted a U.S. government translation of the document attributed to the Islamic State's research and fatwa committee.
"Allah almighty knows what's best and knows what's right and what is wrong and there is evidence from texts and Islamic principles and laws supporting the notion that transplanting organs from an apostate's body into a Muslim body in order to save the latter's life or replace a damaged organ with it is permissible," the document reads.
Citing the Koran, the Islamic State scholars wrote that saving a Muslim from "death and deterioration is an Islamic legal duty."
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But the document notes that Islamic jurists have "permitted, when necessary, the killing of the infidel combatant or the apostate should one need to consume their flesh for the purpose of saving his own life." Islamic scholar Imam al-Nawawi, according to the document, wrote about the "legitmacy of killing the infidel fighters and apostates and eating them."
The Islamic State scholars argue that "If the jurists had permitted, when necessary, the consumption of human flesh as a means counter to death or harm, then it is even more appropriate to transplant of organs from the apostate to the Muslim to save the life of the latter. This is especially true because it was ruled that the apostate's life and organs are not protected. On the contrary, the apostate's life and organs don't have to be respected and can be taken with impunity."
The document notes that, "The permission to transplant the apostate's organs into a Muslim body facilitates, allivieates and removes the diffculties endured by Muslims is corroborated by a reason strongly rooted in the pure Sharia."
Reuters notes that the document is "raising concerns that the violent extremist group may be trafficking in body parts" but that there is no evidence to support the notion that it has already done so.

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