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A claim that al-Baghdadi is the Dajjal, maybe?

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

[ by Charles Cameron -- also, the split between AQC and ISIS in a nutshell: rival claims to the title of Amir al-Mu'minin ]
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A site with the domain name “Horn of Satan” carries this banner at the head of each post.

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I’m intrigued by an article in today’s Al Arabiya News by Dr Theodore Karasik, Is ISIS bigger than al-Qaeda?, in which he writes:

Al-Baghdadi has designated himself as a global leader of the jihad fighters in particular and of Muslims in general, and as a herald of the Caliphate. Importantly, al-Baghdadi argues an apocalyptic viewpoint: “One should also beware of the likelihood of a false messiah claimant appearing among them, who would in fact be the Dajjal (Anti-Christ).”

A mention of the Dajjal in the context of ISIS and al-Baghdadi merits a slightly closer look, so I searched on “One should also beware of the likelihood of a false messiah claimant appearing among them” and found Dr Karasik’s article and three other hits, all of them from the site called Horn of Satan. All three refer to the same post from January 21st 2014 on that site, Self Declared Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of Isis the prophesied false Caliph?

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Dr Karasik’s article appeared to be quoting al-Baghdadi as warning us against the arising of a false messiah, the Dajjal, but the Horn of Satan post appears to have a different slant:

The Wahhabis usually disregard, downplay and even mock any importance for the lineage of Prophet Muhammed (saw) and they make secular equalitarian arguments against traditionalist Muslims in regards to this. But recently all of a sudden some of the takfiri Wahhabis of ISIS (a savage Khawarij cult group that is slaughtering Muslims in Syria, and made of mostly foreigners like Saudis and other takfiris from foreign countries), have been quite flashy in displaying a long name for their leader “Amir ul-Mu’minin – Abu Bakr Al-Husayni Al-Qurashi Al-Baghdadi”. Praise be to Allah, our Prophet (saw) taught us enough to respond to such false claimants.

This is then followed by ahadith regarding the Dajjal from two of the major collections, Abu Dawud and Sahih Muslim. Commenting on the first of these in terms of its applicability to al-Baghdadi, the writer says:

Whether this prophecy refers to him is a speculation although probable. But the meaning contained in it would still apply to him and the likes of him.

One should also beware of the likelihood of a false messiah claimant appearing among them, who would in fact be the Dajjal (Anti-Christ). These Khawarij at present have their strength in a region between Iraq and Syria, and this is the place from which Dajjal would likely emerge.

So the remark about “the likelihood of a false messiah claimant appearing among them” is not a warning from al-Baghdadi, as Dr Karasik implies when he introduces it with the phrase “al-Baghdadi argues an apocalyptic viewpoint: followed by a colon. It is a warning about al-Baghdadi as a possible Dajjal and and ISIS as a group from which such a figure might well be expected to arise.

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And why select al-Baghdadi and ISIS or these dubious honors? The Horn of Satan site — which would appear to be the source of the English translation of the quote Dr Karasik uses — explains both the choice of the potential Dajjal…

But recently all of a sudden some of the takfiri Wahhabis of ISIS (a savage Khawarij cult group that is slaughtering Muslims in Syria, and made of mostly foreigners like Saudis and other takfiris from foreign countries), have been quite flashy in displaying a long name for their leader “Amir ul-Mu’minin – Abu Bakr Al-Husayni Al-Qurashi Al-Baghdadi”

and the geographic location, suggesting that ISIS might be the group from which the Dajjal would emerge:

These Khawarij at present have their strength in a region between Iraq and Syria, and this is the place from which Dajjal would likely emerge.

Here’s the somewhat enigmatic marked-up screengrab from what looks to be a FaceBook page, used in the Horn of Satan post to illustrate the “flashy .. long name” given to al-Baghdadi:

FWIW, Musa Cerantonio is an Australian convert to Islam with a show on Saudi TV called “Ask the Sheikh, according to a December 2012 MEMRI bio. I suspect his FB page may have been taken down…

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Within jihadist ranks, Mullah Omar of the Taliban was hailed as Amir al-Mu’minin after he donned the cloak, mantle and authority of the Prophet, so to speak — some of the statements I quote in that piece describing the event are a little over the top, and the word “authority” in my title should be read in the metaphoric sense of “mantle”.

So Al-Qaida’s Ayman al-Zawahiri regards Mullah Omar as the Amir al-Mu’minin and ISIS gives al-Baghdadi the title — and there in a nutshell you have the split between AQC and ISIS, playing out on a battlefield near you in the fighting between ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra.

Not that the title doesn’t have other claimants — both King Mohammed VI of Morocco and Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III of Sokoto are also so styled.

And the title is more closely related to the Caliphate than to the Mahdi…

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As an aside — a “vending machine living in the clouds”…

The Horn of Satan site has its own echatological component, which you’ll find in the final post of their series, Answering Muhammed bin Abdul Wahab’s Four Principles of Shirk, titled The Four Principles in Light of End Times Tribulations. It consists mainly of ahadith warning of the coming of the Dajja, with a brief intro para attacking the English language booklet of Muhammad ibn ?Abd al-Wahhab‘s Four Principles, saying:

It opens the way for the enemies of Islam to attack the foundational doctrines of Islam. It is of the end time’s dajjalic plots that has deluded the modern day khawarij, into making true Muslims appear as polytheists and vice versa, and in making the path to heaven appear as hell and vice versa. It turns God into a vending machine living in the clouds, paving the way for people with such creed to be easily receptacle in taking dajjal as god.

Also of potential interest — a page titled Educational Curriculum and Sources for Boko Haram (A Wahhabi sub-cult in Nigeria, which hosts extracts from Dr Ahmad Murtada‘s Boko Haram: Its Beginnings, Principles and Activities in Nigeria.

Enough. And I’m a bit bleary-minded, I hope this makes sense.

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Sunday surprise 23: a narrative form without conflict

Monday, April 28th, 2014

[ by Charles Cameron -- a friend's blogpost, a taste of still eating oranges -- and the eyes of beautiful women considered as weaponry, in a Zen story, backed up by a verse from a celebrated Indian treatise on advaita ]
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I like to get cross-blog discussions going, so what I’ll post here as this week’s Sunday surprise is my response to two paragraphs my friend Bill Benzon quoted on his New Savanna blog under the title Is conflict necessary to plot? from a longer piece at Still Eating Oranges titled The significance of plot without conflict — followed by a zen tale.

Here’s the Still Eating Oranges intro to the form known as kishotenketsu which so intrigued Bill Benzon:

The necessity of conflict is preached as a kind of dogma by contemporary writers’ workshops and Internet “guides” to writing. A plot without conflict is considered dull; some even go so far as to call it impossible. This has influenced not only fiction, but writing in general — arguably even philosophy. Yet, is there any truth to this belief? Does plot necessarily hinge on conflict? No. Such claims are a product of the West’s insularity. For countless centuries, Chinese and Japanese writers have used a plot structure that does not have conflict “built in”, so to speak. Rather, it relies on exposition and contrast to generate interest. This structure is known as kishotenketsu.

Kishotenketsu contains four acts: introduction, development, twist and reconciliation. The basics of the story—characters, setting, etc. — are established in the first act and developed in the second. No major changes occur until the third act, in which a new, often surprising element is introduced. The third act is the core of the plot, and it may be thought of as a kind of structural non sequitur. The fourth act draws a conclusion from the contrast between the first two “straight” acts and the disconnected third, thereby reconciling them into a coherent whole.

And here, from Paul Reps’ celebrated little book, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, is one of the 101 Zen Stories with which Reps’ anthology begins:

How to Write a Chinese Poem:

A well-known Japanese poet was asked how to compose a Chinese poem.

“The usual Chinese poem is four lines,” he explains. “The first line contains the initial phase; the second line, the continuation of that phase; the third line turns from this subject and begins a new one; and the fourth line brings the first three lines together. A popular Japanese song illustrates this:

Two daughters of a silk merchant live in Kyoto.
The elder is twenty, the younger, eighteen.
A soldier may kill with his sword.
But these girls slay men with their eyes.

Which reminds me irresistibly — in the HipBone-Sembl manner — of a quote from Shankaracharya‘s classic work, Vivekachudamani, or The Crest Jewel of Discrimination:

Who is the greatest hero? He who is not terror-stricken by the arrows which shoot from the eyes of a beautiful girl.

Wry grin: I am clearly no hero — but even here in Shankara’s aphorism, we are still and ever in the realm of narrative.

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“Friends of Zenpundit.com who Wrote Books” Post #2: Poetry, War & Business

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

As the holiday season is here, I thought it would be amusing between now and Christmas to do a series of posts on books by people who have, in some fashion, been friends of ZP by supporting us with links, guest-posts, friendly comments and other intuitive gestures of online association. One keyboard washes the other.

The second installment focuses on Poetry, War and Business:

Stanton Coerr

Rubicon: The Poetry of War 

Colonel Stan Coerr is a combat vet (USMC) of Iraq, a naval aviator, poet and a key organizer of the Boyd & Beyond Conference. He is also intent on becoming a historian, to which I give a hearty thumb’s up!

Terry Barnhart

Creating a Lean R&D System: Lean Principles and Approaches for Pharmaceutical and Research-Based Organizations

Scientist and organizational consultant, Dr. Terry Barnhart, is the originator of “fast learning” strategies for organizational excellence and problem solving. I personally use Terry’s “Critical Question Mapping” strategy with students and elicited amazing results each time.

James Frayne

Cover of Meet the People by James Frayne

Meet the People: Why businesses must engage with public opinion to manage and enhance their reputations

Across the pond, James Frayne is a leading British political and media strategy consultant and former government official. Some of you may remember James from his excellent ( now defunct) political strategy blog Campaign War Room and from his participation in the Reagan Roundtable at Chicago Boyz.

More to come…..

ADDENDUM:

The previous post in the series has been pulled temporarily due to emerging scripting execution errors – it will be restored in a few days

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Ruminating…..

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"]

Busy writing a book review for Pragati Magazine that should be published on Friday. In lieu of a post, I wanted to make a few completely disconnected observations.

First, Charles Cameron in his recent post on Pattern Recognition had a link to an interesting paper, “Outline of a Psychology of War”, that I did not want readers to miss.

Secondly, there is a bitterly apoplectic piece on The Tea Party and National Security by conservative defense intellectual Dov Zakheim that should stir some debate.

In a move that meshes the paranoid control-freakishness of some senior military leaders, penny-wise and pound-foolish military budget cutting, a political desire to outsource futurism to crony capitalists like Goldman Sachs, and the zealous intolerance of the administration’s “Chicago wing” for dissenting opinions or even informed advice – creeping apparatchiks in the Obama administration have their knives out for Andrew Marshall and the Office of Net Assessment.

This is the Joint Chiefs  intellectual equivalent of the longstanding USAF desire to kill the A-10. Seldom am I in complete agreement with The Lexington Institute but on this issue they are correct.

Readers can sound off on these or any issues they wish in the comments…….

 

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In Praise of Charles Cameron

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"]

I am not sure how many of the readers ever make it to the “About” page, but there are blurbs for all of the bloggers here, done in my usual ad hoc style. This is what it reads for Charles Cameron:

Charles Cameron,  has also posted at Small Wars Journal, All Things Counterterrorism, for the Chicago Boyz Afghanistan 2050 roundtable and elsewhere.  Charles read Theology at Christ Church, Oxford, under AE Harvey, and was at one time a Principal Researcher with Boston University’s Center for Millennial Studies and the Senior Analyst with the Arlington Institute

All well and good, though that does not begin to scratch the surface of Charles who has a most interesting biography as a poet, bohemian adventurer and independent scholar. There’s a bit more available at his Sembl project page. If you ever have the chance to sit and talk with Charles F2F over coffee or a beer, you are in for a treat, if wide-ranging intellect and deep learning delivered with gentlemanly grace is your thing.

The reason for this post is that there is a new addition to Charles’ bio – he is now the Managing Editor of zenpundit.com.

Charles’s contributions here in terms of writing are invaluable, but he has also been an increasing factor behind the scenes. His ideas for potential round table projects, soliciting guest posts, recruiting new bloggers and raising the profile of ZP have been all to the good. I have come to realize that my own limitations in terms of schedule to execute some of these ideas Charles has brought may be preventing good things from happening that the readership would enjoy. It is time for me to step back a bit and give Charles the freedom to grow the blog and move zenpundit.com  forward.  I can’t think of anyone better suited for the role than Charles Cameron.

Yes, I will still be here, as will Scott Shipman and Lynn Rees, but it’s time for a new hand at the wheel.

“Truth is lived, not taught”

 - Herman Hesse

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