Jihad Watch — June 29, 2014
Introductory comments by Robert Spencer.
They clearly intend to hold the territory they have captured. They’ve also declared Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi the new caliph; he claims to be a descendant of Muhammad, so it is possible that if they can make their state viable, this claim will gain currency. If that happens, it will be interesting to see how Muslims in the West react to the idea that he is the “leader for Muslims everywhere,” which historically was always a claim of the caliph.
“ISIS declares creation of Islamic state in Middle East, shortens name to ‘IS,’” RT, June 29, 2014:
ISIS jihadists have declared the captured territories from Iraq’s Diyala province to Syria’s Aleppo a new Islamic State – a ‘caliphate.’ They removed ‘Iraq and the Levant’ from their name and urged other radical Sunni groups to pledge their allegiance.
ISIS announced that it should now be called ‘The Islamic State’ and declared its chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as “the caliph” of the new state and “leader for Muslims everywhere,” the radical Sunni militant group said in an audio recording distributed online on Sunday.
This is the first time since the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1923 that a Caliph – which means a political successor to Prophet Muhammad – has been declared. The decision was made following the group’s Shura Council meeting on Sunday, according to ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani.
The new Islamic State has marked its borders, spanning the territory captured by the group in a bloody rampage, from Iraq’s volatile Diyala province to Syria’s war-torn Aleppo.