“authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence.”
Since Abu Bakr is an Islamic scholar certified in fiqh and therefore an authoritative Muslim teacher able to issue fatwas, it would be interesting to see a debate between him and Pope Francis. Perhaps, in a certain sense, that is exactly what we are seeing.
Rome and whole world will be conquered, says leader of Islamic State
by Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch — July 2, 2014
I posted the full statement from al-Baghdadi here yesterday, but this aspect of it is worth noting separately: Rome, as the leading global center of Christianity, has long been a focus of jihadist aspirations.
“Imam Ahmad reported in his Musnad that Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As (may God be pleased with him) reports, Whilst we were around the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) writing down, he was asked, ‘Which of the two cities is to be opened first, Constantinople or Rome?’ He (the Prophet) answered, ‘The city of Heraclius will be opened first!’” (Imam Ahmad, and Al-Albany)
Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi quoted this hadith a few years ago and added: “This means that Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice – once from the South, from Andalusia, and a second time from the East, when it knocked several times on the door of Athens.”
And the Saudi Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd Al-Rahman Al-’Arifi, imam of the mosque of King Fahd Defense Academy, once boasted: “We will control the land of the Vatican; we will control Rome and introduce Islam in it. Yes, the Christians, who carve crosses on the breasts of the Muslims in Kosovo – and before then in Bosnia, and before then in many places in the world – will yet pay us the Jiziya [poll tax paid by non-Muslims under Muslim rule], in humiliation, or they will convert to Islam.”
There are many more such statements here.
“Rome will be conquered next, says leader of ‘Islamic State,’” by Damien McElroy, the Telegraph, July 1, 2014:
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed leader of the ‘Islamic State’ stretching across Iraq and Syria, has vowed to lead the conquest of Rome as he called on Muslims to immigrate to his new land to fight under its banner around the globe.
Baghdadi, who holds a PhD in Islamic studies, said Muslims were being targetted and killed from China to Indonesia. Speaking as the first Caliph, or commander of the Islamic faithful since the dissolution of the Ottoman empire, he called on Muslims to rally to his pan-Islamic state.
“Those who can immigrate to the Islamic State should immigrate, as immigration to the house of Islam is a duty,” he said in an audio recording released on a website used by the group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.
“Rush O Muslims to your state. It is your state. Syria is not for Syrians and Iraq is not for Iraqis. The land is for the Muslims, all Muslims.
“This is my advice to you. If you hold to it you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills.”
Having claimed the title of “caliph”, Baghdadi appealed to “judges and those who have military and managerial and service skills, and doctors and engineers in all fields.”
He also called on jihadi fighters to escalate fighting in the holy month of Ramadan, which began on Sunday. “In this virtuous month or in any other month, there is no deed better than jihad in the path of Allah, so take advantage of this opportunity and walk the path of you righteous predecessors,” he said. “So to arms, to arms, soldiers of the Islamic s, fight, fight.”
In a reflection of the havoc wreaked the past month by the Sunni insurgency led by the group, the United Nations said more than 2,400 people were killed in Iraq in June, making it the deadliest month in the country in years.
Baghdadi’s claims to control vast territority [sic] have yet to be tested by an Iraqi government counter attack. Many Muslim groups dispute his putative caliphate. However some experts fear his rise could transform the appeal of extremist Islam, partly by harassing social media to build a global following….