Tuesday, July 1, 2014
JULY 1 NEW NATION OF I.S.I.S. DECLARES INDEPENDENCE
Grab your colored markers and head to the wall-map, readers! We have a new nation to draw! It's called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, but they are commonly referred to by their initials: ISIS. Their independence day is June 29, 2014 and their capital is Mosul. Their borders are still loosely defined, but they extend from Eastern Syria and most of Northern Iraq. Finally, their leader is the Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
What is a Caliph you ask? The direct translation from Arabic is "Successor," as in from Mohammad the Prophet. For centuries, Caliphates ruled over all Arab lands. However, no international leader has called himself a 'Caliph' since the Ottoman Empire was officially abolished in 1924. Why use such an antiquated term? ISIS wants to re-create a medieval-style empire stretching from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. It will adhere to a unique Sharia Islamic law. That means no music, Christians pay a maditory tax and executions are carried out in the main square of town.
Not surprisingly, war is raging on all of ISIS's borders. The US-backed Iraqi troops have marching orders from PM al-Maliki. Battles have been raging in Mesopotamia for months. On the East, the Kurds have taken up arms to defend their borders. Both Syrian rebels and government troops are engaged in armed conflict on the Western border. Nonetheless, ISIS leaders are demanding all Muslims around the world pledge allegiance to their leader, as he is the chosen one with direct orders from the Prophet Mohammad.