Several pages of the 13th issue of Islamic State’s monthly propaganda magazine have been dedicated to the terrorist organization’s plans on waging war against Shiites and Iran. This issue of Dabiq released on January 19 was titled ‘The Rafidah: From Ibn Saba’. The Arabic word Rafidah is used to describe rejecters of what Sunnis believe to be true Islam. Sunnis often use the word in a derogatory manner to refer to Shiites. While Islamic State has been tormenting and slaughtering Shiites since it seized massive swathes of land across Iraq and Syria in 2014, this seems to be one of the most explicit calls for the Muslim sect to be annihilated.
According to the terrorist organization, even though Jews are blamed for the founding of the Shiite sect, and Israel and Iran continue to remain mortal enemies, both countries are apparently seeking the same goal; which is welcoming dajjal or the antichrist.
“The Jew Ibn Saba’, like Paul, hated Islam and desired to deviate the Muslims and corrupt their religion by innovating deviant concepts including the godhood, lordship, and second coming of ‘Alī Ibn Abī Tālib,” the magazine said of the supposed Jewish conspiracy that created Shia Islam. “At the same time, he strived to create strife amongst the Muslim ranks, inciting against the Righteous Khalīfah ‘Uthmān until ‘Uthmān was killed.”
Islamic State declared in Dabiq 13 that Shiites and Iran would continue to wage war against Muslims until Rafidah finally unites with Jews under the supervision of dajjal. Referring to Shiites as apostates, the terrorist organization made evident its concerted effort to completely wipe out this particular sect from the Middle East.
“Some of them are Jews who fake Islam to spread their deviance, just as Paul of the Jews faked Christianity to spread his deviance,” read the magazine. “The Rafidah hate Islam just as the Jews hate Christianity. They did not enter Islam longing for Allah or fearing Him, rather out of spite for the people of Islam and so as to inflict harm upon them… The Jews and the Rafidah are two sides of the same coin… Our condition dictates that we deal with the matter with courage and clarity and endeavor for a solution… The solution as we believe, and Allah knows best, is to expose the Rafidah...to fight them and stop them… Even though the Americans are also a major enemy, the Rafidah are more severely dangerous and more murderous...than the Americans. They took the Americans as allies, supported them, stood in their ranks in the face of the mujahidin [jihadists], and sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for the Americans everything precious so as to end jihad and the mujahidin.”
With violent rhetoric directed towards Shiites, who Islamic State describes as ‘followers of deviant desires’, the 56-page propaganda magazine had 58 variations of the word Jew, 65 variations of the words Christian or crusader and as many as 361 variations of the words Islam or Allah.
Even though Shiites constitute the second most popular sect of Islam, they reportedly account for only 10 to 13 percent of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslim population. Iran is typically regarded as the most influential and important Shiite-majority country in the world, with followers of the sect also constituting the majority in neighboring countries like Bahrain and Iraq.
The rift between Sunnis and Shiites dates back to an ancient debate over who became the rightful successor of Prophet Muhammad after his death in 632. While some believe that the prophet’s successor ought to have been chosen from among his followers, others feel that the post should have been reserved for someone from within the prophet’s family, as he wanted his cousin Ali to take on responsibility after his demise.
While both sects share several religious practices and beliefs, including the five pillars of Islam; Shiites –who hold the prophet’s family (especially his two sons Hassan and Hussain) in high regard– consider Ali to be the first of a series of imams that followed Mohammad. They believe in an unbroken line of 12 imams who succeeded the prophet to offer guidance to the faithful and that the twelfth imam is in occultation, but would return to restore justice on earth before judgment day. Sunnis on the other hand consider the four men who succeeded Muhammad to be the rightly guided caliphs and dismiss the significance of all religious practices of the leaders that followed.
Photo Credits: Dabiq Magazine