The self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq, also known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), announced today the 8th film of its notorious series of the “Fursan al-shahada“. These, mostly professionally made, movies show and depict the testimonies and attacks of those carrying out self-inoculation attacks, also termed ‘suicide’ or ‘martyrdom’ operations in Iraq. The greater meaning of the Arabic term istishhadiya is of essence, whereas the individual sacrifices his life for a greater good in order for ‘Islam’ to benefit while the Mujahid attains the status of having confessed the utmost possible for God with the claim of being rewarded accordingly in the afterlife.
The individuals read out their testimony, according to the usual habit of the jihad video genre, portray their – naturally – piety and the fear of God while moving out on “the path of God” to fulfil the divine command, a holy covenant of individual duty “to elevate the word of God”, living the lives of early Muslims solely in regard of combat and military actions – neglecting all other forms of spiritual and scholarly knowledge. This is highly effective propaganda combining the rhetoric and the wording of individual Mujahideen with the written ideology of AQ global. Here the consumers of online jihad materials find their role-models (prominently: Abu Dujana al-Khurasani) and are put in touch with elements who are in the battlefields and hotspots of jihad, who tell their tales, who have witnessed war and who express in their speech their drivers that led them to the decision of undertaking self-inoculation operations. In a previous part of “Fursan al-shahada“, the istishhadiyin operatives directed their attacks in the name of “helping Turkistan”, a region in western China where the al-Hizb al-Islami al-Turkistani went on a (Arabic) propaganda material publishing rampage after ethnic tensions rose. Since then, the “Voice of Islam”, an Arabic e-zine, is published on occasion. This edition of “Fursan al-shahada“
is yet another statement by ISI to show their sympathizers that they are still in place, despite the ‘beheading’ of ISI leaders in April 2010. Further, these videos intend to deliver proof and role-models to the online crowds that the jihad for justice and truth (haqq) is not interrupted and that Iraq is as much as other theatres of jihad alive and striving for the jihadists’ understanding and definition of religion while – again – promoting martyrdom.
Anyway, with the Eid al-Adha on Tuesday, mabruk 1431!, it is certainly no coincidence, that AQ in general tries to further capitalize on public Islamic events and holidays. Usually within the forums ‘gifts’ are issued to the sympathizers and followers when Ramadan dawns. This year, Khalid al-Husaynan ‘blessed’ the online ummah with a series of speeches and sermons defining and interpreting Surahs, for example, or the “fear of hypocrisy” and the like. Punctually after the Islamic new year, AQI/ISI now announces “in order to celebrate Eid al-adha” a new movie part of the series depicting the testimony (al-wasiya) of self-inoculation operatives as well as their subsequent attacks. In some cases these operatives testimonies are filmed while sitting behind the wheel of the truck/car that will bomb them into heaven. This is attained as a deed of worship and falls into line of the jihadi school of thought as expressed by Abu Jihad al-Shami (“The Vision of the Jihaadi Movement & the Strategy for the Current Stage“):
“As it is well-known to any entry-level student of the Salafi Creed, worship is a general term that includes everything that Allaah, the Exalted, loves of actions and statements, whether apparent or concealed. Therefore, servitude is not limited to prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage. Rather, included under the term ‘worship’ is Jihaad in the path of Allaah, love for the sake of Allaah and enmity for the sake of Allaah, calling to Allaah, removing oppression, judging by the Shari’ah, and ordering the good and forbidding the evil.” (p6)
In the past decade, AQ and co had been quite efficient and highly industrious within the online clouds to promote, expand and thus hijack specific religious, social and particularly historic settings, seeking to manifest proof of their actions as based on the alleged righteous, true and pious creed and subsequently being by their worldly actions closer to God than other individuals. The gaps have been filled and nowadays known faces such as al-Awlaqi shock the western media when all the sudden his sermons and speeches can be retrieved in English on YouTube, facebook, Twitter and other websites in various languages. This is certainly another dangerous and alerting fact but the missionary spreading of AQ’s definitions, wordings and notions have infected the internet for a very long time and new materials (videos and writings) appear almost daily, covering more and more niches and providing an in-depth appeal by letting the Mujahideen speak, who undertake such istishhadiya operations against foreign and/or domestic enemies, attaining both: fame online as well as the shahada (according the jihadist creed). An assessment of legitimizing the two severe istishhadiya operations in 2007 in Algiers can be obtained here.
By such “surprises” and “gifts”, the global torrents of jihad further attempt to hijack public parts of Islam, expressing a violent conduct as proper and rightful celebration of public holidays while adherents of this specific ideology speak out to provide personal justifications bound to an universal understanding of fighting Satan, the apostates, the disbelievers and what have you. Gifts and “glad tidings” are disseminated via the forums and instantaneously spread online.
“Soon, with the permission of God – 8”
Khalid al-Husaynan’s sermon on the 9th surah of the Quran – a gift during the holy month of Ramadan (published in August 2010).