BEIRUT

Middle East

Top Jordan jihadist denounces ISIS caliphate

Militant Islamist fighters wave flags as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. (REUTERS/Stringer)

AMMAN: A leading Jordanian jihadist ideologist Wednesday denounced the declaration of a "caliphate" by Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria, warning against more bloodshed.

"Can every Muslim and weak person find refuge in this caliphate? Or would it be like a sharp sword against all opponents?" Issam Barqawi, known as Abu Mohammad al-Maqdessi, wrote on Facebook and on jihadist websites.

Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), declared a "caliphate" Sunday, an Islamic form of government last seen under the Ottoman Empire, straddling parts of Iraq and Syria.

The militants, who renamed themselves the Islamic State (IS), already control large swathes of territory in north and east Syria, and this month captured vast stretches of northern and western Iraq.

They ordered Muslims worldwide to pledge allegiance to their chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

"What would the fate be of other Islamist fighters in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere?" asked Maqdessi, who was freed on June 16 after serving a jail sentence for recruiting fighters for the Taliban.

Once mentor to Iraq's now slain Al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, before the two fell out over ideological differences, Maqdessi warned against "Muslims who kill other Muslims."

"Do not think you can silence the voice of justice by shouting, making threats, aggression and having no manners?" he asked.

"Reform yourselves, repent and stop killing Muslims and distorting religion."

Experts say that the declaration of the caliphate is a direct challenge to Al-Qaeda and could spark a contest for the leadership of the global extremist group.

They said that it was unlikely that major groups linked to Al-Qaeda would immediately declare their allegiance to ISIS.

Jordan's jihadist movement is generally dominated by anti-ISIS groups that support Al-Qaeda and its Syrian ally, the Nusra Front.

The offensive in Iraq has also sparked fears in Amman that the Sunni militants will try to take their fight to the kingdom.

Jordan is already suffering from hosting more than 600,000 Syrian refugees, and has long faced the challenge of dealing with its own Islamist extremists, many of whom have joined jihadists or Al-Qaeda-linked groups in neighboring Iraq and Syria.

King Abdullah II appealed Monday for international support to help Jordan deal with regional turmoil after the caliphate was declared.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

A leading Jordanian jihadist ideologist Wednesday denounced the declaration of a "caliphate" by Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria, warning against more bloodshed.

Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), declared a "caliphate" Sunday, an Islamic form of government last seen under the Ottoman Empire, straddling parts of Iraq and Syria.

Jordan's jihadist movement is generally dominated by anti-ISIS groups that support Al-Qaeda and its Syrian ally, the Nusra Front.

Jordan is already suffering from hosting more than 600,000 Syrian refugees, and has long faced the challenge of dealing with its own Islamist extremists, many of whom have joined jihadists or Al-Qaeda-linked groups in neighboring Iraq and Syria.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here