One phrase from Saudi clerics could begin the end of Islamic State

November 19, 2015
Participants: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Malcolm Nance

The recent terror attacks in Paris shook the world and put the focus back on Islamic State. This week on War College, we talk with American Special Operations intelligence veteran Malcolm Nance. Nance literally wrote the textbook on Iraq’s terrorists and is the executive director of the Terror Asymmetrics Project.

A virulent ideology powers Islamic State. Nance argues that it’s not a sect of Islam, but a death cult powered by an apocalyptic vision. To beat them, the West must fight against that vision. Ideas are harder to fight than a military force. Hard, but not impossible.

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What 100,000 U.S. boots on the ground would get you in the fight against Islamic State

Islamic State and the ‘management of savagery’

Air power remains America’s best weapon for halting Islamic State

Al Qaeda is taking advantage of Islamic State’s bad reputation


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Not listening to a 45 minute podcast for one phrase… so, what is this phrase?

Posted by silent_ben | Report as abusive

Saudi Arabia declares Allah is dead. Mohammed was a huckster.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

OH! I have to listen to the podcast. He’s probably right.

Posted by physicsdude | Report as abusive

It IS a sect. The sect is the basic sect and religion of Saudi Arabia—WAHHABI. ISIS, Al
Qaeda, and Taliban. Period.

Posted by chekovmerlin | Report as abusive

This sounds good at first, but then I thought about something. What’s to keep the death cult’s own “clerics” from declaring all the others as “corrupt” and forbidding their followers from listening to them?

Posted by Roy_Gunn | Report as abusive

I just don’t know why western countries support Saudi Arabia so much while Saudis always support terrorism, this is the one million dollar question.

Posted by JusticeM | Report as abusive

A ton of information. Spot on. Good job.

Posted by aeci | Report as abusive

Let’s cross check opinionwith facts, shall we? v/20/saudi-court-sentences-poet-to-death -for-renouncing-islam

Posted by mediamaniac | Report as abusive

The argument that the US pulling out of Iraq caused this is nonsense. What is real is that when “people on our side” jump to the other side the minute we stop the flow of cash and pressure, they were never on our side!

So the reality is we should never have been in there wasting our money and soldier’s lives, because there are no allies to be had, nothing to free. Perception is not reality, the underlying facts say that Americans cannot control Islamic men.

Posted by Bookfan | Report as abusive

The video is long (45 min). Around min 24+ you get the problem description, and around min 40 the following run-down of the methods for defeating extremist Islam, from the mouth of one of their leaders.

Abu-??-al-Libi (couldn’t quite catch the name)

Theologian: Speaking on How to Break al-Qaeda/ISIS:
1. Call us apostates; heretics.
2. Call us out for our personal betrayals of Islam.
3. Call us out for our atrocities, especially against children.
4. Get Islamic political groups to oppose us; we fear them.
5. Find those who have left us and denounce us and repeat their arguments.
6. Ruin our link with Islam: Paint us as un-Islamic; we will be crushed in the shadows.

Summary: Make ISIS apostates.

Also mentioned: Use general weakness of insurgencies against them: loss of population support.

So, idea is to go after ISIS with international Muslim institutional and religious denunciation.

Not bad. But! This encourages Islam to retain the same attitude of the right to kill for purity. Better if Islam renounces violent jihad as un-Islamic: respect for freedom of conscience. If you take out one absolutist narrative and put in another, you use the problem as the solution.

Posted by William_Wallace | Report as abusive

Wow! what a propaganda machine. It can render the sensible senseless!

Posted by dbh38 | Report as abusive

Sir, are you serious. Do you really think that if you declare ISIS as an apostasy that any Islamic person will really listen. I live in Israel and I assure you that no Moslem who lives anywhere in this region will ever accept any declaration from any Rabbi concerning principles of the Islamic faith.

Posted by chaim01 | Report as abusive

To claim that ISIS is not Islamic is patently nonsense. The Koran is their daily handbook. They continually quote the Koran (not some unheard of, new interpretation they have invented for their own purpose) in justification and explanation of their motives. Whether or not this truth is palatable for some is irrelevant…….Where is the phrase by Islamic clerics denouncing ISIS???

Posted by zac48 | Report as abusive

Welcome surprise. Now, let’s see what happens.

Posted by mmazzi | Report as abusive

Daesh is apostasy. I saw two Daesh fighters in Iraq, buggering on a Koran, and using a blow-up doll of Mohammed for their pleasure. Why do they do these things? It is disrespectful to real Muslims.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

Where the heck do I get a transcript of this?

Posted by Bookfan | Report as abusive