The Islamic State’s (IS) spokesman, Taha Falaha (Abu Muhammad al-Adnani), gave a speech on 21 May that prepared the ground ideologically for the end of IS’s statelet and a return to the deserts where the organization survived after the surge-and-sahwa drove it from the urban zones of Iraq in 2007-08. Al-Naba, IS’s newsletter, is printed within the caliphate on Saturdays and distributed online on Tuesdays. Al-Naba’s 34th edition, published within the territories on 4 June and put on the internet on 7 June, echoed Falaha’s theme that the caliphate was a cause that would outlast the loss of territory since it was now embedded in the hearts of a generation of Muslims, and al-Naba also took a swipe at al-Qaeda and jihadi groups like Ahrar al-Sham that believe the path to an Islamist polity is bottom-up, through the building of popular consent. The Naba editorial is reproduced below with some important sections highlighted in bold.
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The Illusions of the Crusaders in the Era of the Caliphate
The mujahideen did not lie to Allah when they announced the return of the Islamic state. Nor did they lie when they announced that they had chosen an imam [or caliph] for the Muslims, and they did not lie when they said that that it would remain (baqiya), God willing.
The Crusaders and their apostate puppets fancy that by expanding their military campaign to include the wilayats (provinces or states) of Iraq, Syria (al-Sham), Khorasan [Afghanistan], Sinai, West Africa, plus the Libyan provinces, they will be able to eliminate all the Islamic State’s provinces simultaneously, so that they are completely destroyed and leave no trace. An important fact they are missing is that the entire world after the declaration of the caliphate’s return is different from the situation before its return, and building plans and putting together strategies according to the previous reality, is planning for a world that is not currently in place and will not be there in the future.
It is clear that the Iraq war exposed the facts about the Crusaders’ [supposed] domination of the world; it showed their defeat was possible, and showed the Muslims that jihad is the only way to establish the religion [as a government] and arbitrate [life] by the shari’a. The establishment of the Islamic State revealed to them that the return of the caliphate is possible without having to accept the intolerable hypotheses of factions and parties that claim to be Islamic, though their ideas have made Muslims despair of the possibility of being able to establish the religion before the advent of the Mahdi and the descent of [Jesus] Christ.
Accordingly, the mushrikeen (idolaters or polytheists) everywhere should be convinced that the caliphate will remain, God willing, and that they will not be able to remove it by destroying one of its cities or imposing a siege on another, nor by killing a soldier, an emir, or an imam. We ask Allah to protect them all and keep them [as an irritant] in the eyes of the mushrikeen and murtadeen (apostates). Muslims will no longer accept living without an imam who guides them on the path of prophecy, around whom they can gather, behind whom they can undertake jihad, to whom they can contribute khums (a fifth of the ghanima (war booty)) and zakat (charity tax), thus fulfilling the practice of the Sahabah (Companions)—may God be pleased with them—to choose for themselves the successor to the Prophet in establishing the religion and implementing the shari’a.
They must know that they will no longer be able to deceive Muslims with tawaghit (tyrannical, impious) systems that legitimize themselves, as do some parties and misguided organizations, by claiming to raise the banner of Islam, while adopting the jahili (ignorant pre-Islamic) doctrines of democracy, patriotism, etc., and fighting those who call for pure tawhid (monotheism) and try to unite the umma (worldwide Muslim community).
The state of the caliphate has shown to all people what the true Islamic state is, how to establish the shari’a in full, and how shirk (idolatry or polytheism) is purged from the land where Allah can implement tawhid, and how “the religion is all for Allah” [Al-Anfal (8): 39]. This has blown away the myths of al-hadina al-shabiyya (a popular incubator or popular base) [as a necessary precondition for the establishment of a caliphate], and the lies about [the need for] gradualism, and all fears of retaliation by the Crusaders.
They ought to realize that their terrorism against the Muslims is no longer useful, and that intimidating them from establishing the religion won’t work either. The mujahideen have rejected the line of argument by the kuffar when they say, “If we follow the guidance with you [Muhammad], we would be snatched away from our land” [Al-Qasas (28): 57]. The mujahideen have ceased to fear others than God. They have begun to say in practice: “We will follow the guidance and the values of the religion, commit the umma [to its establishment], and fight with [this cause] until our heads are broken open. Then, we can meet Allah’s questions without excuse”. There is no clearer evidence for this than the pledges of allegiance (bay’a) [from around the world] to al-Emir al-Mumineen (the Commander of the Faithful) in spite of the Crusade against the Islamic State and its soldiers. Thousands of mujahideen from east and west are hurrying themselves into the midst of this war, preferring to die under the banner of the umma than to live in the shadow of the ignorance of factions and parties.
They should review and redraft their plans on this basis. If they really want true victory—they will not have it, God willing—they will have to wait a long time: [they will have] to exterminate a whole generation of Muslims who witnessed the establishment of the Islamic State and the return of the caliphate, and followed its story of steadfastness against the nations of infidelity—a generation that has known tawhid, and saw the doctrine al-wala wal-bara (loyalty to Muslims and disavowal of unbelievers) become a reality, and learned how to make the Qur’an and the Sunnah and following the ancestors’ (salaf) example a path for life.
They have to wait until this generation is over to reproduce the generation that was raised by the taghut (idolatrous tyrants), and grew up in the care of the misguided parties, and in the hands of evil shaykhs and palace scholars, because the generation that lived in the shadow of the caliphate, or through its battles, will be able to keep its flag raised, just as the generation that grew up in the shadow of the Islamic State of Iraq was able to bring it back stronger than before, after the Crusaders and their puppets thought it had been eliminated and its trace purged from the land.
The State of Islam will remain, God willing, and the caliphate will remain, God willing, on the prophetic methodology, “until there us no more fitna (polytheism) and the religion is all God” [Al-Anfal (8): 39].