The Islamic State (IS) published its fifteenth edition of ‘Dabiq,’ its English-language magazine, on 31 July 2016. The magazine was entitled, “Break the Cross”. The magazine contained two important articles outlining why IS hates and fights against the West. The most important article, an unsigned piece by an IS operative, simply titled, “Why We Hate You and Why We Fight You”. The second, “How I Came to Islam,” was written by Umm Khalid al-Finlandiyyah, a female Finnish foreign fighter who has joined IS. Those articles are reproduced below with some editions to transliteration and some interesting sections highlighted in bold.
“Why We Hate You and Why We Fight You”
Shortly following the blessed attack on a sodomite, Crusader nightclub by the mujahid Umar Mateen, American politicians were quick to jump into the spotlight and denounce the shooting, declaring it a hate crime, an act of terrorism, and an act of senseless violence. A hate crime? Yes. Muslims undoubtedly hate liberalist sodomites, as does anyone else with any shred of their fitra (inborn human nature) still intact. An act of terrorism? Most definitely. Muslims have been commanded to terrorize the disbelieving enemies of Allah. But an act of senseless violence? One would think that the average Westerner, by now, would have abandoned the tired claim that the actions of the mujahideen—who have repeatedly stated their goals, intentions, and motivations—don’t make sense. Unless you truly—and naively—believe that the crimes of the West against Islam and the Muslims, whether insulting the Prophet, burning the Quran or waging war against the Caliphate, won’t prompt brutal retaliation from the mujahidin, you know full well that the likes of the attacks carried out by Umar Mateen, Larossi Aballa, and many others before and after them in revenge for Islam and the Muslims make complete sense. The only thing senseless would be for there to be no violent, fierce retaliation in the first place!
Many Westerners, however, are already aware that claiming the attacks of the mujahideen to be senseless and questioning incessantly as to why we hate the West and why we fight them is nothing more than a political act and a propaganda tool. The politicians will say it regardless of how much it stands in opposition to facts and common sense just to garner as many votes as they can for the next election cycle. The analysts and journalists will say it in order to keep themselves from becoming a target for saying something that the masses deem to be “politically incorrect.” The apostate “imams” in the West will adhere to the same tired cliché in order to avoid a backlash from the disbelieving societies in which they’ve chosen to reside. The point is, people know that it’s foolish, but they keep repeating it regardless because they’re afraid of the consequences of deviating from the script. There are exceptions among the disbelievers, no doubt, people who will unabashedly declare that jihad and the laws of the shari’a—as well as everything else deemed taboo by the Islam-is-a-peaceful-religion crowd—are in fact completely Islamic, but they tend to be people with far less credibility who are painted as a social fringe, so their voices are dismissed and a large segment of the ignorant masses continues believing the false narrative. As such, it becomes important for us to clarify to the West in unequivocal terms—yet again—why we hate you and why we fight you.
- We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah—whether you realize it or not—by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son, you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices. It is for this reason that we were commanded to openly declare our hatred for you and our enmity towards you. “There has already been for you an excellent example in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, ‘Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone'” (Al-Mumtahanah 4). Furthermore, just as your disbelief is the primary reason we hate you, your disbelief is the primary reason we fight you, as we have been commanded to fight the disbelievers until they submit to the authority of Islam, either by becoming Muslims, or by paying jizya—for those afforded this option—and living in humiliation under the rule of the Muslims. Thus, even if you were to stop fighting us, your best-case scenario in a state of war would be that we would suspend our attacks against you—if we deemed it necessary—in order to focus on the closer and more immediate threats, before eventually resuming our campaigns against you. Apart from the option of a temporary truce, this is the only likely scenario that would bring you fleeting respite from our attacks. So in the end, you cannot bring an indefinite halt to our war against you. At most, you could only delay it temporarily. “And fight them until there is no fitnah [paganism] and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah” (Al-Baqarah 193).
- We hate you because your secular, liberal societies permit the very things that Allah has prohibited while banning many of the things He has permitted, a matter that doesn’t concern you because you separate between religion and state, thereby granting supreme authority to your whims and desires via the legislators you vote into power. In doing so, you desire to rob Allah of His right to be obeyed and you wish to usurp that right for yourselves. “Legislation is not but for Allah” (Yusuf 40). Your secular liberalism has led you to tolerate and even support “gay rights,” to allow alcohol, drugs, fornication, gambling, and usury to become widespread, and to encourage the people to mock those who denounce these filthy sins and vices. As such, we wage war against you to stop you from spreading your disbelief and debauchery—your secularism and nationalism, your perverted liberal values, your Christianity and atheism—and all the depravity and corruption they entail. You’ve made it your mission to “liberate” Muslim societies; we’ve made it our mission to fight off your influence and protect mankind from your misguided concepts and your deviant way of life.
- In the case of the atheist fringe, we hate you and wage war against you because you disbelieve in the existence of your Lord and Creator. You witness the extraordinarily complex makeup of created beings, and the astonishing and inexplicably precise physical laws that govern the entire universe, but insist that they all came about through randomness and that one should be faulted, mocked, and ostracized for recognizing that the astonishing signs we witness day after day are the creation of the Wise, All-Knowing Creator and not the result of accidental occurrence. “Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]?” (AtTur 35). Your disbelief in your Creator further leads you to deny the Day of Judgment, claiming that “you only live once.” “Those who disbelieve have claimed that they will never be resurrected. Say, ‘Yes, by my Lord, you will surely be resurrected; then you will surely be informed of what you did. And that, for Allah, is easy'” (At-Taghabun 7).
- We hate you for your crimes against Islam and wage war against you to punish you for your transgressions against our religion. As long as your subjects continue to mock our faith, insult the prophets of Allah—including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad—burn the Qur’an, and openly vilify the laws of the shari’a, we will continue to retaliate, not with slogans and placards, but with bullets and knives.
- We hate you for your crimes against the Muslims; your drones and fighter jets bomb, kill, and maim our people around the world, and your puppets in the usurped lands of the Muslims oppress, torture, and wage war against anyone who calls to the truth. As such, we fight you to stop you from killing our men, women, and children, to liberate those of them whom you imprison and torture, and to take revenge for the countless Muslims who’ve suffered as a result of your deeds.
- We hate you for invading our lands and fight you to repel you and drive you out. As long as there is an inch of territory left for us to reclaim, jihad will continue to be a personal obligation on every single Muslim.
What’s important to understand here is that although some might argue that your foreign policies are the extent of what drives our hatred, this particular reason for hating you is secondary, hence the reason we addressed it at the end of the above list. The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizya and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you. No doubt, we would stop fighting you then as we would stop fighting any disbelievers who enter into a covenant with us, but we would not stop hating you.
What’s equally if not more important to understand is that we fight you, not simply to punish and deter you, but to bring you true freedom in this life and salvation in the Hereafter, freedom from being enslaved to your whims and desires as well as those of your clergy and legislatures, and salvation by worshiping your Creator alone and following His messenger. We fight you in order to bring you out from the darkness of disbelief and into the light of Islam, and to liberate you from the constraints of living for the sake of the worldly life alone so that you may enjoy both the blessings of the worldly life and the bliss of the Hereafter.
The gist of the matter is that there is indeed a rhyme to our terrorism, warfare, ruthlessness, and brutality. As much as some liberal journalist would like you to believe that we do what we do because we’re simply monsters with no logic behind our course of action, the fact is that we continue to wage—and escalate—a calculated war that the West thought it had ended several years ago. We continue dragging you further and further into a swamp you thought you’d already escaped only to realize that you’re stuck even deeper within its murky waters. And we do so while offering you a way out on our terms. So you can continue to believe that those “despicable terrorists” hate you because of your lattes and your Timberlands, and continue spending ridiculous amounts of money to try to prevail in an unwinnable war, or you can accept reality and recognize that we will never stop hating you until you embrace Islam, and will never stop fighting you until you’re ready to leave the swamp of warfare and terrorism through the exits we provide, the very exits put forth by our Lord for the People of the Scripture: Islam, jizya, or—as a last means of fleeting respite—a temporary truce.
“How I Came to Islam,” by Umm Khalid al-Finlandiyyah
I come from Finland, a “Christian” nation where the people do not strongly adhere to their corrupted religion. Most of them say they are Christians but don’t really practice their false faith. They might go to church when there’s a wedding or a funeral, but most of them don’t know much about their distorted religion, even though they are proud of it; so I wouldn’t see Christianity visibly manifested in their day-to-day lives.
In my case, I was pretty much the same as everyone else. Everyone had to study the religion at school, which is how my knowledge of it grew. Before that, however, my mother would send me to Sunday school, even though she wasn’t religious herself. I myself would only go there for the stickers, and I don’t think I actually learned or understood anything there. I did learn more in school, but Christianity nowadays tends to be very confusing.
What they mainly teach is that if you merely believe in Jesus as your Savior, who supposedly died for your sins, then you will be saved. And this was hard to accept because it really didn’t make sense to me. Despite this confusion, I always believed in the Creator. My parents, much like everyone else, never really talked about religion. We would celebrate Christmas and Easter, but Christianity otherwise didn’t have much of an impact on my life. At the age of 16, I was sent to a type of camp where you would have to embrace the religion again, but do so independent-mindedly. Once again, the teachings didn’t make sense but because my parents sent me, I did it for them, and also for the fact that there would be a big party at the end where you would get all sorts of gifts.
The main thing that didn’t make sense to me about Christianity was the Trinity. I would wonder, how could the “son” of God be crucified? How could a “part” of God—according to the Trinity—be crucified? How could a human being be God, and then become humiliated and have a humiliating death? I was always very confused, and never prayed to Jesus. When I did pray, I would pray to God. When I was young, I didn’t really pay much attention to these thoughts. I did think about it all here and there, but I didn’t know how to delve deeper and explore these thoughts, and I didn’t have confidence that I was on the true religion. Then at school, they introduced things like evolution and the big bang theory, and this just caused even more confusion. At the end, I was left not knowing what to believe in, but I always had faith in the Creator and that He should be worshiped alone.
I first heard about Islam when we were doing religious studies at school. We covered a number of different religions, including Islam. In the very first class, the teacher—who wasn’t even a Muslim—recited the shahada in Arabic and then explained to us that this was the Islamic testimony of faith. We learned about the five pillars of Islam on a very basic level, but some things were portrayed in a manner that seemed nonsensical to me. For example, we were told that during the fasting month of Ramadan, Muslims don’t eat and drink all day but they stay up all night eating and partying. My next encounter with Islam was when I got married. My husband was brought up in a Muslim family but he wasn’t practicing at all. We had children together but got divorced a few years afterwards. At that point, I really wanted to learn about Islam, and because of the blessed events of September 11th, I would always see Islam mocked in the media, but I was still curious and wanted to find out more about this religion. At the same time, I had a neighbour who had introduced me to Islam a few years earlier. So she let me borrow a copy of the Qur’an that was translated into my own language. The translation wasn’t so good, but she was good at explaining, so if I didn’t understand anything she would clarify it for me. What struck me most as I was reading the Quran were the verses about Hellfire and the punishment in the Hereafter.
Not long afterwards, I knew that this religion really was the truth. I started learning to pray on my own because I thought I had to learn everything before becoming Muslim. I have to admit though, I was scared and nervous because I didn’t understand a lot of things. I would think to myself, “How would my parents react if I were to become a Muslim? How would my colleagues react?” It felt like a big ordeal even though I knew in my heart that I had to do this. So when I was coming back from work one day and I saw my neighbour on the bus, I asked her, “Would you like to teach me how to pray?” She replied by asking, “Do you want to become a Muslim?” At that moment, I felt myself thinking, “Yes, I do.” So I said, “Yes,” and both her and her husband began crying. I pronounced the shahada in their home and they began teaching me how to pray. It was a wonderful feeling. After continuously searching for the truth, finding it was just such a relief. I felt so much peace.
I can’t say that things were easy after becoming a Muslim, but it did bring pleasure to my heart nonetheless. Things weren’t easy with my parents. At first, they didn’t react much, but one year later when I remarried, they began having a problem with it. When I started wearing hijab, they would make things difficult. They would argue, “Even Muslims that were raised Muslim don’t wear it, so why do you?” They were not happy, and it was funny how their Christianity came out more than ever at that point. Before that, they wouldn’t speak about Christianity at all, but suddenly they were mentioning it more frequently, saying things like, “This is the religion of our forefathers.” All of this was to try to bring me back to their religion. I felt the same with my colleagues, who would ask me why I had made this decision. This was the case because I was the only Muslim they would see regularly.
I lived in the capital, and although there were Muslims there, it wasn’t the same as in other European countries; the Muslim community was very small. Because of the small size of the community, in that first year before I got married when I was trying to learn more about Islam, I wouldn’t have a lot of access to knowledgeable people. It was hard to find someone to teach me because it could be anyone teaching anything, and, of course, when you’re new, you don’t know all that much. Since I didn’t have any strong Muslims around me, I was trying to do the research on my own, and it was hard to find the right information, but despite that, Allah would always facilitate a way for the truth to become apparent to me. Things became a little bit easier after I got married because I had some support at home. At one point, my husband started telling me about jihad and about having the sound creed.
I later became involved in da’wa [missionary work]. I would take part in organizing sisters’ and children’s events at the local mosques and I would hold events for new Muslim sisters. At the time, I wasn’t really thinking about hijra (emigrating to the land of Islam), but that would soon change. What finally woke me up was when the disbelieving authorities arrested my husband for terrorism. They arrested him on the street. I was at home with my children and they came in and started raiding the house. It was a big shock. They ended up keeping my husband in prison for quite a while as they continued investigating the matter. As difficult as it was, it was probably the best thing that happened to me because it opened my eyes to the importance of hijra, but the whole ordeal made things difficult.
Alhamdulillah (all praise is due to Allah), there were some brothers and sisters who were on the sound creed and were a strong source of support. They weren’t many, but because they were on the proper methodology, it didn’t matter. When the Caliphate was announced, we knew where to go and what we wanted. As Muslims, we need to disavow the disbelievers and live under the Caliphate. The Prophet said, “I have nothing to do with any Muslim who resides amongst the pagans.” His companions asked, “O Allah’s Messenger, why is that?” He replied, “They should not be able to see each other’s camp fires (or lights)” (Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi).
After my husband came out of prison, we thought it would be difficult to perform hijra because every country would likely be alerted of his intent to travel. He was trying hard to find a way to come to the Caliphate and, alhamdulillah, when Allah wills to open the path for someone, nobody can close it. And so we were able to perform hijra without any problems. We were dreaming about it and praying for it for so long until Allah made it easy for us.
I can’t even describe the feeling when you finally cross that border and enter the lands of the Caliphate. It is such a blessing from Allah to be able to live under the Caliphate. There are so many people who made several attempts to come but just haven’t been able to make it yet. Of course, when you come to the Caliphate, after sacrificing everything for the sake of Allah, you’ll continue to be tested. You’re going to see hardships and trials, but every day you’re thankful to Allah for allowing you to perform hijra and to live under the shari’a. Life in the Islamic State is such a blessing. You face difficulties and hardship, you’re not used to the food or the change of life, you may not know the local language, you hear bombings and the children may get scared, but none of that takes away from the gratitude you have towards Allah for allowing you to be here.
Also, unless you’re living here you don’t realize what kind of life you had before. The life here is so much more pure. When you’re in Dar al-Kufr (the lands of disbelief) you’re exposing yourself and your children to so much filth and corruption. You make it easy for Satan to lead you astray. Here you’re living a pure life, and your children are being raised with plenty of good influence around them. They don’t need to be ashamed of their religion. They are free to be proud of it and are given the proper creed right from the start. After four months of us being here, my son was martyred, and this was yet another blessing. Every time I think about it, I wonder to myself, “If I stayed in Dar al-Kufr what kind of end would he have had? What would have happened to him?” Alhamdulillah, he was saved from all that, and what could be better than him being killed for the cause of Allah? Obviously, it’s not easy, but I ask Allah to allow us to join him
I advise the Muslims in Dar al-Kufr not to be intimidated by the media, and to instead listen to the words of Allah and His Messenger. Everything is very clear in the Book of Allah and in the Sunnah of the Prophet. And I sincerely advise every Muslim to perform hijra. It’s not even allowed nor is it good for you to reside in the lands of the disbelievers. You may think that you’re able to practice your religion, but if you’re truly following the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah, you really can’t practice your religion there.
I also want to warn you that once you begin thinking about performing hijra, you’ll find many obstacles. You’ll be scared, and you’ll be worried about how everything is going to work out. You need to understand that many of these obstacles are just in your head and they’re the work of Satan. When you take the first step, Allah will take care of the rest. As for those people who cannot perform hijra, I advise you to attack the Crusaders and their allies wherever you are, as that is something that you are able to do. Don’t be tricked by the apostate “scholars.” The truth is out there and it isn’t hard to find as long as you open your heart to it.
Finally, I wish to advise the Christians in Finland and elsewhere: A lot of you don’t practice your religion because you know it’s not the truth. You say you just need to believe in Jesus and you’ll go to Heaven, but how does it make sense that somebody died on your behalf and then you’re free to do whatever you please, whatever bad things that come to your mind, to live without any rules or regulations and then expect to be taken to Heaven? It doesn’t make any sense. I advise you to open your heart and find out about the religion of Islam. Don’t trust what the media says about it. Just turn to the translation of the Quran and take it from there. Whatever hardship you may face on that path will be worth it. In the end, you’ll be so happy you found the truth, because what you’re going to gain after embracing Islam is better than anything you might lose or sacrifice.