The 130th edition of Al-Naba, the Islamic State’s (IS) newsletter, was published on 4 May 2018. On page 3, there was an article about IS’s position on democracy, which is reproduced below.
IS says it has always been clearly against democracy and this is true. Ahead of the first election after the fall of Saddam Husayn in 2015, IS’s founder, Ahmad al-Khalayleh (Abu Musab al-Zarqawi), declared a “bitter war against democracy”. But, says Al-Naba, the IS movement had avoided targeting certain categories of people who participated, namely the voters. This is not quite true, since IS has frequently attacked polling stations, though it is slightly different to the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in Algeria. In 1995, GIA declared that is policy was “one vote, one bullet”. It seems IS has decided to move towards the GIA’s policy.
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The Islamic State and the Religion of Democracy
The muwahideen [strict monotheists] in Iraq never hid their position on the religion of democracy and its mushrikeen [polytheistic, idolatrous] followers. They declared from the early days of their jihad that democracy is kufr [infidelity, disbelief], that its leaders are legislators without God, and that those who govern without what God has revealed are tawaghit. Those who elect them or accept their rulings and statutes are their idolaters.
This does not prevent them from joining al-haq [the truth] by condemning many of the organizations and parties falsely affiliated with Islam that believe in the religion of democracy, and declaring their atonement, followed by fighting the kufr, the mushrikeen, and their patrons, al-almaniyya [the secularists] and the Shi’a and Christian warriors.
As for the other advocates of al-salafia [Salafism] and those who claim jihad to implement the word of God is supreme, many of them have taken a malicious internal approach based concealing their true allegiance to the doctrine of democracy and its leaders … The people who govern by the Islam of the democrats excuse the legislators without God, hakimeen [governors] without what God has revealed, and some even permit the election of al-tawaghit for what they see as an interest of the Muslims …
The Islamic State has always stated, from its first days, without any concealment or disguise, that democracy is kufr, their dissociation from its preachers and their antagonism towards them, and the hostility of al-muwahideen towards al-mushrikeen, leaving no room for [ambivalence]. …
However, it has been slow in targeting some types of people who have fallen into the trap of democracy, such as the electorate, postponing killing them so that perhaps they might seek the guidance and the appeal of truth. This has been going on throughout these years, where the truth has been stated: elections and the process of recruitment choose delegations who represent them in legislation without God and they do not govern by what God has revealed, so they [voters] become “deputies” to them in these acts of disbelief, they are implicated, because they assigned to others than God qualities that are only permissible for the Almighty, namely tashri al-hukm [producing and administering laws, legislating and governing].
We consider that the Islamic State, in its call [or invitation] to God, has warned about the election trap, and the infidel governments themselves have made clear the reality of democracy, with their daily broadcasts of news about parliaments and infidel governments, and the news of elections, and the continuous talk about them and the call to them and the statements encourage people to get involved …
Therefore, the Islamic State will continue to prevent the elections by any means, as it has always done. It will target: the temples of the religion of democracy, in which its followers recognize their enslavement to the tawaghit who legislate without God; the places where tawaghit are election; the places of al-tashri [legislation] without God; and the places of al-hukm [governance, administration] other than by what God has revealed. This is intended to prevent the shirk [being spread] in them [the temples], and to kill the mushrikeen who practice their shirk within them. It also targets for killing every mushrikeen who invites support for the rituals of the religion of democracy, such as candidacy for taghuti positions, the election of tawaghit, and the legitimacy of their governance …
The speech given by the spokesman of the Islamic State, Shaykh al-Mujahid Abu Hasan al-Muhajir—may God preserve him—is sufficient for those who seek guidance away from the mushrikeen and [wish to] repent to God from his company. He will be freed to God from the polytheists, and will depart from their temples and entanglement with their majlis [councils].
He [Abu Hassan] said, may God preserve him: “And we give notice that the government of the Iranian Rafidi Hashd in Iraq will be holding what they refer to as elections, so anyone who works to establish them by providing aid and assistance is a patron of the elections and its people, and the ruling for him is the same as the ruling on those who called the elections and those who support them. Those who are nominated for the elections are proponents of rububiyya wal-uluhiyya [the lord and divinity], and those who vote for them have taken them as companions and partners besides God, and the ruling in the religion of God is that they have disbelieved and left Islam. So we warn you, O Sunnis in Iraq, against supporting these people who have not left a single door to apostasy unused. Indeed, the voting centres and those present within them are a target for our swords, so stay far away from them and avoid going near them.”
O Muslims, keep your religion on you, and ulema al-soo [the evil scholars] will not be able tempt you, nor will you respond to the fatwas of the preachers at al-bab Jahannam [the gates of Hell].
O mujahideen, they fought the imams of kufr who called for this shirk and incited people to it and adorned them to destroy their religion and their world and started them fighting, and they targeted the polling centres, and the corrupt religion of the democrats, and their attempt to corrupt the earth.
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Also on page 3 of Al-Naba 130 was a short article celebrating the 16 Shaban (2 May) suicide bombing attack on the electoral commission headquarters in Tripoli, Libya. Al-Naba says that fifteen people were killed and frames it as a response by the call of Abu Hassan al-Muhajir to target the symbols and logistics of elections. Al-Naba also celebrated various insurgent attacks by its Libyan branch in the east of that country, which took place on 19 and 22 April, an ambush on a road against Khalifa Hiftar’s forces and an assault on an oil installation, respectively.
On page 5 of Al-Naba 130, IS reported on a raid in al-Tarmiya, in the Saladin governorate of Iraq, that killed and wounded thirty-two Iraqi security forces and al-Hashd al-Shabi militiamen on 1 May. IS framed other raids across the north of Iraq, especially against certain tribesmen, as part of its anti-democracy crusade. One such attack, also in Tarmiya, demolished the home of Ahmad Abd al-Razzaq, “one of the shaykhs from the tribes supporting the elections in the region”.
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IS claimed responsibility for the 6 May assassination of Farouq al-Zarzur, an Iraqi parliamentary candidate who was by all accounts popular with younger voters. Al-Zarzur was running on Iyad al-Allawi’s Wataniya (National) list in is home province of Ninawa. Al-Zarzur was shot dead in his home in the village of Lazaka, north of Qayyara, late at night, according to IS’s Amaq News Agency. Other reports suggested al-Zarzur had been stabbed to death, apparently by a small group of young men who had been posing as supporters, and local officials dismissed the IS angle, claiming it was either simply criminal or from within Iraq’s political system. Al-Zarzur was the fifth candidate to be killed ahead of the 12 May 2018 elections, though the only one plausibly said to be killed by IS—the others were done in by car accidents, heart attacks, and tribal disputes.
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 The great complexity with Algeria is knowing what actually is jihadist policy, and what was orchestrated by the regime and its terrifying intelligence service, the Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité (Department of Intelligence and Security). The DRS thoroughly infiltrated the GIA as part of a deliberate effort to push GIA—not that it needed much help—into self-defeating extremism and brutality. The cost was 200,000 deaths, but officials like Smain Lamari, the counter-intelligence chief at DRS, had stated plainly that they were prepared to kill many more civilians than that to retain the military oligarchy.
 Tawaghit is the plural of taghut: often translated as “tyrant”, it does refer to an illegitimate ruler. The illegitimacy from the Islamist perspective, however, derives not from the means by which they acquired power, nor their lack of a popular mandate, but from these leaders governing by means other than the shari’a, the Holy Law, and in doing so setting up equals or partners to God in worship, which is shirk (polytheism, idolatry). Non-rulers who practice shirk are called mushrikeen.
 The exact phrase used is “rawafid wal-nasara al-muharibeen”. Rawafid, literally “rejectionists”, is a bigoted term for Shi’is, and from IS often refers to Iranians.
 Word used: نواباً