Monday, April 20, 2015

Napoleoni on the Caliphate - new national boundaries

 At a recent event in Seattle, Loretta Napoleoni spoke about her understanding of ISIS/ISIL and the emergence of the Caliphate. The redesign of state borders took place in 2014 with the announcement on June 14 2014, of The Caliphate. Announcement

Her recorded comments were broadcast in Sounds of Dissent, WZBC, 90.3, Boston College Radio, March 28, 2015.

Napoleoni is the author or Terror Incorporated: Tracing the dollars behind the terror networks and The Islamic Pheonix: Islamic State and the Redrawing of the Middle East (2014) among others. Bio

She is an enlivened speaker as a Ted talk indicates: Napoleoni Talk

Her understanding of the Caliphate can be taken at face value if only because the counter argument in circulation amount to denials of the obvious. Any attempt to make the counter argument is flawed by the fact that the Caliphate exists and functions.

Here is Napoleoni on the Caliphate:
None of them (the US President and other world leaders) use that word "Caliphate" because they don't want to admit we are not dealing with an armed organization, we are dealing with a state. The use of ISIL, ISIS is actually to prevent admitting that they have been able to create a nation. So they actually have succeeded in nation building. 
Against this, the dominant media representations of the Caliphate have been of an unhinged group of Internet-recruited terrorists posting horrific videos of violence and murder as part of a direct challenge to western values of civility, decency and liberal sensibility (meaning tolerance for other religions and The Other more generally).

It is in the land claim redefining borders, that the real challenge is playing out, Here Balkanization has taken place - new borders and a self managed state exists and functions outside of the protocols of Enlightenment systems of justice and individual autonomy.  In fact, the collision of values is to be found in the western orientation to individual realization of the self and state sponsored access to knowledge, versus the Caliphate's religious demand for collective agreement of a specific reading and interpretation of the Koran. The individualistic versus collectivist reading of civilization is clearly becoming defined.

The Internet enhances the presence of the Caliphate, allowing it to organize its business, as well as promote recruitment of fighters, wives and supporters, plus expand militant action. Perhaps more important, are the deep historical roots that connect the Khilafat in Pakistan and India, (and potentially Afghanistan and the region generally) to the Caliphate of ISIS / ISIL. This is a powerful history that draws on past injustices to the religious-ethnic nexus. example and Ghandi's interest

The arrangement of borders is taking place marking the realization of long-held dreams for theocratic states. The Internet reinforces the claims, drawing in believers like moths to the flame. Napoleoni is right to make the point that the moment world leaders start referring to the Caliphate, the new state is acknowledged and with it a long held dream...