The Makings of a Caliphate

Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 16 December 2016, 16:30 hrs, UTC, Post #51.

Accessed on 16 December 2016, 16:30 hrs, UTC.

Reporter:  Anisa Mehdi


In this edition of “Stratfor Intelligence”, Middle East analysis Anisa Mehdi examines the meaning of the term “Caliphate” as defined by traditional scholars and the radial movement known as ISIS/ISIL.

In Mehdi’s view, “the multiconfessional nature of Islamic civilization is something The Islamic State does not understand.  Nor does it  comprehend the broad range of social and cultural expressions that historically inhabit a caliphate.”  This misunderstanding by violent elements within Islam has led to a debased concept of the religion and has produced  violence against innocent people of all faiths.

For Mehdi, the events evolving in Syria and Iraq have little to do with Islam and everything to do with the “age-old struggle for resources and power.”  In effect, extremists are using the traditional frame of religion to advance secular and political ends.


The short essay by reporter Anisa Mehdi is a well-written analysis of how Caliphates functioned in the past and how the concept has been distorted and misused by those seeking power and economic gain.  ISIS/ISIL supporters  are using the caliphate idea to cloak their violent agenda.  ISIS/ISIL extends its  power because it has the resources and weapons to enforce its programs.  The everyday citizen of Syria and Iraq has nothing to stop the spread of this ideology.  The unsettled conditions of the region have tempted major world powers (U.S./coalition forces and Russia) to exert their presence to reinforce their own agendas.  This is another case of religion being used as pawn in the game of geopolitics.

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Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today!

Until next time,

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest



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