~~September 25, 2014~~
“As it appears in … “
It’s become a symbol that’s hard to ignore this summer: The black flag with white Arabic writing flown by ISIS, the militant group in Iraq and Syria that calls itself the Islamic State.
The flag has shown up everywhere — from images posted online by the militants to the suburbs of New Jersey.
But just what are the origins of this flag?
The flag is often called the Black Standard or the Black Banner. “The black banner of Islam as an idea goes back to the 8th century, when the Second Dynasty of Islam came to power with black banners,” says Jonathan Bloom, a professor of Islamic Art at Boston College.
The white writing that you see at the top of the flag is the first half of an Islamic phrase called the shahada, or declaration of faith, which reads: “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.”
The entire shahada is found on many different flags throughout the Islamic world, including the official state flag of Saudi Arabia. But the appropriation of this phrase by ISIS twists the meaning of the Islamic principle, according to Bloom.
“Their use of this phrase is sending very much the wrong message,” he says. “If we all accept that this is what this message means, they are co-opting something that has brought millions of people over thousands of years great comfort and solace and meaning in their lives.”
Another appropriated symbol on the flag is the white circle at its center, which contains the second part of the shahada: “Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” It’s meant to represent the official seal of the Prophet Muhammad, but Blooms says scholars have long debated what that seal actually looked like.
The two Arabic phrases, the black color of the flag and even the ancient looking font of the Arabic all work to evoke an image of the historical Islamic caliphate, the massive state that ISIS claims to have resurrected.
“In effect,” Bloom says,” they’re saying we’re going back to this earlier time.”
ISIS militants are also using a new hand gesture.
~~ISIS has a new hand sign~~
“As it appears in …. “
The Islamic State militants, known as ISIS, are now using a single, raised index finger as the symbol of their cause. It’s a well-known sign of power and victory around the world, but for ISIS, it has a more sinister meaning.
Nathaniel Zelinsky writes in Foreign Affairs that the gesture refers to the tawhid, “the belief in the oneness of God and a key component of the Muslim religion.” More specifically, though, it refers to their fundamentalist interpretation of the tawhid, which rejects any other view, including other Islamic interpretations, as idolatry.
Zelinsky writes that when ISIS uses the gesture, it is affirming an ideology that demands the destruction of the West, as well as any form of pluralism.
For potential recruits around the globe, it also shows their belief that they will dominate the world.
~~What Does The ISIS Flag Mean?~~
Black Flags Of Jihad Explained
~~Published on Aug 29, 2014~~
(This information appears on the YouTube description)
ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other Jihadist groups all seem to have the same variations of the same flag. What do these Black Flags of Jihad mean? Are they as violent as we think, or do they represent something more benign?
CORRECTION: The black in Egypt’s flag at 1:02 does not represent the black of Muhammad, but symbolizes the end of the oppression of the people of Egypt at the hands of the Monarchy and British colonialism.
We STILL are ONE!!