ISIS is using the latest issue of its online magazine to portray Christianity as a “false” religion and to encourage Muslims to launch more attacks on churches like the one carried out in France last week, Islam experts say.
In the French attack, two ISIS terrorists entered a Catholic church in Normandy and slit the throat of the elderly priest on the altar while he was saying mass. A nun was also critically injured in the attack for which ISIS claimed credit.
In the foreword to its magazine, called Dabiq, ISIS starts by damning Christians as “cross worshipers,” pagans and idolaters because of their belief in the Holy Trinity. It says Jesus Christ himself was a “slave to Allah” who will return in the last days to wage jihad and “break the crosses.”
“This is not extremist or radical or novel to ISIS but is part-and-parcel of Islamic theology and propaganda going back to its earliest days,” said Timothy Furnish, Ph.D., a historian specializing in Islam and author of three books including “Sects, Lies and the Caliphate: 10 Years of Observations on Islam.”
Philip Haney, a retired Homeland Security officer and co-author of the bestseller “See Something, Say Nothing,” said the call to “break the cross” is also not new or unique to ISIS. It is embedded in the Islamic texts and taught throughout mainstream Islam.
“In March of 2012 a furious mob desecrated dozens of Commonwealth War Graves in a Libyan cemetery amid continuing fury in the Middle East over the burning of the Koran by U.S. soldiers,” Haney said, adding:
“In fact, the practice of cross-destruction goes back to the life and example of Muhammad. As reported in the Hadith by Al-Waqidi, Muhammad stated that whenever he found an object in his house with the mark of a cross on it, he would destroy it.” (Also see W. Muir, The Life of Muhammad, Volume 3, P.61, note 47).