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Death Throes and Other Middle Eastern Phenomena

With Hamas in its death throes firing off rockets in all directions, it is hard to concentrate on anything else.

Nevertheless, contrary to what the U.S. government might think, events in this part of the world do not, in fact, revolve around Gaza, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, settler communities, or Fatah. Let’s see:

The leader of the “Islamic State” (IS), the territory of which for the time being encompasses northern and western Iraq and parts of eastern Syria, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (a “nom de guerre”) head of IS, proclaimed himself Caliph of Islam. The Sunni Muslim Arab Caliphate existed from the seventh century c.e. to less than a hundred years ago, when it was abolished by the Turkish National Assembly and the last Caliph sent into exile. The first Caliph was named Abu Bakr, which is undoubtedly why the head of IS adopted the name. The position of Caliph, the spiritual leader of the Arab Sunnis, was never recognized by Muslims east of Iran or by Sh’ia Muslims, but always claimed authority over all Muslims. Some other Jihadi organizations have recognized IS and Abu Bakr, but it is a sure bet that the great majority will not.

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