A coalition of jihadist groups led by the al-Qaeda-allied al-Nusra Front issued its first English-language magazine, rivaling ISIS’ media operations while going after the Islamic State.
The magazine, Al-Risalah, admits that the groups under the Jaish al-Fath umbrella have some differences, but nothing that they can’t overcome since “the coming together of the Muslims is something Allah commands in the Qur’an.”
“Therefore in order to repel the aggression of the kuffar upon the Muslims, it is required for the Muslim Ummah as a whole to rise up and confront this great evil and fitna with force. This means Muslims from the East and the West, righteous and sinful, rich and poor, young and old, educated and uneducated, the one with the correct Aqeeda (Islamic beliefs), and so on.”
A testimonial story in the magazine of a British woman who made hijrah, or immigrated to the Nusra Front in Syria, comes with a disclaimer: “Please note that making hijra is not a matter to be taken lightly. I advise you to first of all research what hijrah is, speak to the knowledgable and understand its conditions and rulings. And fear Allah in your actions and do everything in accordance to the sunnah as helped and explained by the trusted and reputable scholars of this blessed religion.”
“We are always striving to improve ourselves, and so to marry less than a Mujahid was unthinkable,” writes the woman who was a widow of a jihadist with three kids “who had lived in the West and was imprisoned under their ‘so called’ Anti-Terrorism legislation” before getting a new Nusra husband.
“I prefer my money and efforts to go towards the Muslims, with nothing whatsoever going towards the kuffar [nonbelievers]. As we will be asked about our wealth, and how it was spent. Many of us in the West struggle to boycott a few Israeli goods, so how many of us can say for certain that we are not contributing to the spilling of Muslim blood, and the usurping of Muslim wealth and land with our own taxes?”
The magazine improves upon ISIS’ Dabiq and AQAP’s Inspire by providing footnotes explaining Islamic terms for Westerners.
It rips into Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an “illegitimate” caliph and criticized ISIS for beheading British aid worker Alan Henning. “Although he was a disbeliever, we mention his case here because he was under the protection of the Muslims… Yes he was a kaafir, but was not Islamically justified to execute him as the evidence and scholars cleary indicate.”
“The execution of Alan Henning has been of very questionable benefit to this Ummah, as it has simply reinforced this opinion amongst the kuffar, that Islam is a merciless and barbaric religion.”
They reasoned that the murder of Jordanian pilot 1st Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh was justified, but not the method of burning him alive in a cage. “The ‘Islamic State’ will claim that such actions are healing the chests of the believers, but they fail to understand, or care, that it is acts such as these that increase hatred towards Islam and the Muslims, and turn our brothers away from the blessed deed and path of Jihad.”
The Islamic State, states the magazine, “should never have been announced, and has since brought about great pain and suffering to many.” It highlights how many ISIS commanders are former Baathists who “lack Islamic knowledge.”
It features an interview with Chechen fighter Amir Muslim Sheshan, who complains that “the new, younger generation of mujahideen, because of their lack of an Islamic upbringing, good manners, and inexperience, have ruined a lot of the great work done by the previous generation of mujahideen…and this is a very sad reality.”