ISIS and the “End of the World”: How Apocalyptic Beliefs Influence Their Terror

paris terror attackThe attack by ISIS in Paris which killed 129 people on Friday came the same day as the United States announced they had probably killed ISIS “celebrity” executioner Jihadi John. Thursday, a suicide bombing in Lebanon killed at least 43 people, an attack ISIS also took responsibility for. A couple of weeks ago, ISIS claimed that they had taken down a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.


Undoubtedly, the war hawks and armchair patriots here in America will claim that this is both a reason to ramp up military action, while also stating that this whole thing could have been stopped if French civilians had been armed – because gun fanatics and warmongers never miss a chance to push their agenda.

Now that we’re fairly confident the attack in France was carried out by ISIS, that makes it the third act of terrorism against a foreign country they have managed to pull off outside of Iraq and Syria in the past couple of weeks.

Political figures here have already jumped on this tragedy for their own agendas, and in the coming days, the calls for military action will certainly escalate. Unfortunately, that is exactly what ISIS and other Islamic extremists want – as well our own religious extremists who believe a massive conflict in the Middle East is what is needed to bring about the return of Jesus and the end of the world.

Right-wing Christians aren’t the only ones who believe in an apocalypse, it also turns out that the Islamic State does as well. Their version of events also includes a “Mahdi” – a prophecy that the Islamic State is currently trying to fulfill.

During the last years of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the Islamic State’s immediate founding fathers, by contrast, saw signs of the end times everywhere. They were anticipating, within a year, the arrival of the Mahdi—a messianic figure destined to lead the Muslims to victory before the end of the world. McCants says a prominent Islamist in Iraq approached bin Laden in 2008 to warn him that the group was being led by millenarians who were “talking all the time about the Mahdi and making strategic decisions” based on when they thought the Mahdi was going to arrive. “Al-Qaeda had to write to [these leaders] to say ‘Cut it out.’” (Source)

Make no mistake about it, ISIS wants to draw countries like the United States, France, and Russia into a final conflict in the Middle East. They believe, just like Christian fundamentalists, that there will be a great war which will fulfill religious prophecies. You know they’re crazy when even Al-Qaeda had to tell them to “cut it out.”


This type of thinking played a part in the shooting and bombing in Paris, the bombing in Lebanon, and the bombing of the Russian passenger plane. Unfortunately, these countries have little recourse other than to launch military action in Syria and Iraq against ISIS which will draw more recruits to the extremist group.

Ultimately, the only way for the Islamic State to be defeated is for Muslims around the world to reject their ideology and to support Muslim and Western nations who seek to destroy their armed forces. This is not a war that can be won solely on military might, it is a conflict that can only be won when Christians and Muslims both reject extremism and refuse to live with fear and hatred.



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  • Jim Bean

    ISIS is not ‘the end of the world.” Its just the end of it for a comparatively small number of people living in it. The question becomes, ‘how many is too many for those who are pretty sure they are not at risk?’

    • FannyFae

      Try at least sound somewhat educated rather than just another Fox-fed, GOTP troll. Salafist sects of Islam very much want Armageddon and they want to put us back to a 7th Century world. I know the article probably longer than your attention span can handle, but try..

      http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/?utm_source=SFFB

      • Jim Bean

        I was being sarcastic except as pertains to my comment about Obie.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        Just quit while you are behind.

    • FD Brian

      we really aren’t turning the other cheek.

    • BobFromDistrict9

      You, like all the republicans, apparently believe the only alternatives are, turn the other cheek or total destruction.

      Intelligent action is not part of your vocabulary.

      The real first step to solving the problem is, cut off their funding.

      Step one: Stop all ransom payments. If that means a few people die that’s better than all out terrorism.

      That also means calling up the King of Saudi Arabia, and the ruler of every other country supporting ISIS, and telling him, if he doesn’t stop support of terrorism his successor will, and soon.

      Step two: Make peace with Iran and join with Iran in destroying the Sunni terrorists.

      Step three: Put in place CIA and military forces whose sole purpose it to monitor, track, and destroy them. Actually, I suspect such operations already do exist, but are underfunded and restricted by the unwillingness to confront the issues in step one and two.

      • Jim Bean

        Steps one and two have been consistently rejected by Obama.

      • BobFromDistrict9

        Steps one and two are rejected by almost everyone in DC, including the republicans, and GW Bush and Cheney etc. They had their chance when Bush declared that those who harbor terrorists will be treated like the terrorists, then he kissed the king of Saudi Arabia on the lips. Thus he sealed our fates, for now.

        I don’t let Obama off the hook, nor do I let your gods off the hook.

        Saudi Arabia buys politicians who then oppose Iran.

  • Eric

    Hey I would like to reason with progressives here. I am a Christian and right wing. I do not support extremism in either religious or secular form.
    I define extremism as forcing ones belief on someone else. There will always be religions and the religious as well as the non religious and those who do not believe in God.
    Progressives if I understand you correctly believe that Isis is not true Islam.
    Likewise, I do not believe that many things done in the name of Christianity is true Christianity.
    I cannot speak for what the Koran teaches, but I know of nowhere in the Bible that teaches forcing Christianity on others.
    As far as the coming Apocalypse as portrayed in the Revelation of my Bible or the Muslims Koran (I assume they have one in it if they teach it?) the events are not brought on or controlled by mankind but prophecy is only history revealed in advance by a God who is not limited by time and material universe we are limited by because that is all His creation with a beginning and end.
    My question is why do these (to you) strange beliefs upset you if you feel that we, not you, are deluded? Do you see my beliefs as a threat, and if so, why? Would you try to change my beliefs or educate me? Would you be open to change your beliefs?