Intro and Analysis
According to the Islamic calendar, it is now the year 1436 AH (dated from the time of the purported migration of Muhammad and his followers to Yathrib-renamed Medina- from Mecca). To mark the New Year, the Jaysh Rijal al-Tariqa al-Naqshbandia [JRTN] has released the following statement. It is most notable for its reaffirmation of prior statements of the intention to continue on the path of revolution and usual lack of mentioning the Islamic State by name. Indeed, for JRTN, it is as though the Islamic State does not exist, despite the very clear Islamic State assertions of power in Fallujah, Tikrit and Mosul- to name just a few places- at the expense of JRTN.
Though the Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation (SCJL) mentioned here is ostensibly an umbrella group under Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri including JRTN, JRTN is by far the largest, if not only component, of SCJL today. That is, the leadership of JRTN and SCJL are not really distinct as this statement ostensibly makes out.
Note also that the emphasis on the language of jihad and Islamic precedence in history is in keeping with the Islamic image JRTN projects, secondary as it is to its Ba’athist ideology that is immediately apparent from its emblem. Certainly though it is this JRTN legitimizing of jihad in history that I believe leaves fertile ground for the Islamic State to claim legitimacy in its promotion of world conquest and Islamic supremacy through jihad.
Tribute from the JRTN leadership to the Supreme Commander for Jihad and Liberation on the occasion of 1436 AH.
The esteemed commander of Jihad and the mujahideen, the dignified general, victorious through God, Izzat Ibrahim (may God make glorify him with His victory and support): the Supreme Commander for Jihad and Liberation- and the General Commander for the Armed Forces.
Your brothers, your sons, your soldiers, the men of glory, honor and dignity – the men of jihad in JRTN- come forward with the most sincere and joyful congratulations and tribute to your person, you who wage jihad, believe, endure and are the guarantor over His religion and Ummah; and from you to all the sons of our dignified Iraqi people and the brave men of jihad: the commanders and mujahideen of the brigades, factions and armies of the Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation, in relation to the commemoration of the noble hijra [migration] of the Prophet for the year 1436. For this occasion, may God restore the unity and liberation of land and people from all forms of evil occupation for our leadership, our people, our Arab Islamic Ummah, and our beloved Iraq.
Our esteemed, mujahid leader, glorified through God: ‘Indeed the noble hijra of the Prophet has brought great lessons of faith and unique images of jihad that history has made eternal in order to be an example for imitation in the campaign of the great mission of Islam; and through that example they [the mujahideen] face the adversities, ordeals and storms that come upon the Ummah.
Today people have begun to see these lessons with their own eyes after reading of them in the books of lives. So they are your soldiers who have amazed the world with their steadfastness, courage and self-sacrifice with wealth and soul in the path of God in defense of their beloved Iraq and their legitimate leadership until the people have seen with their own eyes what they have found written in the books of history concerning the Companions (may God be pleased with them). And indeed your soldiers are heading on the path of jihad until they obtain one of the two desired goals: victory or martyrdom […]
We take this great occasion to renew the pledge and loyalty to your esteemed person- the commander fighting on the ground for the cause and the jihad- in order to remain mujahideen soldiers, devoting wealth and life to defending Iraq’s sovereignty and its believing, enduring leadership, as well as the unity of its land and people, asking the Lord- Almighty and Exalted is He- to bless you with all health and well-being, and to protect you as a symbol of jihad and set your steps onto the paths of victory, while you lead the mujahideen of the people of noble missions and civilizations onto the path of glory, pride, mighty and dignity under the legitimate banner of the land: the banner of the Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation.
We also entreat you- the esteemed person of command- that our fingers should remain on the trigger and that we should pursue the defeated remnants of the occupiers until not a lout of them remains on the land of Iraq- neither a collaborator nor a spy- under any so-called entity, and until we see our Iraq free and ruled by its legitimate leadership; and there is no victory except through God, the Glorious, the Wise.’
1 Muharram 1436
End of October 2014.