Readers may remember my previous coverage of 'al-Nadhir al-Uryan', a channel on Telegram that is seen as embodying an 'extremist' trend within Islamic State online circles. To recall, this 'extremist' trend believes that the Islamic State leadership deviated from true monotheism by making unwarranted concessions to the 'dissident' (/'reformist') trend within the organization on issues such as whether takfir of the idolaters is of the principles of the religion. For al-Nadhir al-Uryan, these concessions marked a turn towards 'Jahmism' (see here for more).
In late December 2018, al-Nadhir al-Uryan wrote a short commentary on the Islamic State's situation following the fall of its Deir az-Zor stronghold of Hajin. In that commentary, the channel criticised the Islamic State for killing the true monotheists while relying on 'idolaters', who on leaving the Islamic State's territory for SDF-controlled areas in Syria willingly denounce the organization. However, with the Islamic State currently besieged in the locality of al-Baghuz al-Fawqani in what has been deemed the final showdown in eastern Syria, many of those leaving the enclave for the SDF-controlled areas- both men and women- have struck a very different tone, defiantly proclaiming that the Islamic State will endure.
In this commentary published on 11 March 2019, al-Nadhir al-Uryan touches on the Islamic State's last stand in al-Baghuz al-Fawqani and makes the following points:
- The luminaries of the 'dissident' trend (i.e. those dubbed 'students of knowledge' by the 'dissident' trend) succeeded in implanting their corrupt doctrines in the Islamic State through the issuing of the official series on manhaj (methodology/doctrine etc.). Despite this, they still absurdly claimed that extremists had sway in the organization. In the current circumstances, they have fled to Turkey and Idlib, revelling in the Islamic State's demise and tying it to their false narrative that the demise is due to the Islamic State's oppression of the 'students of knowledge'. The luminaries who were killed by the Islamic State were not killed for doctrinal reasons, but rather because they were actually sowing dissension within the ranks.
- The luminaries of the 'dissident' trend have disgracefully abandoned what remains of the Islamic State, leaving behind women who have proven to be more steadfast than they are despite their pretences to Tawheed [monotheism] and jihad. Moreover, these luminaries are complete hypocrites as they previously mocked 'extremists' who fled the Islamic State after it made concessions to the 'dissident' trend and persecuted these 'extremists' on accusations of 'extremism' and treason etc. In the meantime, in fleeing the Islamic State, these luminaries have left for what remains of the Islamic State to be managed by those they have accused of 'extremism'.
- These luminaries of the 'dissident' trend managed to flee to Idlib and Turkey, but they previously complained of poverty and destitution. How could they have managed to flee? They are in reality agents of intelligence agencies sent to fulfil missions of spreading doctrinal corruption etc. in the Islamic State.
- Those of reason in the Islamic State need to realize that it is these luminaries of the 'dissident' trend to whom they entrusted its affairs. They should behold how the Islamic State is on the verge of disappearing and the disgraceful conduct of these luminaries. They should repent of the doctrinal corruption they implanted.
- At least some true monotheists remain in the Islamic State: may God guide them and grant them success.
Note that al-Nadhir al-Uryan does not consider the Islamic State to be an actual Caliphate, but rather refers to it at one point as a 'group'. In short, al-Nadhir al-Uryan believes that the Islamic State is in need of guidance, and must above all repent of the corrupt doctrines of the 'dissenter' trend that were made official from September 2017 onwards.
Below is the text of the commentary in full with translation. Any parenthetical insertions of my own are in square brackets.
In the name of God,
Praise be to God and prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of God, his family, companions and whoso is loyal to him.
The so-called students of knowledge and their pupils finished their mission in debilitating the Dawla [Islamic State] from within and spreading their corrupt manhaj and division among the ranks of the soldiers, and they succeeded in that and the biggest success for them was the so-called manhaj series: that series which was instrumental in separating the monotheists from the Dawla and their departure from it, while the one who did not go out was killed in the worst form of killing, accused of extremism and Kharijism.
Despite the Jahmism that the state of the Dawla reached, this did not please them, but rather it remained in their eyes a Dawla of extremists and they claimed that the extremists had gained authority over it, especially after some of their students of knowledge were killed in the prisons. But the Dawla, which is drowning up to its ears in Jahmism, did not kill them for their religion as happened with those it falsely called extremists, but rather it killed them for splitting ranks and disseminating fitnas among the soldiers, while inciting against its Caliph.
And after the area of the Dawla became confined to a small pocket in the al-Baghuz camp, the so-called students of knowledge began to flee one after another, turning their backs, looking for security. This was so even though they have not seen from it clear kufr, and it has been for a short time their Dawla by whose sword they strike and in which they claim to be the people of precedence and grace.
So what remained of them began to flee to Turkey and Idlib, at the head of whom was the head of its Jahism Abu Eisa al-Masri, a man completely devoid of sight and insight, and others besides him. And no sooner had their feet tread the land of security than what they had fallen into from turning away from the soldiery became insufficient for them: indeed they begin exposing the Dawla and plotting against it and writing reports and compositions and showing malicious joy and gloating at what the state of affairs of the Dawla and its men and women has come to, claiming that what brought it to this is its oppression of the students of knowledge!!!! Especially as those who have remained in it and have received the reins of its affairs currently are brothers we reckon for good (and God is their reckoner) and of those accused of extremism by the fleeing students of knowledge, who have turned their backs and fled and have abandoned the women behind them and fled with their skin with no other consideration. In contrast the women have been more steadfast than those claiming jihad and Tawheed...those who were the direct reason for what the state of the Dawla group has come to, after they planted division and discord and Jahmism throughout it. And they for a time were the ones who insulted those they call extremists who fled from the land of the Dawla with their religion and life. So true for them has been the words of the sayer: that you should forbid a deed and you do its likeness is a great shame upon you.
To these people who turned their backs and fled from the soldiery, we say: where did you get the money to go out, you agents of the intelligence services and especially as smuggling requires huge sums while you were complaining of destitution and poverty? And who facilitated for you to flee and for you to get to Idlib and Turkey? It is the same one who facilitated for you to come to implement your assignments!!!!
I ask God to take revenge upon you all and not to preserve or keep alive any of you, just as He did to your predecessors al-Bin'ali, al-Qahtani, Abu Muslim al-Masri, Abu Muhammad al-Masri, Abu Ya'qub al-Maqdisi and others besides them from the heads of innovations and errors.
And to those of reason who have remained in the Dawla, we say: here it is on the verge of disappearance and here are the ones to whom you entrusted its affair: the first who fled from it and abandoned the women and children behind them, and they abandoned it to the brothers whom you imprisoned on accusations of extremism and betrayal and other accusations, and they are the ones who assume responsibility for defending it now and facilitating the affairs of what remains of it. So will you not repent before disappearance???
And to those who have remained steadfast and defending their creed in that small pocket we say: we ask God to guide you and grant you success and not make a path for the disbelievers upon you.