Rod Liddle

I like the look of this exciting new Islamic State. But why don’t they want Belgium?

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s planned caliphate should ensure a bit of discipline is imposed on Spain and Portugal

5 July 2014

9:00 AM

5 July 2014

9:00 AM

There is something attractive about almost the whole of southern Europe being part of an immense and somewhat rigorous caliphate, as promised by the exciting Sunni Islamic movement formerly known as Isis. This new entity, stretching from Santander in what we currently know as Spain, to Cox’s Bazar on the Bangladesh and Burmese border, would handily encapsulate 98 per cent of the worst countries in the world, as defined by me out of rank prejudice, but also by various more scientific UN criteria.

It is a little disappointing, in my opinion, that Isis — or ‘The Islamic State’ as it now wishes to be known — has excluded both France and Italy from its plans — and yet it has seen fit to embrace Austria, as the northern tip of the caliphate’s Orobpa suzerainty. Perhaps they were a little hasty in drawing up their map and it’s a mere slip of the pen — only to be expected when they have so much work on their hands beheading and crucifying people for being slightly less deranged than themselves. If I were Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the caliph or emir of this new entity, I would swap Austria for France — and maybe Belgium too. There are plenty of Muslims in both of these countries who would welcome the founding of a caliphate. They are not all the right Muslims, of course, and so some of them would undoubtedly meet a sticky end. But that’s a small price to pay.

Mr al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi (yes, yes, the name’s a bit of a giveaway, although he supposedly hails from Samarra, not Baghdad), has just announced that he is a direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed — which, in his position, is a huge stroke of luck and a really positive selling point for his two billion or so prospective constituents. I assume he discovered this information on some local version of the television franchise Who Do You Think You Are? — and he must have been delighted at the result. Imagine if they’d revealed to him that he was actually a distant cousin of, say, Ariel Sharon or Rolf Harris? I bet he’d have kept that quiet. But luckily, it was Mohammed instead.

So — goodbye Spain and Portugal. That becomes the region of Andalus. No loss to me, frankly, although I’m optimistic we might be able to negotiate something with old Abu over Gibraltar — he can’t be much more antagonistic towards the Gibraltarians than the Spanish, can he?


Before this can happen, though, he has his work cut out eliminating the Muslim opposition from within the territories he already controls — the hand-wringing, ineffectual and passé liberals of al-Qa’eda, for example. And the old Mahdi Army, to whom he refers as ‘filth’. So we are some way yet from seeing a bit of discipline imposed upon the Spanish and Portuguese — although Mr al-Baghdadi has suggested that this should all be achievable within about five years, so fingers crossed but don’t count your chickens etc.

I heard Jack Straw, once our foreign secretary, suggest that the civil war which has afflicted Iraq ever since we illegally invaded the country 11 years ago, and which has recently taken a sharpish turn for the worse, would ‘probably’ have happened anyway, even if Saddam Hussein had been allowed to remain in power. This is a conceit as repulsive in its insouciance as it is staggering in its self-delusion. If it really is self-delusion, and not just a straightforward and downright lie. Straw and the hideous Blair cling to this notion much as a spider will cling to the side of a bath as the water rises beneath it.

They cling, too, to the even more reprehensible canard that because Saddam was a tyrant and a despot, nothing could possibly be worse than allowing him to continue running the country. It is of course incontestable that life is now far worse for Iraqis than it was in 2002, in every possible way. It is incontestable that many, many more lives have been lost as a consequence of us tearing the country apart than would have been lost as a consequence of Saddam’s brutality.

And it is incontestable that the threat to the United Kingdom has exponentially increased as a consequence of the war and its aftermath too. I can just about swallow the idea that the Blair government — by which I mean Blair, as I don’t think the cabinet’s heart was ever very much in it — believed it was doing the right thing by invading: the purblind arrogance of liberal evangelism knows no bounds, after all. It clearly came as a grave shock to Mr Blair that Iraq did not happily embrace secular, multi-party democracy, with all-women shortlists and maybe a semblance of PR to keep the Greens and Liberals happy, but instead deliquesced into chaos ending in an even more fantastically brutal Islamic state which threatens the entire region and beyond.

But then Mr Blair was shocked when, having urged the Palestinians to hold an election, they did so and dutifully returned Hamas to power — at which point he suggested they should hold the election again until they got the right result. There are geese with a better grip of geopolitics than Tony Blair, there are dust mites and bacteria. And this is leaving aside entirely the manner in which our then prime minister gerrymandered the country into launching the war against Iraq — the full extent of the chicanery and dishonesty we may never know.

But surely by now we know this: our interventions in the Middle East always — always — make things much, much worse. They make things worse for the benighted people of the region and in the end they make things worse for us. If you are ever tempted to doubt that, take a look at Mr al-Baghdadi, drawing up his map for world domination. A creature we created.

Postscript: Mr al-Baghdadi has since confirmed that Italy will be included in his new caliphate. I am glad to have been of assistance.

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Show comments
  • suzy61

    Hasn’t France been taken over already?

    • Shazza

      We are not that far behind either.

      • Roger Hudson

        Nonsense ,didn’t i read that there are less than 200 muslims in the British armed forces?, some Counties have minute muslim populations ( they might be cooking in your favorite Indian restaurant), you seem to look at some urban concentrations and extrapolate wrongly.
        If a majority of about 90% couldn’t exert its will, in extremis, then it’s not the same nation that survived the Blitz.

        • Shazza

          You have got one thing right. It is not the same nation that survived the Blitz.

          • Damaris Tighe

            My thoughts exactly as I read Roger Hudson’s comment. I doubt we would be able to fight a war such as WW2 again. Surviving that sort of hardship requires a fairly homogenous community with shared values.

          • Kennybhoy

            You may be right to doubt that “we would be able to fight a war such as WW2 again”. But not for the reasons you give.

          • Kennybhoy

            And the nation that “survived the Blitz” was not the same as the one that won World War I…

        • Kennybhoy

          “..you seem to look at some urban concentrations and extrapolate wrongly.”

          Sound.

        • Gregory Mason

          I thought we were down to around 85%?

    • John Smith

      At least they banned the Burka we cannot even do that!

  • EschersStairs

    Although I do not seek to defend Blair (he is a slippery enough eel to do so himself), it comes across as slightly silly that commentators patronise leaders from the rather substantial advantage of hindsight. I fully expect however that Mr Liddle has held his view from before the war, but perhaps others can confirm?
    Still, rants against him make for good reading.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Most people were against Blair’s war before he began his big lying campaign. I never believed the shitbag..

      • red2black

        The politicians were in favour.
        Labour 244 out of 413 MPs (59%)
        Conservative 139 out of 166 MPs (83.7%)

        • Colin

          Tories desperate to be seen as still relevant. Disgraceful.

        • Fergus Pickering

          They believed his lies.

      • rodliddle

        Quite, Fergus, and well put. I left the party the week before the invasion took place, as it happens. Not a case of hindsight; didn’t even need very much in the way of foresight either. And to the chap who suggested that Syria might be a case for intervention…………………..good Lord. That’s all.

        • Pootles

          Ditto on leaving the Labour Party before the invasion began. I wrote a letter explaining just why I was leaving, and received a reply telling me how well the Labour government was doing – the main policy the letter highlighted was cold weather payments. But no mention of war mongering.

    • Damaris Tighe

      I supported the war because I love to see dictators overthrown. But Blair should not have lied to parliament – & hence the armed forces – about the reasons for going to war. That was unforgivable.

  • tjamesjones

    If it was true that our “interventions in the Middle East always make things worse”, that would be a relief, as we could just get back to the cricket and leave them to get on with things. But there will be cases where it isn’t true (Syria might be one). I think propensity to get involved is a pendulum, and after the troubles of Iraq it has swung a long way towards pacifism, but eventually time will pass, we’ll get a situation as stark as Rwanda there will be new “lessons learned” and we’ll decide next time to get involved again…

    • Bonkim

      Keep out – let the Middle-Easterners eliminate each other and reduce the earth’s population. With 10+ children in their families – think how much resources will be saved.

      • The Patriot

        And let’s hope plenty more that are living here decide to go join in meet the same fate… A lot less benefit claimants then! And more housing… Hell we should be offering incentives for them to leave! Just never let em back in… But that would need a competent border force.

        • Bonkim

          Plenty of British mercenaries in civil wars around the world in the past. I suppose fighting for money better than for ideals.

    • Joe Connolly

      Syria might be one? US and British support for the rebels there has made things incontestably far far worse. Poodling to the Arabian peninsula and reaping a jihad on the Mediterranean in return.

      • tjamesjones

        sure, if you say it’s incontestable then who am I to contest it.

        • Joe Connolly

          Several years of civil war, hundreds of thousands dead, many more imprisoned and tortured, about two million refugees, almost every historic monument and city wrecked, and now on top of that the Islamic State, complete with crucifixions and beheadings. Thank you so much West for ensuring that the rebellion was not quickly suppressed.

          • tjamesjones

            Yes. I don’t disagree with your summary of the facts, but I think the west hardly got involved in Syria, one way or the other, because of this newfound reticence, and possibly made things worse by offering some lukewarm support to the rebels. Could the west have decisively intervened, for one side or the other? I think you need to do a lot more work to show that this is incontestably false.

          • Alexsandr

            I dont understand your premise that the west should have intervened. Why is a civil war far far away between people who hate us and regard us as infidel who should be slaughtered be anything to do with us?

    • Mike

      Let them have their Rwanda moment as long as we stay out of it as
      there´s a big difference between an active defensive position and a
      purely passive role. Our defensive position should be to retaliate
      against any group that carries out a terrorist action against us by
      bombing the crap out of them using drones or if need be by nuking them.

      • Alexsandr

        and keeping an ex combatants out of the UK, by revoking passports so they cant travel here.

        • Mike

          We used to have a crime that was actions against the state but to bring it up to date we should offer the following options.

          1/ Renounce UK citizenship and do whatever you want outside of the UK

          OR

          2/ Be accountable to UK law and suffer the consequences !

  • wycombewanderer

    If it as they claim an Islamic state then those who have joined it can be stripped of their British statehood without any problems of the HRA declaring it illegal.

    Go for it Theresa strip the lot of them of their UK credentials and win the next election.

    • Kitty MLB

      Yes Theresa May should do that.Why on earth should they
      have any ‘British Credentials’ not that they ever truly had them to start with.Would these people show the United Kingdom any loyalty if we were at war.
      The Muslim terror increases and we must make sure we
      are protected in this country, as much as we can be under
      the circumstances.

      • Damaris Tighe

        LibLabCon are not interested in protecting the people of this country; they’re interested in protecting their PC reputations.

    • BoiledCabbage

      Maybe strip Caliph Cameron at the same time?

    • Damaris Tighe

      dream on ….

  • GraveDave

    I’d like to have read this article but they keep telling me I’ve had my quota of free articles for this month.

    • William_Brown

      Yes, me too….what’s going on at the Spectator?

    • Kitty MLB

      Oh that happens quite a lot..I think they want you to
      buy or subscribe as well.It can be quite interesting though,
      guessing what they are writting.Someone once became quite annoyed with me, for as they said ‘repeating the thread’
      but I was just guessing what the article stated, I didn’t know.

      • GraveDave

        Thanks for all your replies.

      • Bob Hasell

        Clairvoyant ?

    • Joe Connolly

      If you subscribe, you don’t get the bloggers’ comments below the line. So I gave up subscribing.

    • The Patriot

      delete your cookies, the website then doesn’t know that you’ve been there, you’re like a brand new visitor…It’s your browser that tells them that you’ve already been and read however many articles..

      • GraveDave

        Cheers.

        • girondas2

          This trick works on a lot of sites,
          There is a free programme called CCleaner that can clear out a lot of stuff stored on your computer, including cookies. It’s very easy to set up and operate. I’ve been using it for a couple of years .

          • Alexsandr

            just set up your browser to delete all cookies when it ends. But CCleaner is a good app.

          • weejonnie

            Alternatively open up a private window – that doesn’t save cookies anyway.

      • John Smith

        Same for Telegraph, if you are feeling like wasting your time

      • Bob Hasell

        Pure Genius..

      • Bob Hasell

        alternatively buy some more Laptops

    • Christopher Lennon

      Me too and I DO subscribe, via Kindle. Very annoying, but I can find article, obviously. Always enjoy Rod Liddle.

      • post_x_it

        Yes, this is rather unreasonable. I’ve got no issue with the Speccie wanting to charge for access, but if you’ve got a print subscription you automatically get a code for unlimited web access, so why didn’t I get one with my Kindle subscription? It’s money after all.

        • davidshort10

          Possibly because the Kindle sub is so cheap. I use it because it is the cheapest way of getting to read the sort of articles and writers I missed when I cancelled my subscription after 25 years when they appointed the vulgarian Andrew ‘Brillo Pad’ Neil as managing director. £2.99 a month is exactly contributing to Brillo’s pocket. The Barclays made a mistake appointing him and the Beeb are appalling in having the grizzled old fart on TV. Why should people’s licence fee go to keep Brillo comfortable when they have plenty of political presenting staff?

    • Wessex Man

      You’ve missed a very good one there.

  • Mario Borg

    They can’t take Malta. From today we are officially China’s property.

  • MikeF

    It occurred to me that when Isis issued a statement the other day saying that all Muslims from elsewhere in the world should immigrte to this new state an awful lot of people might agree with them…

    • zanzamander

      I think the government should encourage British Jihadis to go fight there, even pay their one way fare. Then close the door behind them.

      This is a too good an opportunity to miss – how else are we going to get rid of our home grown pious warriors.

    • Mike Oddpiece

      Much as I detest Islam, that is a frankly appalling comment. All muslims should go?

      • MikeF

        Dear me no sense of irony have you? If you look a bit more closely you might bring yourself to see that I was pointing up the fact that this was one of those instances where people at one extreme – ‘all muslims out’ – might find themselves rather liking something said by someone at the other – ‘create a new caliphate’. These things do happen occasionally. Perhaps I should have pointed it up a bit more by specifically exempting the Bangladeshi muslims who run my local ‘Indian’ restaurant with whom I might add I have always got on very well. So the answer to your question is ‘no’, though that does not mean I am prepared to compromise on basic issues such as freedom of speech for fear of being accused of some phantasmagorical ‘Islamophobia’.

        • Richard

          Irony in print can sometimes be hard to detect.

          • girondas2

            I always give the benefit of the doubt – it makes for a more entertaining read.

          • Marmalade Sandwich

            I’d love the BBC and wider media to take an ironic approach to reporting Islam just like this article. Because if people were not dying through these belief systems, whether they held them or not, wouldn’t it be seen as some elaborate joke? Just like the Austrian Pastafarian belief which allowed devotes to wear a Colander on their head for their driving licence photo.

            http://www.venganza.org/2011/07/austrian-colander/

          • rtj1211

            And being poliitcally correct is always incompatible with appreciating irony, sarcasm or farce…..

      • edlancey

        Well, why not ? The only reason they wouldn’t go is that they would like to extend the Caliphate to the entire world.

        With best wishes, and don’t let the door of the tent hit you on the way out.

      • BoiledCabbage

        Appalling for whom?

      • sebastian2

        All mohammedans should choose. Those who sympathise with ISIS and affiliates should go – as soon as possible please. And stay there. We don’t want you.Those who don’t share their caliphate delusions and decline its mohammedan savagery may remain, but be clear whose side you are really on. A stark choice. Make it.

        But perhaps there are those who’s thoughts and sentiments are in the first camp but who loiter in the second. These are the jihadists among us. We know they exist. I’d like to think they are internal outcasts: dangerous but condemned by all. Not sure this is so, though. They have their sympathisers and apologists.

        If so, then we must make the choice for them. We must track them down, try them and either imprison the guilty for a very long time indeed or strip them of citizenship and expel them. Frankly I prefer the second.

        Either way, we cannot pussyfoot around with these as we have done. Deference to the RoP has been disastrous. Londonistan has been a disgrace. Heathrow’s queues ever lengthen. It’s time to get seriously robust.

      • Rocksy

        Is your oddpiece too tight?

      • Gregory Mason

        They are Muslims first, Muslims second and Muslims third.

      • Terry Field

        They would fit in better there than they do in the youkay.

    • rtj1211

      Sounds like a good way of ‘balancing the budget’, wouldn’t you say?

  • Annephi

    Why would you include Italy and France? It doesn’t sound like a sensible idea to me when you consider that the Vatican is in Italy.

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      Vatican City is a separate State. Could be interesting though, having the seat of the Catholic Church surrounded by Moslems…

  • Augustus

    Jihadist Islam is the evil that seeks an apocalyptic confrontation. A self-appointed masked caliph, roving fighters and killers, truly a most significant illustration of Islamic enlightenment.

  • zanzamander

    I think the Islamic State has shown remarkable restraint. If I was them, I’d paint the whole globe black! Why the hell not?

  • The Masked Marvel

    No, Rod, it’s self-delusion that Saddam Hussein was running a country that was going to remain stable and secure after we got bored and gave up the no-fly zone and other restraints on his ambitions, never mind what was going to happen when his lunatic sons took over, all of which would have happened by now. You cannot accept this because that make you appear to support his removal, but that’s no excuse to engage in fantasy. Problems in the Middle East would come to your neighborhood regardless of intervention. It’s silly to pretend that there would be no war or jihadi nutters if we had left Sadaam to rule Kuwait and any other smaller neighbors back in ’91. Yes, there are problems we have faced and are facing now that are direct results of the failures of the aftermath of removing him, but it’s impossible to claim that the situation would be better if we’d never done it at all. Hamas would have taken over Gaza anyway, so what’s your point, other than another bash at Blair? It’s easy to keep your own head in the sand, of course, and stand on what you think are principles.

    Naturally, one understands that the entire column is a fantasy for the purposes of satire, and a chance to stick a few more little daggers in the ribs. Not in the metaphorical ribs of actual Muslims, of course, but in the ribs of your current pet target: the “faux Left” in the media who keep calling you racist and Islamophobic, and who you probably believe convinced the country to follow Blair into war. Meanwhile, it’s a little more red meat for your new fans jumping on this particular bandwagon, so well done you.

    • girondas2

      Well If we end with this mess either way what exactly was the point of invading?

      • The Masked Marvel

        The aftermath was not supposed to be the Bremer cock-up that it was. And they could not have expected that years later Obama would telegraph the surrender withdrawal and give these people a clear timeline around which to plan.

        • girondas2

          “The aftermath was not supposed to be the Bremer cock-up that it was”

          Perhaps we need to invade again and do it properly this time. We can use one of those plan things for dealing with aftermaths, Pick one up on ebay I dare say.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Obama was amazingly stupid – I thought so at the time.

    • Damaris Tighe

      The only people one should blame for the problems in Iraq are the Iraqis. They got the opportunity for a fresh start when Saddam was toppled, billions of dollars were invested in their country & a democratic system set up. They chose instead to lapse into sectarianism & corruption. No one is to blame for that except the Iraqis themselves.

      • The Masked Marvel

        Completely agree about the Iraqi people – and the rest of them “over there” – about needing to grow up and advance a few mental centuries. But there’s a fundamental difference between me and Rod here: I think they could ultimately be capable of it, but Rod does not. Thus he exposes his racism, even while protesting too much about being called one. Of course, the C4 bint who called him racist is most likely the same kind of racist as Rod and all his leftie mates. It’s the soft racism of lowered expectations.

        • Damaris Tighe

          indeed

        • Weaver

          By the time they are capable, they will no longer be recognisable as their current selves.

        • Wessex Man

          Toatally disagree with you both, it was a great article, Rod Liddle has a sense of humour and the absurd that combine to amuse all sane people.

        • Gregory Mason

          It’s not racism to say that they’re incapable of creating it. It’s simply an acknowledgement that they have a sufficiently advanced political culture which is simply incapable of creating a democratic nation state. Huntington went into this a bit in Clash of Civilisations. There are only a couple of states in the Middle East that within the next couple of hundred years could create what we regard as a nation state and that is Kurdistan, Iran, Egypt and Turkey.

          • The Masked Marvel

            Depends on how one phrases it.

  • Liberty

    The plan you refer to is for the next five years. You can be sure that the conquest of Northern Europe is phase two.

  • dado_trunking

    Do not misunderestimate the powers of a Roma insurgency fighting back.
    Even the Pope could sponsor them no problem.

  • Lippenheimer

    “A creature we created.” Uh, no. Islam created Baghdadi.

    • post_x_it

      You get his point though. Saddam would have nipped ISIS in the bud. We’d never even have heard of it. The US and UK didn’t create Baghdadi, but they created the chaotic free-for-all that allowed him to grab the limelight.

  • philiphuw

    I’m not sure you can claim that fewer people would be dead now had Saddam and his crime family remained in power. At the time he already had the deaths of two million on his hands and had used chemical weapons on Iranian troops and his own civilians. 500,000 Iraqis were also dying every year (mainly the elderly and children) as a result of United Nations sanction before the invasion which, as you say, was 11 years ago.
    As for the post-invasion carnage, why do those who fired the assault weapons and planted the bombs in crowded market places never get even a tiny proportion of the blame? The bloodbath was caused becasue the extreme adherents of two slightly different versions of the same religion cannot agree on the correct way to worship the same god. A god, like all the others invented by mankind, who doesn’t exist.
    Had rival French Catholic factions started butchering each other in the months that followed D-Day, would the allies have been solely responsible Rod?

    • Damaris Tighe

      Exactly. The only people who can be blamed for the Iraq debacle are the Iraqis. But Rod falls into the typical reverse-racism of the leftists by assuming that brown-skinned people are not adult or responsible enough to be blamed for their own mess.

      • Gregory Mason

        Iraq is as much a nation as Belgium, actually, probably less so. It’s no surprise then that they were unable to function as a nation state.

    • Weaver

      Sanctions death rate estimate seems a bit high….

    • Tom Burroughes

      Great comment. As for Liddle’s comment that we always make things worse in the Middle East by intervening, it is not as if we have the choice to leave the entire region alone, so long as we have some kind of trade/other relations with it.

      I’d like to see the critics of the toppling of Saddam suggest some coherent alternatives. For instance, the sanctions in force during the 90s were proving increasingly useless.

  • artemis in france

    Wonder how the caliphates would deal with the unions in Italy and France? You’re right about the number of Muslims here, Rod, but strangely enough they don’t seem as visible as they do in the UK, except their faces that is, since women aren’t allowed to walk around with them covered. A very amusing article and perhaps more prescient than even you would like it to be.

  • Mick Norris

    Look what happened last time there was a Caliphate in Spain, it was the golden age of Al Andalus! Cordoba was the intellectual and scientific centre of the world, and it could be again!

    I think this idea has merit.

    • Damaris Tighe

      er … you are being sarcastic, no?

      • The_greyhound

        May I recommend “Some Aspects of the Socio-Economic and Cultural History of Muslim Spain” by S. M. Imamuddin, surely one of the most unintentionally hilarious historical works ever published.

  • sarah_13

    Not sure the Kurds would agree about the average iraqi being worse off now.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I don’t think Kurds are the average Iraqi.

      • Damaris Tighe

        They certainly don’t seem to be very muslim – love their women soldiers!

  • mattghg

    “Before this can happen, though, he has his work cut out eliminating the
    Muslim opposition from within the territories he already controls — the
    hand-wringing, ineffectual and passé liberals of al-Qa’eda, for example.”

    I did a real snot-laugh when I read this.

  • edlancey

    “Mr al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi (yes, yes, the name’s a bit of a giveaway, although he supposedly hails from Samarra, not Baghdad),”

    Probably worried that al-Samarra might him mistaken for Giorgios Samaras, the delicate and non-exactly profilic Greek striker.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Why did their ‘Califate’ stop at the equator in Africa? Why not just take the whole darn thing?

    • Damaris Tighe

      jungle

      • Weaver

        Broadly, yes, though the Sahara may be a bigger barrier. More division between Christian farmers and Muslim pastoralists on the edges of the sahel.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    You think Ron`s joking, but he`s not.

  • godot

    Just short of a century ago, the victors of WW1 drew lines on the map to divvy up the middle east. Those decisions are all coming apart in the worst way. It’s “Off with his head!” to any whiff of humour and irony in the new Caliphate. Rod, your take on the implosion we are witnessing is hilarious, more please.

  • jesseventura2

    Tony the phony Blair should have introduced Iraqi’s to cottaging and dogging if only to give the goats and donkeys a break?

  • Augustus

    The hostility between Sunni Islam and Shiism, lies in the disagreement about who was the first caliph. According to the Sunnis it was Abu Bakr, a friend and ally of the Prophet. But the Shiites don’t agree. because they are convinced that the title of caliph can only be inherited. They believe Mohammed’s cousin Ali was the first caliph. The most famous caliphate in modern history was the Ottoman Empire which lasted for about 400 years, from 1517 until Mustafa Kemal Ataturk abolished it in 1924 and founded the new Turkish Republic.

    But this IS(IS) scum is even worse than the Taliban. Three truck drivers were stopped on the road to Baghdad. “How many times do you pray in the morning?” asks one scumbag. “Four” says the driver. “Wrong! It should be five.” Whereupon he empties his gun into all three truck drivers. Barbarians with modern weapons. They all deserve to be obliterated. If I was Allah I’d say to myself ‘what have I created? I must have been drunk, I’ll fade this all away and create a new world, this has lasted long enough ‘.

    • Gregory Mason

      The difference between Sunni Islam and Shi’ite Islam seems quite similar to the conflict between the People’s Front of Judea, the Judean People’s Front and the Judean Popular People’s Front.

  • Denis_Cooper

    The good news is that with the proclamation of this new state none of its supporters could claim to be made stateless when they were summarily deprived of their British citizenship in absentia and refused re-entry to this country, or if they were already here when they were deported to a Peshmerga checkpoint and told which direction they should walk to get to their new homeland. So get cracking, Mrs May.

    • Damaris Tighe

      dream on …

  • John Smith

    They have a good start in the UK, Cardiff Woolwich Birmingham Glasgow Luton & Tower Hamlets come to mind
    Could we have a sleeper cell in all these places?

  • The_greyhound

    I love Rod Liddle.

  • rtj1211

    The worst place on earth is surely inside your backside, Mr Liddle, and no self-respecting Jihadi ever goes anywhere NEAR places like that, do they?!

  • Solrac

    How can the UK, a country that has bent over backwards and forward to “celebrate diversity” be so despised by people who have come here? We wanted to “integrate” muslims because years of dumbing down of our educational system made us forget that Islam is an imperialistic religion. We really a very stupid nation and compared to many of our leaders Abu at least seems to be a serious person.

    • justejudexultionis

      The Muslims are colonists. They have no intention of ‘integrating’. The only ‘integration’ will take place when spineless westerners are forcibly integrated into the Umma. Let us not forget that Islam is fundamentally a religion of conquest and force in which love and compassion have no place. It poses a very real and direct threat to our civilisation and ancient liberties.

    • justejudexultionis

      The Muslims are colonists. They have no intention of ‘integrating’. The only ‘integration’ will take place when spineless westerners are forcibly integrated into the Umma. Let us not forget that Islam is fundamentally a religion of conquest and force in which love and compassion have no place. It poses a very real and direct threat to our civilisation and ancient liberties.

  • HenryWood

    By Bible and Sword, sir! By Bible and Sword! If you don’t get a well deserved fatwa out of this, well I just don’t know what Islam is coming to! I shall be watching the BBC headlines all next week to see what happens to you. (Mind you, if it’s something nasty they probably won’t report it.)

  • justejudexultionis

    Hilarious, but true.

  • ant

    Simplistic idiotic guff. All that ‘incontestable’ stuff is eminently contestable, for one simple reason. Saddam and his psychotic sons had attained the holy grail of uranium enrichment to weapons grade and successfully hidden the programme from the UN inspectors it before it was surrendered to the Americans. Even the Iranians haven’t done that. Blair simply thought he could repeat the ‘good’ he did in the Balkans. His sin was not being able to hold a whip hand to Bush.

  • Moputabee

    🙂

  • Amir
  • Q46

    Well Ron, Sunni Saddam was having at the Southern Shia and the Northern Kurds before 2003 and in fact these antagonists had been at it since the 1970s, so I’d say civil war had been the status quo in Iraq for at least 30 years – but perhaps your history book does not go back before 2003.

  • Ian Walker

    It seems to me that collecting all of these people in one handy-dandy, sandy place gives us the opportunity to simultaneously rid the world of them and provide future generations with a limitless supply of glass.

    • MC73

      Nope, we need to leave them to it and encourage their co-religionists to join the struggle.

  • Tom Burroughes

    Liddle pokes fun at Jack Straw’s comment that there could and probably would have been serious conflict in Iraq at some stage. But that comment by Straw is hardly a daft assertion. When or if Saddam had died and his psychotic sons taken over, who is to say that no such violent struggle would not have ensued, as has been the case in neighbouring Syria? Look, I know that Liddle is an opponent of the Coalition effort to topple the Ba-ath regime, no doubt fondly believing that Saddam was in fact a secular kind of ruler (a bit of assertion, at best), but the truth is that there were and are no good choices in that part of the world.

    No doubt Liddle hopes to get a few laughs by his rather drawn out gag about all the countries he despises (which seem to be pretty much every part of the globe) falling under religious totalitarianism, but it is all a bit silly.

    .

    • MC73

      “When or if Saddam had died and his psychotic sons taken over, who is to say that no such violent struggle would not have ensued”

      Well we can’t say can we? But we can say that we ‘intervened’ in Iraq, which led to the deaths of half a million people (including not a few of our own) and now the region is in flames. Still, Saddam was a wrong’un and we’re best shot of him, eh?

      • Tom Burroughes

        We can make a fair guess, which is what I did. (One thing I have noticed among some, not all, opponents of Saddam’s overthrow is a sort of sneaking admiration for the brute.) In any event, the vast majority of the violence that came with Saddam’s overthrow was caused by Muslim fanatics (on all sides) killing one another; the crime of the Coalition was in not anticipating this, and expecting that they could walz in and be greeted as heroes. About the only area where that happened was in the Kurdish region, which is relatively peaceful.

        There is little doubt in my mind that, given all we know from other parts of the ME, and North Africa, that violent upheavals would have occurred, with or without any intervention from outside. And let’s not forget the magnitude of the horror of Saddam’s regime: invasion of Iran and a costly war that caused hundreds of thousands of deaths; his use of WMDs against his own people; invasion of Kuwait, and subsequent persecution of the Kurds, Marsh Arabs, etc. This should not be allowed to fall down the memory hole, much though some – such as the grotesque George Galloway – would like to do so.

  • Dutchnick

    ISIS is just the worst manifestation of exactly this faith means for us all. There is deafening silence from the Muslim community as ISIS does nothing other that proclaim exactly what the Koran requires. Unfortunately there is no discussion allowed as the Koran is the immutable word of Allan and being a Muslim you must accept every divine word and may not disagree with even one word. There is a requirement on every Muslim to wish to live under Sharia – fact. Whenever Islam meets with another faith it has a problem, often seen by them as discrimination not realising that their comparative failure is self inflicted. Look at Malaysia where the tigers of the economy, the Chinese and Indian citizens are second class citizens with every help ( that means corruption) going to the Muslin Malays. It is a faith with a problem and it is only by education that it will be eventually forced into irrelevance in the meanwhile they will have a lot of pain and suffering, yes Muslims are the greatest victims of Islam.

  • MaggieL

    I know Muslim fanatics have a weakness for obeying orders from any lunatic who says “I’m in charge”, but they really ought to get a DNA test to check out this ‘descended from Muhammad’ story.

    • liam

      There do seem to be a hell of a lot of people who are “descended from Muhammad”, although I suppose having 12 wives + at least 1 concubine slave gave him a head start in spreading his DNA.

  • miford

    Excellent article.

  • tjmac7

    Fantastic.

    • haggardt

      “we might be able to negotiate something with old Abu over Gibraltar”

      Jabal Ṭāriq (جبل طارق), meaning “Mountain of Tariq

      Best of luck with that one.

    • haggardt

      “we might be able to negotiate something with old Abu over Gibraltar”

      Jabal Ṭāriq (جبل طارق), meaning “Mountain of Tariq

      Best of luck with that one.

  • davidshort10

    A Caliphate is very good idea. The West should impose stringent visa conditions, bar mobile phone companies from coverage there, do not allow flights to and from it and don’t allow exports of western goods such as cars.

  • Thaddeus lovelock

    Human beings often have to learn the hard way, Muslims and non Muslims, alike. Maybe an attempt to implement the Caliphate and the attendant descent into brutality, civil, war, maybe even genocide, is a necessary step, in completely discrediting the whole concept of the Caliphate. This suffering will be largely self -inflicted by Muslims. But it may be a necessary process in the evolution of Islamic consciousness. What did William Blake once say, “You only know what is enough, when you know, what too much is”. Offcourse the Caliphate is too much, but Muslims will need to work that out for themselves.

  • Terry Field

    If they take over Spain where will we get our Amontillado from?
    That would be SERIOUS.

  • portuguese guest

    “So — goodbye Spain and Portugal. That becomes the region of Andalus. No loss to me, frankly, although I’m optimistic we might be able to negotiate something with old Abu over Gibraltar — he can’t be much more antagonistic towards the Gibraltarians than the Spanish, can he?”

    A little bit extremist don’t you think? No loss for you, but maybe a great loss to all the portuguese and spanish people. I can’t really believe I’ve read this. Not even if that’s some sort of a joke. You’re what? British? Did you know that the Anglo-Portuguese alliance is the oldest in the history of the whole world? It takes back to 1373. You should be ashamed of posting something like this regardless of two of the oldest nations of the entire world.

  • javy

    Spain, no big loss? You are really saying that the fourth biggest economy of the EU is no big loss. I hope not all brits are the same, and by the way we don’t want gibraltar, we would really love to close borders, what we don’t want is to have 300.000 spanish companies using gibraltar to not pay taxes in Spain, we don’t want british nuclear submarines in Gibraltar, we don’t want Gibraltar to expand into spanish territorial waters…. I hope you get it…

  • Filipe

    Portugal already expeled the bastards once, 800 years ago. We will do it again, with or without you, british fairies.

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