Last week, Al-Naba, the online magazine used for propaganda by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria (ISIS), announced that Abubakar Shekau, the schizophrenic terror leader of Boko Haram, had been toppled and replaced with Abu Musab al-Barnawi. This announcement indicates there is a clear and irreconcilable disagreement between the factions of Boko Haram, and that ISIS has now ordained a new leader, Abu Musab al-Barnawi. Basically, what ISIS’ announcement means is that terror campaigns of Abubakar Shekau will now be replaced by the terror campaigns of Abu Musab al-Barnawi. Both Abubakar Shekau and al-Barnawi are mercurial personalities bent on destructive, hate-filled violence aimed at drowning out the voices of normative Islam and cultivating a real hatred in the hearts of those outside of Islam.
Until his appointment as the new leader of this cultist group, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, a man well tutored in internecine insanity, was the spokesperson of Boko Haram who represented everything the terror group stands for, and justified its most heinous crimes of abduction, torture, rape, murder, … the list continues. In his audio recording responding to Abubakar Shekau’s outbursts protesting his replacement, al-Barnawi gave us a rare glimpse into the hell-on-earth called Boko-Haram-Ville and the true depiction of its totalitarian and psychotic leader, Abubakar Shekau. He revealed how members are killed on the flimsiest of excuses and tortured for (suspicion of) falling out with Shekau in this Potyomkin village- definitely not the sort of utopia that were promised to those brainwashed idiots who willfully signed on to their Caliphate. Also, media reports have it that al-Barnawi has claimed that Boko Haram under his leadership will continue to bomb churches and kill Christians. This is a claim that will have frightful consequences.
If truly what ISIS and its surrogates everywhere wish to establish is real Islamic state, their very words and actions, the abductions, murders, slavery, beheading and destruction they have unleashed on nations are loud testimonies to the stark contradictions between what they claim and the vision of Prophet Muhammad of an Islamic state. In fact, a casual reading of history will attest to the clear vision of Prophet Muhammad to build a multi-religious and inclusive society, and implement a style of government that pioneered a model of inter-faith relations still considered novel today. The visit of the Christians of Narjan to the city of Medina in 631CE is perhaps the most important noted interfaith interaction between Christians and Prophet Muhammad to show that he had a clear vision for how Muslims and Christians should relate. The (Najran) delegation came to Medina, the capital of the Islamic state, to engage the Prophet in a theological debate (the Prophet was said to have even spread his cloak so that the Christians of Najran who came could sit on it). During the course of their stay, their worship time came and they stood up to perform their worship outside. Rather than watch them worship on the roadside, he cleared the mosque of Muslim worshipers and then asked them to worship in his own mosque, the second holiest site in Islam. By this action alone, the prophet was emphatic on the issue of complete religious freedom.