The Salafists' extremist classification of people is based on the concept of you are either with us or against us. There is no place in between. This derives from the Salafi principle of “tawally” and “tabbarry.” According to tawally, human connections and mutual relations are bound within the narrow scope of believers. Meanwhile, relations with nonbelievers fall within the scope of tabarry, disassociating oneself from nonbelievers and separating them from believers so as not to affected by them.
Thus, men and women must convert to IS' belief system or be killed and all memory of them removed from history. Accordingly, IS has been converting the use of such religious buildings as churches, changing religious names and titles relating to other sects and rewriting religious curricula to conform to its Salafist vision. The tawally and tabbarry project is applied at the level of history and memory to create a new kind of human being, completely removed from his or her national and cultural affiliations.
IS thus seeks to raise a new generation within a Salafist religious system with the value of hostility toward others. Thus one finds photos and video footage of children holding severed heads of the alleged enemy or violators of Salafist rules, combat weapons and signs with hostile religious slogans, ultimately pointing them toward lives of separation, isolation, and inhumanity.
Todenhoefer said the “nuclear tsunami” that is IS has yet to rise. It is slowly preparing itself to become the most destructive force in history. Its project is the complete destruction of civil life that has emerged in the region over thousands of years and its replacement with a barbaric system vehemently opposed to religion tolerance and cultural pluralism.
(Book-burning image via Shutterstock)