June 7th, 2017

ISIS Terrorist attack—in Iran

It’s a rare event in Iran. The terrorists seem to be ISIS, in a Sunni-Shi’ite struggle:

Islamic State said five of its fighters carried out the twin attacks using assault rifles, grenades, and suicide vests.

“The caliphate will not miss a chance to spill their blood,” it said, referring to Iran’s majority Shi’ite Muslim population.

A video released by its news agency Amaq included an audio track of a man saying in Arabic: “Oh God, thank you. [Gunshots]. Do you think we will leave? No! We will remain, God willing.”

Attacks are rare in Tehran and other major cities though two Sunni militant groups, Jaish al-Adl and Jundallah, have been waging a deadly insurgency, mostly in more remote areas, for almost a decade.

Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province, in the southeast on the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan, is home to the Balouch minority and has long been a hotbed of Sunni insurgents fighting the Shi’ite-led republic.

Last year Iranian authorities said they had foiled a plot by Sunni militants to bomb targets in Tehran and other cities during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

It seems to me that both groups—the leaders of Iran and ISIS—believes that Islam should conquer the world either by force, demographics, or persuasion, or some combination of the three. But each believes that it should be the head of that Islam-dominated world.

Note that word “caliphate.” Speaking of which, Richard Landes has written an article on how the western media helps the Caliphate, a process he calls “own-goal journalism.” [Hat tip: commenter Barry Meislin.]

13 Responses to “ISIS Terrorist attack—in Iran

  1. Manju Says:

    The Islamic State attacked the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini. Hilarious.

  2. Frog Says:

    ISIS, known only to Obama, and insistently so, as ISIL, is in combat with Iranian forces in Syria. Iran is in Syria to extend its regional hegemony, from the Mediterranean ultimately to the Indian Ocean. ISIS has struck back in kind of a Jimmy Doolittle Tokyo raid. Symbolic but not significant. Notable that the attackers wore chadors, concealing their weapons.

  3. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “It seems to me that both groups—the leaders of Iran and ISIS—believes that Islam should conquer the world either by force, demographics, or persuasion, or some combination of the three.” neo

    That is certainly true but that sentiment extends far beyond Iran, ISIS and every other ‘radical’ jihadist group.

    Of the 86% of Egyptians that support Shariah Law’s death penalty for apostasy and the 75% who believe Shariah to be Allah’s revealed word… how many do not support Islam conquering the world either by demographics and/or persuasion?

    Recall that even al-Sisi’s objection to violent jihad is based in the practical impossibility of accomplishing Islam’s world wide dominance through violence. He said nothing about its immorality…

    The great majority of Muslims in the world support Shariah Law.

    74% of Egyptian Muslims who want Shariah Law say that it should apply to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, while 58% in Jordan hold this view.

    “According to the survey findings, most Muslims believe sharia is the revealed word of God rather than a body of law developed by men based on the word of God. Muslims also tend to believe sharia has only one, true understanding”…

    Most Muslims have to believe that since Shariah law is based upon the Qur’an. So to explicitly reject Shariah Law is to, in effect reject Muhammad’s claim that Allah is the Qur’an’s author. Which is why ‘moderate’ Muslims do not engage in anonymous debates with fundamentalist Muslims over the internet.

    It’s all of a piece, an Arabic ‘tapestry’ from which not one thread can be removed without the entire travesty unraveling.

  4. LTEC Says:

    I think it is important to understand the nature of the combination of Force and “Persuasion” that is being used by Islamism. Landes uses the term “Good Cop”, but doesn’t explain well the combination with “Bad Cop”. These are not merely two groups with different means but the same end, any more than in police work it makes sense to say that the good cop and the bad cop have different means: they are rather playing different agreed-upon roles in the same play.

    The Bad Islamist shoots and blows up all these people. The Good Islamist deplores all the killing, and explains that if people would only behave as they should, and speak as they should, and think as they should, then this killing wouldn’t happen.

    Without the Bad Islamist, people would say to the Good Islamist, “Screw you, we’ll do what we want.” Without the Good Islamist, people would say to the Bad Islamist, “There’s no excuse for what you did”. But the two together are very effective.

  5. Somebody Says:

    Just wanted to clarify something: calling them ISIL is no better or worse than calling them ISIS. The acronym comes from the Arabic: al-dawlah al-islamiyya fi al-iraq wa-sh sham, “the Islamic state of Iraq and Sham.” The word for Syria is “Suriyya,” while Sham (which starts in Arabic with the letter “shin,” representing the sh sound) refers to the broader Levantine region. Since ISIS is inaccurate (and a pretty-sounding word with innocent connotations before these monsters showed up) and ISISH sounds ridiculous, ISIL is just as good a moniker as any other. Or you could use Da’ish, the Arabic acronym that everyone else in the world uses and which makes them so mad that they execute anyone who uses it. If you want to complain about Obama, fine, but complain about something legit.

  6. parker Says:


    I could care less what they are called; I want them dead and all their kin dead. My patience is limited to western children and animals. My give a damn was busted many moons ago.

  7. Somebody Says:

    That’s legit. My point is only that any name we give them is equally arbitrary. Obama didn’t do anything wrong by calling them ISIL, which is a name I prefer over ISIS because I wish we could have kept that word for other reasons and now it’s forever tainted. Trump going after Obama for calling them ISIL instead of ISIS was a silly bit of nonsense as pointless as any campus PC crusade. As long as we don’t call them IS, because that’s the one name they actually want for themselves.

    PS: spend some time on Syrian or Iraqi twitter and learn about all the ways the innocent kids of those countries have been murdered by ISIL, the Russians, and their own governments, and it will be a lot harder to care only about western kids. Their kids look a lot like ours.

  8. Somebody Says:

    PPS–the whole shariah thing is vastly more complicated than that. Speaking as an atheist American liberal who thinks all religions are equally nonsensical and has zero skin in this game (other than my actual skin; I’ve lived in the ME and been shot at by actual terrorists) there’s probably as much diversity in Muslim understandings of shariah as there are Jewish understandings of Jewish law, from liberal barely-religious Reform Judaism to the theocratic Hasidic towns in the Hudson Valley (yes, there are shariah courts operating legally in the US, alongside Jewish and Christian courts; makes me uncomfortable but as long as it’s all voluntary and focused on civil matters, meh I guess?).

    Anyone interested can check out Barbara Zollner’s work on the work of Hasan al-Hudaybi, the second general guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, who explicitly rejected Sayyid Qutb’s theses about apostasy (Hudaybi said only God can judge a person’s faith) and law (Hudaybi said God wouldn’t have given people reason if he didn’t want us to use it, so implicit in shariah is consultation (shuts) which, to Hudaybi, meant democracy. Illiberal democracy, and religious not secular humanism, but it’s easy to see why jihadists view the MB as an existential threat. Just one example!

    Long story short, just knowing that someone advocates “shariah law” (which has no fixed, agreed upon definition, hence ISIL blowing up Shia) doesn’t really tell you much about what that person thinks Shariah law means. And it’s easy to say “they’re all the same!” and someone will accuse me of something like appeasement and blah blah blah, but I wouldn’t wish an ISIL attack on anyone, even the Iranians, because those people who were murdered were just as much every day regular people as any of our victims. (FYI, it was the Iranians who armed and funded the terrorists who shot at me while I was in the ME, so I’m pretty cool when IRGC guys eat it.)

  9. parker Says:


    You assume I, or any sane citizen of the West, cares. I do not care about them or their children. I care about my children, grandchildren, and my great grandchildren. If I could push a button I would erase the ideology of islam off the face of the planet and free billions. My give a damn was busted when Carter did not nuke Qom in 1979. A mere 38 years ago.

    Its been down the slippery slope of the “religion of peace” ever sense.

  10. Somebody Says:

    Parker, I assume that’s the big talk of a little person who has never seen the world or borne any cost related to any of these conflicts and lives comfortably enough–in your very own isolating Safe Space–that you can talk like that and feel tough and powerful for it.

    But yeah, you do you.

  11. Gringo Says:

    there’s probably as much diversity in Muslim understandings of shariah as there are Jewish understandings of Jewish law..

    And there was diversity in Communism: from Leninism to Stalinism to Trotskyism to to Maoism to Castro to Sandinismo. Etl al. So what? All repulsive.

  12. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Long story short, just knowing that someone advocates “shariah law” (which has no fixed, agreed upon definition, hence ISIL blowing up Shia) doesn’t really tell you much about what that person thinks Shariah law means.” Somebody

    Just to be clear, the first set of percentages I cited, lay out the percentage of Muslims who favor Shariah Law. The second set are the percentages of the first set who believe that Shariah should apply to non-Muslims as well.

    Those percentages are a snap shot in time. In general, as the percentage of Muslims in a society increases, so too does the percentage who advocate Shariah for non-Muslims. This is because for Muslims, once the means to do so has manifested, there is no theological/scriptural support in the Qur’an and Hadiths for NOT applying Shariah to non-Muslims.

  13. Somebody Says:

    Geoffrey, missed the point. There’s no one shariah. So just advocating Shariah doesn’t tell you anything about the jurisprudence they’re advocating. One person might say “shariah means cutting off heads” and another might say “the extant laws of the US are consistent with shariah.”

    I’ve traveled all throughout the Muslim world and it’s hard to convey how wildly different each part is from every other. If you’re looking for empirical evidence of a monolithic understanding or application of Shariah, it’s simply not there. (For what it’s worth, I vastly prefer southeast Asian interpretations of Islam to Middle Eastern. No one tried to murder me in SE Asia.) so my point about mentioning Hudaybi–who was writing in Arabic, so he was writing for a local audience and not as propaganda–because he’s a great example of someone writing from an Islamist context arguing in favor for (illiberal) democracy under Shariah in explicit disagreement with Sayyid Qutb’s understanding of Shariah. Go read Barbara Zollner, great German scholar on this stuff.

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