By Frances Martel
In the latest issue of its English-language magazine Dabiq, the Islamic State calls on Christians to abandon Christianity, arguing that Jesus himself was “a slave of Allah” who will “wage jihad” upon returning to earth.
The fifteenth issue of the magazine, titled “Break the Cross,” is dedicated to convincing Christians that Jesus was a prophet of Allah, was never crucified, and that most of the New Testament is a perversion of Jesus’s story orchestrated by St. Paul, a “criminal” “treacherous Jew” who gave up massacring Christians in order to subvert the religion from the inside. Its articles strive to depict Christianity as a pagan religion based on a false Jesus, arguing that the only true Jesus is the prophet of Islam.
The feigned compassion towards Christians in most of the volume stands in stark contrast to the actions of the Islamic State’s terrorists towards Christian communities, which includes rape, torture, crucifixion, and slavery.
In the issue’s foreword, the editors make clear the intent of the magazine: the issue will help “Crusaders” “read into why Muslims hate and fight them, why pagan Christians should break their crosses, why liberalist secularists should return to the fitrah (natural human disposition), and why skeptical atheists should recognize their Creator and submit to Him.”
“In essence, we explain why they must abandon their infidelity and accept Islam, the religion of sincerity and submission to the Lord of the heavens and the earth,” the editors write.
Among their reasons are that Jesus himself is a “slave of Allah,” according to Ja’far, a cousin of Muhammad. “We say about him like our prophet taught us – that he is the slave of Allah, His messenger, His [chosen] spirit, and His word which He cast into the pure virgin Mary,” Ja’far is quoted as saying.
The cover story, “Break the Cross,” argues that Jesus will do precisely that upon his return: “break the cross, kill the swine, and put aside the jizyah [infidels’ tax, assuming all the infidels will have been killed].” “The true religion of Jesus Christ is a pure monotheistic submission – called Islam… when he returns in the final days, the Messiah will adhere to the Law of Muhammad and wage jihad for the cause of Allah,” the article argues, citing Islamic doctrine.
It makes the claim that, because there are four gospels, none of which are written by Jesus himself, no part of the New Testament is trustworthy, most of all the crucifixion.” “Jesus was not crucified,” the article argues, quoting Muhammad, who lived 600 years later. The claim that Jesus did not die on the cross appears in the Quran.
As for St. Paul, he is referred to in turn as a “criminal” and “treacherous Jew” who “intentionally sought to deviate the monotheistic Nazarenes in order to tarnish Jesus’ name – even if it meant Paul’s own persecution.” The Holy Trinity being an essential concept of St. Paul’s writings is a form of polytheism, according to Islamic State jihadists, one intended to deceive Christians.
The issue spends much of its time attempting to convert “Unitarians” – Christians who do not believe in the Holy Trinity – while arguing that these Christians were mostly purged by the Roman Church. It claims the “debate between Trinitarians and Unitarians reached the heights of popularity during the fourth century of the Christian calendar.” The issue ignores the continued existence of Unitarian churches, perhaps because the phrase in modern America has taken to mean any rejection of Trinitarianism, and the largest church identifying with the term in the United States, the Unitarian Universalist church, explicitly rejects imposing exclusively Christian doctrine on its members.
The fifteenth Dabiq stands in stark contrast to its predecessor published in April, which featured a cover story condemning the Muslim Brotherhood and focused on condemning “apostate” Muslims, not those outside of Islam.