ISIS bases much of its recruitment and expansion strategy around the idea that the end times are upon us.
The extremist group pushes the idea that the apocalypse is nigh and that Islamic fighters will battle the “infidels” of the West in Dabiq, a town in Syria that ISIS now controls.
ISIS (also known as the Islamic State) uses Islamic scripture and prophecies to bolster its assertion, but it conveniently ignores one particularly damning prophecy that could inherently challenge the legitimacy of its self-declared “caliphate” — the territory in Iraq and Syria it controls that is central to Islamic doomsday prophecies.
Will McCants, director of the Project on US Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution, mentions it in his new book, “The ISIS Apocalypse.”
“There is one prophecy about the Antichrist that the Islamic State and its fans have studiously avoided, even though it is in a collection of prophecies they revere: The Antichrist will ‘appear in the empty area between Sham [Syria] and Iraq,'” McCants wrote. “That, of course, is precisely where the Islamic State is located.”
As McCants explained in his book, Jesus and the Antichrist do have a place in Islamic foretellings.
“The Qur’an portrays Jesus as a messenger of God and his followers as those ‘nearest in love to the believers’ (5:82),” McCants wrote. “But the prophecies attributed to Muhammad outside the Qur’an foresee Jesus returning to fight alongside the Muslims against the infidels. As in the Bible, the appearance of Jesus heralds the Last Days. …
“He will lead the Muslims in a war against the Jews, who will fight on behalf of the Antichrist.”