Abu Jihad, Umar Shishani’s second-in-command in the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham, has made a series of audio addresses about the fighting between ISIS and insurgents.

In his first address, Abu Jihad explains how the fighting started and how the Islamic State of Iraq expanded into Syria.

This address is directed to Islamic scholars. In it, Abu Jihad slams those scholars who he says have sown discord among ISIS fighters and other groups. He particularly talks about Sheikh Abu Basir Tartusi, a Syrian cleric and jihadist theoretician, who lives in Britain but who has claimed to have fought in Syria. In January, shortly after the fighting between ISIS and insurgent groups began, Tartusi issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to fight ISIS, whom he said were Kharijites, a sect distinct from Shia and Sunni Muslims.

We have translated the address below. Russian speakers may listen to it here:

Address to Scholars

Having read the addresses of various scholars, we unfortunately understand that they totally don’t get it about what is going on here. Maybe because information gets to them in a distorted way, because some of them are held captive, and their access to information is limited.

Maybe Allah closed some of their eyes to the truth. As there isn’t a single person who is safe from going astray. I myself saw in Egypt, sheikhs who for 30 years had a Salafi calling, and had been through jail and repressions for that path. Eventually, after Mubarak’s rule ended, Allah educated them so they’d call people to jihad and establish an Islamic state in Egypt. Bu instead of that they went down the path of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned for 30 years. Moreover, some of them personally took part in the creation of a new taghut (idolatrous) constitution in the Morsi government.

But Allah showed us and the whole world what comes of expelling Sharia. Allah humiliated and lowered them.

I gave that example because there is no one who is secure in this world. After all for 30 years they taught people tawhid, and in the end they wound up writing a taghut constitution.

Thus, I have a comment for our sheikhs. Just forgive me, if I am harsh, but after all if they give comments to our brother mujahideen, then they should accept them as well. Why are they not on the battlefield? Why are they making fatwas from their countries? If they were here, they’d see the situation of the mujahideen better and they’d guide them.

But this is an eternal problem. Everyone wants to guide us from afar. Aren’t they afraid that they’ll be among those about whom Allah said, why are you telling others that which you don’t do yourselves? Or among those about whom he said, you’re urging people to do good, forgetting yourselves at the same time as you read the Book? Or even worse, among the hypocrites about whom Allah said, they want to be far away from you and only to hear news about you.

Yes, some of them were in jail. But has Allah not shown them mercy, by releasing them? Why then do they not come out? Why do they wait until they are captured again? By Allah, there are sheikhs and brothers, who after jail immediately moved out here, using fake passports and by illegally crossing the border and so on, even though they were under surveillance. There are many ways for those who sincerely want to get here. It has never been so easy to get to the jihad as it is now.

But there are those among them who, having come here, make such a fitna that you think “it would have been better if they had not come at all”. They travel through the jamaats, sowing fitna between them. They’re photographed with weapons someplace on the Turkish border, and after that they write, “Sheikh Mujahid”, although the don’t get any closer to the battlefield.

One of them is the famous Sheikh Tartusi. I didn’t want to name names, but that man crosses every line and people need to know who he really is.

To Russian-speaking Muslims he became well-known for several fatwas supporting the Caucasus Emirate. And everyone immediately revered him, accepting unconditionally everything he said.

Even though we know that some infidels said things supporting the Muslims of the Caucasus Emirate, it’s not a reason to accept them as an authority.

I myself also respected him and considered him knowledgable, but this impression of him disintegrated after my first meeting him. He sowed discord among the jamaats. In the first meeting with us, he started to reproach Jabhat al Nusra, and enumerated their deficiencies. At the same time he absolutely did not endure disputes even with students, he started to get anxious, and go crazy when he was shown proofs for errors in his position. Is this how scholars conduct themselves?

In this manner, he roamed from one base of mujahideen to another, sowing discord. And we don’t know of a single occurrence when he participated in any battle. Though there are enough pictures on the internet where he’s posing with a weapon. And everywhere he’s called a Sheikh-Mujahid.

There’s also doubt about the fact that he lives in the UK and easily travels to Syria and back again. When brothers and sisters in the UK who even want to go to Turkey are arrested on suspicion that they want to go to the jihad in Syria, not to mention those brothers who return there. They are immediately put in the slammer, and now they’ve started stripping them of British citizenship, and only after that they’re put in jail. That’s done so they won’t have any rights. So how can a famous Sheikh-Mujahid just travel to and from Britain?

But all this would never have been a reason for our conversation about him. The real reason for this was his inhuman fatwa, where he calls for the Muslims of Sham to spill the blood of the Mujahideen of ISIS, and guarantees them entry into Paradise. And all the Mujahideen of ISIS that they kill, will go to Hell. And he unscrupulously made a proof of the commandment to fight Kharajites. And he hasn’t made a single proof that ISIS are the Kharajites. So that man is maybe a planted worker of the intelligence services, and you know how the special forces like to meddle in fitna. Or he’s a driveling idiot who has no knowledge of Sharia….

In the end of this address to scholars, let’s recall again. We did not start this fitna, we have not attacked anyone!! We were attacked, on our half empty bases, at home, when there was no one there apart from women and kids! So why don’t you address those perfidious traitors? No matter how you tried to say that this address was for everyone. It was obvious that it was for us. So fear Allah, and be fair, and if you want to talk about mistakes, talk about everyone, you don’t have to apportion blame for mistakes to just one side and reduce the mistakes of others. We called for an end to this fitna three times.

And let him who is able to, carry this message to those sheikhs.

(Featured image: Abu Jihad with Umar Shishani)