Faithfully recreating the early Muslim Caliphate is a daunting task. I’m not referring to Disney World’s new Our Neighbors, the Muslims exhibit, but rather the project that Caliph Ibrahim (formerly known as Abubakr al-Baghdadi; aka Ibrahim ibn Awwad ibn Ibrahim ibn Etcetera) has undertaken in the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS/ISIL; aka Syria, Iraq, the Levant, Mesopotamia, the Fertile Crescent, Assyria, Phoenicia, Babylon, Etcetera).
Just how daunting a project is revealed in a mass of internal Caliphal communications that the Agency has asked me to analyze. I can’t reveal sources or methods, but let’s just say that we might want to temper our enthusiasm for eviscerating the NSA. In any case, I do have permission to share a few memos:
Caliph to Religious Affairs Directorate. Subj — The Covering of Women: In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Merciful. Walking the streets in disguise, like the blessed Harun al-Rashid, I have noticed women using flimsy material over the eye-hole in the hijab that, in the sunlight, reveals even their eye-shadow color. Directive: The eye-hole is to be completely covered. Supply all women with a long stick, painted white.
Health Department to Caliph. Subj — The Covering of Women: In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Merciful. While, thanks to God, the Caliph’s directive has assured women’s spiritual health, it has negatively affected their physical health. In the last month alone, at but one spot — the intersection of Destroy the Infidels Boulevard and Crush Zionism Avenue — 25 women were run over by camels. Our personnel cannot cope.
War Department to Caliph. Subj — The Covering of Women: In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Merciful. To supplement the Health Department’s point, every woman injured or killed could have been a producer of future jihadists. We cannot afford this weakening of our armament-production capability.
Caliph to Health and War Departments. Subj — The Covering of Women: In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Merciful. I understand. Let injured jihadists be put to use leading women, using the white stick. The stick must be at least ten feet long and, to those guides not already neutered by their injuries, let the needful be done.
General Services Department to Caliph. Subj — Limited Supplies of Writing Materials: In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Merciful. With supplies of parchment, pens, and ink dwindling, would the Caliph consider, instead of beginning each memo with “In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Merciful,” allowing the simple acronym, “ItNoGtCaM”? We estimate a savings of 20% in parchment alone.
Caliph to General Services Department. Subj — Limited Supplies of Writing Materials: IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE COMPASSIONATE AND MERCIFUL. Any other questions?
Religious Affairs Directorate to Caliph. Subj — Observance of Daily Prayers: In the Name of God, the Most Compassionately Compassionate, Mercifully Merciful, All-Knowingly All-Knowing, Etcetera. It has come to our attention that some jihadists have, in the heat of battle, postponed their prayers. What is the point of having a Caliphate if religious obligations are treated so casually?
Caliph to Religious Affairs Directorate. Subj — Observance of Daily Prayers: IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE COMPASSIONATE AND MERCIFUL, AND NOT ONE GOD-DAMNED ATTRIBUTE MORE. Render unto God what is God’s and unto the War Department what is the War Department’s! And stop wasting writing materials!
War Department to Caliph. Subj — Under infidel air attack. Stop. Compassion and Mercy must wait. Stop. Thank you for understanding and support. Stop. Will catch up on prayers later. Stop.
Conclusion: We shouldn’t back off from attacking the Caliphate. However, we might consider that bombing them back to the 7th Century may be precisely their intended briar patch. In any case, we shouldn’t overestimate their staying power. From the examples cited, it is evident that balancing religious and practical imperatives is a herculean task. And I haven’t shared items like the riots that erupted when the Caliph cut all TV transmission just before the soccer World Cup Final, nor the impossibility of keeping the roads passable, what with the awful pounding the camels give them.