The Islamic State (of Syria and Iraq for now) of Caliph Abu Bakr Al Samarrai reportedly has been forming the skeleton of a state. At least they were before the bombing campaign started. With reported coinage and taxes and schools and other trappings of a state. Yet they need to do more to look like a real state. Something other statelets, sorry, other ‘states’ (statelets or half-states is what Generalissimo Al Sisi called the sisterly states on the famous tapes). Here are a few more steps that might be taken:
- Solicit and permit local branches of elite or semi-elite Western universities and colleges. Perhaps a branch of the Sorbonne in Raqqa, an NYU in Mosul (while Mosul lasts). Sort of like they have in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and other Persian Gulf venues. These campuses would be for men only, of course. Modified Sorbonne or NYU, just like they have modified watered-down versions in other parts of the Gulf. They can add some new local curricula: the Teachings of Ibn Taimiyyah, the Teachings of Mohammad Ibn AbdulWahhab, (but of course not the music of Mohammed Abdelwahhab of Egypt).
- Open up local branches of elite Western think tanks. That ought to make you look more serious than you really are. Brookings, Cato, Rand, etc. Just as they do in the UAE and Qatar: provided these branches do not criticize local politics (or lack thereof) and local culture (or lack thereof).
- Take a bold leap and allow opening ersatz branches of famous world museums. They need it after the Caliphate has destroyed every local monument they could get their hands on in Iraq and Syria. Museums and galleries like the Louvre, Guggenheim, and Tate might be happy to expand into a new ‘market’. Just as some have done in the UAE and Qatar.
- Start a new campaign, insisting that the Persian Gulf be renamed ‘Gulf of the Caliphate’, or Salafi Gulf. Spend a lot of oil money doctoring ancient historic maps of the region to show that should be the new name of the Gulf. Just as they do in the UAE and Qatar, for example.
- Start seriously thinking of membership requirements for world bureaucracies: the Arab League, United Nations, IMF, World Bank, WTO, WTF, etc……….
But I think I am getting ahead of myself here…….
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum