ISIS ‘Rumiyah’ Magazine In French: Anyone Who Participates In Elections Is An Infidel; Muslims In France Should Achieve Martyrdom By Killing Candidates And Burning Polling Stations

May 05, 2017

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On May 4, 2017, the ninth issue of the Islamic State (ISIS) magazine Rumiyah was released. The French version of the magazine featured an exclusive article on the French elections and called for Muslims “to carry out their obligation” to murder a candidate and burn down a polling station. The message addressed to the Muslims of France is a twofold religious argument: First, a Muslim is to not participate in the elections as doing so is considered an act of idolatry,[1] and second, Muslims should carry out a terror attack to destroy said idols and idol worshippers. The article also answers concerns expressed by Salafi Muslims in France specifically regarding the legitimacy of voting for tactical reasons – that is, for the candidate who would best serve a Salafi agenda.[2]

The issue also included a translation of the article that was featured in the English-language version of the magazine, which provided detailed instructions on how to carry out a terror attack with a truck, and what targets should be prioritized.[3]

The French presidential election, the second round of which is set for May 7, 2017, has been the object of several specific threats by the Islamic state. [4] This ninth issue of Rumiyah was released across social media platforms in several languages. While most of the content is identical in all the versions, some is tailored to specific national audiences.

The poster accompanying the article on the French elections shows a burning voter card and is captioned: “Presidential elections 2017 – Do not forget to carry out your duty as a Muslim. Pick your candidate… to kill him. And choose your polling station… to burn it down.”

Following is an excerpt of the article, translated from French:

“This Sunday, May 7, 2017, the second round of the presidential elections in France will take place.

“Here are two messages to all Muslims of France:

“1. Do not participate in any way and for any reason in these elections, otherwise you will become unbelieving idolaters. By voting, you accept the idol-worshipping democratic system, and you elect and support a taghut (false god) which will be placed as an equal to Allah in matters of legislation and judgement. Yet our faith is based on two principles: disbelieve in taghut (al-kufr bi at-taghut), and to believe in Allah (al-iman billah). [Follows quotes from Quran and Hadith supporting this argument]

“As for those using the rule of the ‘lesser evil’ to misguide the Muslims and incite them to vote for the least bad candidate, we tell them: This rule can only apply when one is forced to choose between two evils that are not acts of disbelief. Here, we are asked to choose between worship of a taghut or worship of another taghut who could be less bad, when in fact there is another choice – the choice to worship Allah alone without associating anything to him. This was the choice of our father Ibrahim, who said: ‘We disavow you, and between you and us there has appeared enmity and hate forever, unless you come to have faith in Allah alone.’ [Quran 60:4]


“2. And for those who will have chosen to remain Muslim by following our father Ibrahim, we remind them that the latter did not merely declare his hatred and his enmity towards his idol worshipping people, but that he also destroyed those idols with his own hands: ‘So he broke them into pieces’ [Quran 21:58] […] Therefore we call upon you to destroy the places of idolatry that are the polling stations, those places where the idolaters come to show their support and their love for their divinities. To all our brothers who fear being killed or imprisoned by doing so, we remind them that such is the way of the prophets and the messengers. […] Thus, burn down these places of idolatry, kill the candidates, the voters, the personnel of the polling stations, and do not spare a single unbeliever. May Allah grant you success and count you among the martyrs.”


[1] See MEMRI JTTM analysis Salafi-Jihadi Campaign Against Muslim Participation In French Presidential Elections, April 20, 2017

[2] See MEMRI JTTM report French Salafis Discuss On Facebook Whether It Is Permissible To Pray For A Le Pen Victory, May 04, 2017

[3] See MEMRI JTTM report Issue 9 Of ISIS’s ‘Rumiyah’ Magazine Suggests Buying Weapons At Gun Shows To Carry Out Attaks, Lists Top Hostage-Taking Sites Such As Campuses, Movie Theaters, Swimming Pools, And Posting Fake Job, Real Estate Ads On Craigslist, eBay To Lure Victims, May 04, 2017

[4] See MEMRI report Jihadis Call For Attacks In France Ahead Of Final Round Of Presidential Elections – A Review, May 4, 2017.

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