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The ‘Caliphate’ of al-Baghdadi – Announcement from Syrian Scholars

The following is an approximate translation of a statement released by Hay’at al-Shām al-Islāmiyyah, the Islamic Sham Association. It is an independent body that carries out various relief and educational work which also includes a fatwa and research department to issue fatwas concerning Syrian affairs. Its members include a number of Syrian scholars and activists.

The official announcement from the Hay’at al-Shām al-Islāmiyyah of Syrian scholars on the ‘Caliphate’ of al-Baghdadi

All praises are due to Allāh the Lord of the worlds and there exists no enmity except towards the oppressors. May peace and blessings be upon Mohammad salla Allāhu ‘alayh wasalam who came with clear truth and may peace and blessings be upon his family, his companions and all of those who follow him until the last day.

Trials and tribulations continue to arrive in succession, afflicting the Muslims until the Muslim Ummah is purified just as the fire removes impurities from Iron. The most recent of these trials is the declaration of a ‘Khilāfah’ or an Islamic Caliphate, announced by al-Baghdadi’s group. This follows the countless wounds afflicted on the people of Syria; killing, Takfīr (accusations of disbelief), intended hindrance of their revolution and Jihād and breaking apart their unity.

We never thought that such a hollow and void claim would require a public statement in response, but al-Baghdadi’s group have mastered the art of public deception through magnifying their organisation in both status and number and by hijacking the victories of others. This has been exacerbated by the media, portraying the entire revolution as one led by ‘ISIS’ in a general attempt to discredit the sincere Mujāhidīn.

These events need to be leant the full consciousness of every individual, and bring forth new responsibilities on scholars and analysts wherever they may be. Remaining silent or looking for excuses is no longer an option, but rather it is now incumbent upon everyone to speak the truth like never before.

The invalidity of this ‘Caliphate’ can be seen from a number of angles:

1. The declaration of the ‘Caliphate’ was by a dissident group that practices Takfīr and sheds blood as religion in and of itself. This methodology is totally perverted from the example of the Prophet salla Allāhu ‘alayh wasalam who taught the Ummah true leadership and how to establish a noble and upright Khilāfah (Khilāfah Rāshida), exemplified by his companions.

2. The absence of the (necessary) elements that compose a ‘state’, both legally and by what is understood through custom. Even if they truly had authority in the land and prevalence they would have appeared in person, thus they are closer to being a gang than a state.

3. The unilateral declaration of Khilāfah without the consultation of scholars or the Muslims in general, due to al-Baghdadi’s group’s belief that they are exclusively the people of Shura while others are apostates or members of ‘Sahwas’. Such unilateral action totally disregards and undermines the authority of the whole Muslim nation. ‘Umar radiy Allāhu ‘anhu said: “Whoever gives the pledge of allegiance to a man without the consultation of the Muslims should not be given the pledge of allegiance, nor should the one who he gave it to out of deception, lest they will both be killed.”[1] Ibn Hajar may Allāh mercy on him said in Fathul-Bāri: “this means, whoever does this, has deceived himself and his companion, subjecting both to the possibility of being killed.”

4. The forcing of people to give al-Baghdadi the pledge of allegiance while it has not been given to them in the first place. They said that “due to the declaration of the Khilāfah it has become incumbent upon all Muslims to swear allegiance to it and to give victory to Ibrahim…” and that “he has become the leader and Khalīfah of Muslims everywhere”! They added, “whoever wants to cause division should be shot in the head, whoever it may be without dignity.”

5. The appointment of a completely unknown ‘Khalīfah’ (apart from his name), not recognised by any scholar nor the masses of his own group let alone the majority of all Muslims, completely disregarding the conditions set out by the scholars that form a leader. This is a form of ridicule towards the Ummah, and is similar to the behaviour of dictatorships.

6. The overturning of al-Baghdadi’s original commitment of allegiance to his leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Previously al-Baghdadi had said: “We owe it to God that you are our governor and upon us is to listen and obey as long as we live.” Al-Zawahiri had long issued an instruction to abolish ISIS in Syria. Will treachery, betrayal and failed promises be the first thing the “Khalīfah” of the Muslims gets up to?

The following are some of the countless evils, calamities and tribulations brought about on the Muslims by this illegal declaration:

1. Announcing a Caliphate in this manner demolishes the real purpose of the Caliphate which is to preserve the sanctity of Islām and govern the land by it. It furthermore distorts the image of Islām by showing that its system revolves around killing, criminality and savouring the cutting off of heads and hands.

2. Considering that the whole Ummah has committed an offence by not pledging allegiance to the unknown ‘Caliph’, therefore permitting that it is fought and that its blood is shed if it refuses to subdue itself. Allegiance can only be for someone who is followed by the majority of people and by whom the matters of the general public are rectified. This is what is intended by the Hadith: “Whoever dies without having given bay’ah (a pledge of allegiance) has died in a state of ignorance.”[2] This bay’ah cannot be imposed by a group that does not recognise the Ummah to start with, nor does it recognise its past or present scholars.

3. Weakening the Muslims and scaling back their victories in Iraq and Syria, creating dissension between them and preoccupying them from fighting their main sectarian enemy.

4. Disabling efforts in Da’wah, education, Jihād and aid carried out by the groups and battalions that do not fall under its banner.

5. Strengthening the enemies of Islām in Muslim countries and giving them the excuse to appropriate Muslim countries all over again. The policy of these people is to support this “Caliphate” model by facilitating its expansion, easing the delivery of weapons to it and helping it to surround territories held by other fighters. Their expansion will then be used as an excuse to demolish and split apart Sunni regions, before turning against the rest of the Muslims under the guise of fighting terror and extremism.

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It becomes an obligation upon everyone to stand in the face of this major violation, the first of whom should be the people of knowledge and deep insight who must take initiative in the following matters:

1. Clarifying the concept of an Islamic Caliphate and that it cannot come about except in accordance with the set, patterned Laws of Allāh concerning the nature of victory and the emergence and establishment of states. It is not merely an allegation that can be adopted by anyone without the presence of its means or components. Outward names and proceedings are not conditions to establishing the Religion of Allāh in a state. It is furthermore impermissible for people to rush to establishing rule without its necessary constituents or to claim that leadership is exclusively to them or to their group. Historically, many liars and imposters have claimed to be prophets, Caliphs and the Mahdi.

2. Confirming the illegality of this declaration due to the aforementioned and because those who have declared it are dissident Khawārij who have divided the Ummah. It is impermissible to submit to their will and only permitted to a conquering leader who strives to protect the Muslims. This group moreover possess no authority and surrendering to them will only spill more blood. It is attributed to some of their leaders that they said regarding the noble Mujāhidīn: “Our drink is their blood and our entertainment is the removal of their limbs.”

3. Clarifying the strategic damage this declaration puts the Ummah at due to the aforementioned.

4. Educating people about the actions of the Khawārij historically, their role in weakening the best of the previous generations, their hindering of Islamic expeditions, their fighting against Muslims and their abandonment of non-Muslim enemies in addition to their treachery towards their own kind.

5. Explaining the role of the Khawārij today, exemplified in al-Baghdadi’s ‘state’ starting with their denunciation of scholars, the headship of their ignorant and in the most deviant people penetrating their ranks including some Shi’ites who have become part of their leadership. Their battles on some fronts and their war against thieves and outlaws do not legitimise them, just as the abundant Salāh and Qur’ān did not legitimise the earlier Khawārij.             

Secondly, the responsibility is upon the Mujāhidīn and leaders of the revolution who have earned the trust of the people. The deliverance, after Allāh, is reliant on them, and their duty is as follows:

1. To stick firmly to the scholars, striving to constantly seek their counsel and that of experts across many disciplines. The aim should be to form a common vision and to form an action plan that deals with this calamity and its implications.

2. To give foremost priority to agreement and unity, expending all means to meet this objective and to pledge allegiance to Islām above any group or faction, dealing with others on the basis of truth and patience.

3. To be determined and resolute in removing this malicious group from Muslim lands with no hesitation to do so. Nonetheless, to balance between fighting them and fighting the main enemy, subject to circumstances. Never should something ‘apparent’ fool the fighting factions and never should the effect of (unsound) ideology be neglected.

The third group is the Muslim youth whom we advise for the sake of Allāh with what follows:

1. To be patient with regards to what is happening and to ask scholars and people of knowledge about the confusing matters. Muslim youth should know that there is not a single scholar in the ranks of al-Baghdadi that the Muslim Ummah testifies to (the knowledge of). Ibn Abbās radiy Allāhu ‘anhu said to the ancestors of these people from the Khawārij, exposing their ignorance: “I came to you from amongst the companions of the Messenger of Allāh salla Allāhu ‘alayh wasalam, the Muhājirīn and the Ansār, to tell you what they say. Upon them the Qur’ān was revealed. They are more knowledgeable concerning the revelation than you and amongst you there is not a single one of them.”[3]  

2. To avoid being dragged towards emotions or behind the glorification (of this group) by the media. It is now clearer than ever that ISIS uses lies and fraud while copying the Shi’ites in their Taqiyya, concealing the truth of their matters.

3. To rest assured that the Caliphate declared by ISIS is invalid since they are far away from the prophetic methodology in both form and substance. ISIS is an oppressive group, one that has transgressed from the Path of Allāh. Allāh gives the Khilāfah to those who believe and do righteous deeds. Not to those who kill the Muslims and leave others.

4. To revere the people of knowledge, to defend them and not to accuse them of being envious to al-Baghdadi’s faction, competitors of it, against the establishment of a Caliphate or subdued by dictators. All of this is slander.

5. To maintain the instructions of Allāh concerning lives, and to be patient before any resulting harm, repelling falsehood and being wary of the whispers of the Shaytān in confining the commandments of Allāh to be all about dying for His sake as opposed to living for His sake. Martyrdom is through Divine selection by Allāh, not a decision that can be taken by the individual.

Finally, our advice to all of the Muslims who compose the Ummah and are its pillars, is as follows:

1. To expose the reality of this group and its danger upon the Ummah to the layman, as much as one is able.

2. To be careful where your charity is going. You are responsible for this and the genuine charities are well known.

3. Your children are your responsibility “and each and every one of you is responsible for his flock.”[4] Look after them and ensure that they do not join this heretical group, thus becoming a tool in the hands of criminals which will be used to fight the Muslims.

All praise and thanks are due to Allāh alone.

Source: www.islam21c.com

This announcement is presented for information purposes, and is not an official view of MRDF or Islam21c. It is an approximate translation of a letter that can be found at http://www.islamicsham.org/ or by clicking here.


[1] Bukhāri

[2] Sahīh al-Jāmi’ – al-Albāni

[3] Al-Hakim

[4] Bukhāri

About Abdullāh Ladadwi


  1. All the above just shows how messed up and confused the Muslims truly are. I think the whole Islamist movement need to sit down and think about what they want…

    It seems that those that want to argue against ‘Democracy’ for a ‘Khilafah State/Darul Islam’ always end up disappointed when they get it in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Chechnya etc.

    ISIS do what most ‘Islamists’ want. They carry out all the hudood, they establish the prayer, they believe in all the whole One Caliph ideology, they do Jihad, they put women in their place – Saudi style….so why complain? After all even if they are khawarij, they still are better then all the other leaders of the Muslim world who are apostates because they are secular and don’t rule by Shareeah…Well, at least according to many Islamists, right?

    It just seems that western based ‘Islamists’ are tainted with hypocrisy and double standards.

    On the subject of western based ‘Islamists’, the biggest hypocrites are HT. Why are they still in the West if their agenda is Khilafah IN the Muslim world?!..Surely even if they do not recognize Baghdadi’s caliphate then why don’t they at least go to an area of land that is akin to their school of thought? Why don’t they seek ‘nusrah’ there? 🙂 I suppose they can’t shrug off the many benefits of democracy, huh? 🙂

    Also, is this not the time for HT to ask Baghdadi to be Caliph? After all they did ask Khomeni…

    I despise ISIS, but the only good thing they did is expose the people who rant and rave about Shareeah, and when they get it, they sell out on their own ideological beliefs.

    • Nice try, write down just enough hilariously inaccurate statements and impotent analogies for no one to be bothered to spend any time correcting them.

      • Everything Ameen said is correct. The entire Islamist idea is redundant. These people are too harsh. Rasulullah (SA) was not harsh. He implemented things incrementally over 23 years. These guys are a bunch of mindless thugs, they swear, they mutilate bodies, they love murder and posting their gruesome deeds on social media. They are organised serial killers and nothing more. No doubt they are sincere but they are far too narrow minded. One of the beautiful things about the Islamic ummah is its diversity. There is nothing to be gained from these mischief makers.

  2. Those who claim these scholars are mouthy– look at the mouthiness of your comments! Hypocrites! The khawariji Caliphate is murdering Sunni clerics, weakening the Free Syrian Army, and massacring women and children! They murder everyone who doesn’t agree with them! If they really cared for the Muslims they would have been done with the Assad regime by now! Not even Sunni Muslims are safe under their rule. They are vile murderers, and their place is in Hell, inshaa Allah. May Allah destroy Al-Baghdadi and his followers and everyone that misuses Islam!


  3. The head of the sunni groups who are fighting against the Maliki has spoken and made it very clear how the people of Mosul and other places support the upraising and how ISIL is supporting the cause with their military strength..


  4. “……..Then the Khilafah will return on ‘the way of Prophethood’. – hadith

    Only IS meets this criteria. “way of Prophet-hood” is to be rejected by the majority of the people. This is the history of the prophets (see Qur’an) BUT everything they say & do is all straight down the line from “Qur’an & Sunnah’. Meaning they are following in the footsteps of the prophet. And this is why they are hated by those with a disease in the heart.

    “This ummah will divide into two military camps” – hadith To oppose the camp of the Khilafah is to stand with the Shia & Amerika. Or do these scholars believe amerika is on Haqq? Because most of the Syrian groups eat from the hand of Obama or Nato or KSA or Qatar. All taghuts. And none are in the same camp as the Khilafa.

    Wake up. The “way of Prophet-hood” is to be rejected by the majority of the people. This is the history of the prophets (see Qur’an)

  5. Salaam everyone

    Many scholars for dollars are living in such comfort, that they fear calling for somthing different, ie the truth, Islamic State, Jihad etc as it may negativley affect there lifestyle in some way. Whining, making excuses and writing articles about them in the safety of your armchair requires very little commitment or sacrifice.

    If your scared to speak the truth because of one reason or other, save yourself the humiliation and keep quite. Then you will only be a coward, instead of a backbiting fitnah causing coward.

    May Allah swt remove the nifaq from all our hearts…Ameen

    Dowlah Islami Baqiyah!

  6. Dawoud Abdur-rahman

    Alhamdu lilah I am happy that brothers and sisters are able to see through the misleading information of this article. What utter rubbish!

    • So there is evidence in the next article since your arrogance cannot see through your own opinions and that of the scholars of Syria. Why you are unfortunate is because you probably don’t understand Arabic but still think that your verdict on the religion and look should be listened to.

      All I can say it, good luck on the day of judgement when Allah asks you on what basis you pledge allegiance to a group that has a Manhaj of blood and meyhem. Good luck answering why you followed a self proclaimed ‘khalifah’ and rejected the calls of the most knowledgable of this ummah. You are accountable, don’t increase this by spreading your misguidance here

  7. You are likely the same fellow from Ummah forum which is now Khaariji haven.

    Please have the decency to open your eyes to the crimes of this group. Your comment is more laughable than anything.

    Part Five – Crimes of ISIS – more links to show their khawarij iacts…

    Please note all these links where collected over a period of 9/10 months and kept in a file. We believed the less people knew of them the better as most of the youth have little Islamic knowledge and would not be unable to distinguish truth from falsehood. Now that the Isis deception is being supported by the frequent airing on TV the media and this government are giving them free publicity. We must now respond by making it open and clear to all that this group are the modern day khawarij which the prophet warned us about.

    No Islamic state will or can be established by such people as they are not upon the way of the prophet (s).

    Part five crimes of daish

    Isis executing and chucking bodies in a pit


    Isis tell old man to become suicide bomber


    Isis torch muslim houses before they flee


    Syrians talk about life after isis


    Isis aiding bashar


    Isis torture muslims


    Isis suspecting muslims of disbelief – disgusting


    Calling mujahideen shia sons of muta


    Daeesh threats & takfir


    Kid says he doesnt like islam bec of daeesh

    Spilling muslim blood


  8. There is no need to announce a khilafa. Do they have the hall marks of a khilafa? By announcing that everyone else should do bay3a to them or else they are nullifying all the efforta of everyone else. The syrian resistance was working long before they turned up and the palestinian resistance was present way before that. Its like the wanabe shiekh who reads one book and starts telling everyone they are a kaafir because they dont conform to thier narrow view.

  9. enquiring brother

    May Allah guide us to the true path with regards to all things. Ameen.
    1) The point that IS (Islamic State) does not have scholars as mentioned in the article does worry me as was the comment that Ibn Abbas said to the Kwarij about their not being any sahaba within the ranks.

    2) It cannot be said that IS are lax to the mushrikin as in recent weeks they have totally massacred with big grave yards the malaki led soldiers in their 1000+.

  10. This poster “Ibrahim” above, like every other two-for-a-penny person that gets trotted out, fails to provide a shred of proof for anything, and then assumes that because he has family on the ground that suddenly somehow that makes his opinion stronger than others. Well sorry to burst your bubble, but i too have family on the ground.

    As for the claim of islaamic education, the day you learn to spell the salaam correctly you can come back and ask me that question.

    As for “scholars on the ground”, then where are they exactly on the ground? Certainly not taking part in the jihaad, so where then are they? are they of those who ran away when the fighting started, or from those who sit back and watch while the kuffaar massacre the muslims?

  11. After decades of neglecting discussion on Khilafah, you congregate to attack the one who is claiming it. I disagree with him, because he does not fulfil the conditions. You so called scholars should be ashamed of yourself, that it is only now you speak.

    • Abu Abbas-big bold words and a lot of hollow air behind it. Sulayman al Alwan-he’s a government scholar? As for Sheikh Muhammad Salih al Munnajid, I believe his website is banned.

  12. #3 > “…. Allāh gives the Khilāfah to those who believe and do righteous deeds. Not to those who kill the Muslims and leave others.”

    All that nafsy-waffle, when #3 sums it up nicely. Or are these unknown syrian scholars saying that ALLAH has erred?

    • Allah also gives authority to criminals at times.

      Syrian scholars haven’t said Allah’s erred. If anything, you are ignorant. ISIS’s declaration of Khalifah is no more valid than me sitting in my room claiming I am Mahdi.

  13. Its easy to point out this and that flaw of the group. But fact of the matter is, Muslims are getting beaten to pulps in every corner of the earth while our scholars are doing just this, discussion, rebuttals and the likes.

    I’d take a warring Mujahideen over a mouthy scholar everyday.

  14. Asalam alacom wa rahmat Allah,

    MashaAllah this is a remarkable statement from the Islamic sham association. Many important points are highlighted and the analysis of the damage caused by ISIS is clearly well informed.

    I am not sure what ‘Abu Mus’ab’ is on about- he is challenging the views of scholars on the ground, who know the situation, in defence of an gang of unlearned murderers who have a poor grasp on strategy and a poorer grasp on Islamic governance.

    What is laughable is claiming that the article is “devoid of any benefit” as is your entire comment. I would like to know weather you actually have any idea of what is happening on the ground, or if you have any Islamic education to claim that this article’s assertions cant be “substantiated.”

    In any case, as an individual with family on the ground, both Mujahideen and civilian victims, I can safely say that the analysis in this article matches the reality as they see it, and friends with family in iraq say the same.

    There is no doubt that the establishment of a khilafa is a noble and crucially important objective today, politically, strategically socially and spiritually. However it needs to be done properly with the correct institutions and not by this mujrimeen who have no sense of justice.

  15. Mashallah great views and opinions. Can you privide proof now?

  16. Its so easy to blame this group with points from here and there of which the truthfulness cannot be verified. But I would like to know a simple reply from the schollars who composed this article.

    The entire world knows about the raping of muslim women and butchering of muslims in Burma. Every body knows the ruthless killings of Muslims in Palastines and Syria. The silence and patience of the muslims have encouraged other countries like Sri Lanka and China to Opress the minority muslims.

    What are the schollars of this article doing to save these people?

    What are the schollars of this article doing to save these people?

    • Yes I second that. How can we as Muslims not do anything whilst our brothers and sister are in so much pain and calling for help?

      It’s says clear you will not enter enter paradise if you do not truly believe and you can only believe if you love your brother – which means to help them in their hour of need!

      Sorry I personally feel this website is only writing articles that pleases what the govt wants you to hear and not of what Allah swt had ordered upon as as Muslims.

      It’s easy to sit here and write a long article condemning an action of one man when you do not know his true intentions or what he is actually doing …..

      I am sorry but when you write an article it needs to be backed up with solid proof and furthermore with names of the persons who make such statements.

      There’s too much suffering amongst the Muslims around the world and this is most definitely because Allah swt is testing the ummah not just the individual ….. What are you doing to help ? It’s easy to sit at the luxury of your chair and write what’s expected of you to preach but think what the Palestinians, Syrians and all the other Muslims are facing day in day out.

      What IF it was your family being slaughtered or bombed or you mother, sister or wife being raped – would you be sitting here writing the same article ? Most definitely NOT – ud want help …….

      At the time of the prophet pbuh when men would come for jihad and left their parents behind and the prophet pbuh asked if permission to go for jihad had been sought or not – it was only done so on the basis that there were more than enough men to go to jihad thus therefore permission was needed from parents for any extra men wanting to go.

      In this era permission is not needed as the state of the Muslims is critical and it’s crucial to help ! It’s a duty !

      It annoys me to have articles published with no real basis ……

      If you can’t speak the truth then it’s best not to speak at all as you will be questioned in front of Allah – all pleasures are for Allah and Allah alone – no human or govt !!!

      • My God, have you Muslims lost your minds? ISIS is a criminal group that has been shedding blood of Mujahideen who are trying to save oppressed Muslims….

        If you insinuate that this website and the Ahlul Ilm behind this statement are simply doing this to please the government then subhanAllah you have committed slander.

        Since you clearly have no idea what you are talking about, why not ask someone who knows, have them sit you down and explain the whole situation?

        Instead you come up with this filthy nonsense of “Muslims are getting slaughtered everywhere…easy to condemn those on the ground”

        Yes, Mujahideen are being killed by this Khaariji group, it’s easy to condemn the scholars here who are calling them out on that. Sister, it’s easy for you to sit back and criticize the scholars and by that measure, the Mujahideen(because ISIS is at war with Mujahideen) but please refrain. It’s not good for your akhirah and it’s thoroughly despicable.

    • Salam brother
      The problem is in the same country in Iraq in Baghdad the capital muslim sunnies are killed by thier names now ..!!
      So where is this Khalifa then??
      Why they are staying in one part only and not doing any thing else !!!

  17. Salaam

    Yes it would be nice to know the names of the scholars so we can find out about their background and where they stem from. We can’t just follow something blindly. There are a lot of scholars out there who are not sound and give out advise contrary to what Allah swt had commanded for us to do…….

  18. Jzk read with much interest. Long awaited confidence in what I already thought. As the brother mentioned. Name of the scholar would be appreciated.

  19. i cant belive this caliphat even the prophet Muhammed s.a.s didnt introduce him self as the caliphate and this guy becomes caliphat , ya ALLAH please guide them in the rightious path and if they dont please destroy them with the same force they showed to the innocent people they killed.

  20. A long article devoid of any substance, with more flaws than facts.

    If anyone actually takes out the time to bother reading the article, you’ll notice that it’s all just a bunch of hot air with no proof whatsoever.

    It claims the khilaafah is invalid due to not meeting certain conditions, yet it can’t give a reference to those conditions from the books of the fuqahaa who they so claim to be the followers of.

    It claims ISIS forces people to give the bay`ah, I ask, who exactly did they force? Open your eyes and look on the internet, ordinary people from syria (and other parts of the world) have recorded videos of themselves pledging allegiance, without there being a single ISIS member present. So again i ask, give me the names of these people who were forced.

    It claims Abu Bakr al baghdaadi is unknown, but i say, your ignorance of something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. His entire biography was available since last year already on the internet, just because you didn’t read it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. Furthermore i’d like to ask again, who are you exactly? You bring out this big article but who are you? Forget about a face you have not even given us your names!

    I’m not even going to comment on their list of ISIS’ “crimes” because it’s just laughable what they came out with.

    All in all, it’s an article devoid of any benefit, because nothing it claims can be substantiated, in fact if i wasn’t so busy then i could break it apart point for point with actual factual proof, and i’ll even throw in video proof so you can see with your own eyes.

  21. Great piece, but it would be useful to state who the scholars are on the board which wrote this

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