Since the horrific massacre last week in San Bernardino, it's been reported that Tashfeen Malik swore allegiance to the leader of ISIS, al-Baghdadi, and the caliphate.

An analysis posted in The Long War Journal explained why that is so significant.

Here's an excerpt:

Assuming that Malik did swear allegiance to Baghdadi as has been reported, her behavior is entirely consistent with what the Islamic State’s propagandists tell believers to do. For example, the 12th issue of the Islamic State’s English-language magazine “Dabiq,” which was titled “Just Terror,” specifically told any would-be follower to “record his will, renew his bay’ah [oath of allegiance], carry the Khilafah (Caliphate) banner, and strike the crusaders and their pagan and apostate allies wherever he can find them, even if he is alone.

This passage is addressed to “every such muwahhid [Muslim who emphasizes the unity of Allah] barred from hijrah” — that is, every believer who cannot make his or her way to the lands of the “caliphate.” The Islamic State says that each individual should “purify himself of the branches of lesser hypocrisy that hold him back from performing jihad in his location.”

Therefore, not only does the Islamic State encourage supporters to carry out attacks in their home countries (a common motif), but also wants them to document their allegiance to the “caliphate.”

Baghdadi and his men claim to be the only rightful rulers throughout the entire Muslim-majority world. As such, they demand that all real believers submit to them and be obedient."

If you'd like to know more about the caliphate, watch this interview with Hebrew University Prof. Moshe Sharon, a leading expert on Islam worldwide, taped a couple of years ago.

In the interview, Sharon explains what the caliphate is and why it is so important to Muslims around the world. Watch below:

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