The Islamic State (ISIS) appeared to have gained a believer of its end-times vision when Republican presidential candidate and former senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum mentioned it during the undercard of the fifth GOP presidential debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
Santorum pointed out that many Sunni Muslims, including the ISIS, believe in the Quranic prophecy that a climactic final battle will take place in the city of Dabiq, Syria, where an Islamic force will supposedly prevail over the combined armies of its enemies before the world ends, leading to "the coming of an Islamic Jesus Christ," WND reported.
Dabiq is frequently mentioned in ISIS' propaganda. In fact, the ISIS chose Dabiq as the name of the its leading magazine.
Santorum said this is the reason why the United States should not send ground troops to Syria to fight ISIS because doing so would only help fulfil its own apocalyptic vision.
However, Santorum believes that the only way to vanquish the ISIS is "to take their land."
"... In the Islamic world that [retaking of land] delegitimises the caliphate. It makes the caliphate unsuccessful, therefore not blessed by Allah, therefore you should not follow it," he said.
Santorum also explained why ISIS is attracting many Muslim believers worldwide.
"They've established a caliphate, the first Sunni caliphate since 1924, when Ataturk disbanded the Ottoman Empire ... Under Islamic law, 'good Muslims' who see them as a legitimate caliphate are required to follow them," he said.
Ben Carson links U.S. Muslim group to terror
Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson called for an investigation on a major U.S. Muslim group which he charged has ties with terrorists.
Carson also called for the U.S. to formally declare war against ISIS, WND reported.
Before joining the GOP presidential debate on Tuesday, the former neurosurgeon presented a seven-point plan for defeating ISIS. Part of his plan is an investigation into the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to fully ascertain its links to terrorism.
"The Department of State should designate the Muslim Brotherhood and other organisations that propagate or support Islamic terrorism as terrorist organisations, and fully investigate the Council on American-Islamic Relations as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and a supporter of terrorism," Carson's said.