Only days after the Islamic State released a video warning of a climatic final battle in the city of Dabiq, Syria, Sen. Rick Santorum invoked the so-called caliphate’s end times vision during the undercard GOP debate.

“There’s all sorts of theological reasons why we may not want to go into Syria to take ISIS,” Santorum said. “ISIS is a caliphate. They’ve established a caliphate, the first Sunni caliphate since 1924, when Ataturk disbanded the Ottoman Empire. They’ve established a caliphate and under Islamic law, ‘good Muslims’ who see them as a legitimate caliphate are required to follow them. That’s why we have people in this country, who see them as a legitimate caliphate, who is a leader of this Sunni Muslim world, they are required under their law to follow them.

“How do you defeat their caliphate?” Santorum asked rhetorically. “Well, it’s very clear in Islamic law how you do so. You take their land. You have to take land back from the caliphate and in the Islamic world that delegitimizes the caliphate. It makes the caliphate unsuccessful, therefore not blessed by Allah, therefore you should not follow it.”

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