The ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) is also known by the names Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Islamic State (IS). The group began as splinter group from al Qaeda with an aim of creating an Islamic state to be known as caliphate in the region occupied by Iraq, Syria and lands beyond. This group is focused on putting into use the Sharia law based on the eighth century Islam. The group has a signature in carrying out public attacks, public executions and crucifixions. It makes use of modern technology like social media to spread their reactionary politics and religious fundamentalism.
Characteristic of the members of the ISIS
The group is comprised of members seeking to assert their dominance over the territory in Syria and Iraq. In showing their control, the group aimed at establishing a reign of terror. The group’s needs have been led to institutionalization of slavery and rape. The group is comprised of members seeking to carry out vengeance.
The members of the ISIS are considered to be highly religious fanatics and seeking to kill Shia Muslims and Christians. The members are known to advocate for an extreme interpretation Islam and focused on promoting religious violence. The members are advocates of the early Islam on the aspect of political, religious and eschatological ramifications. The group is united by the ideology of Muslim Brotherhood and adheres to the jihadist principles. The IS members do not auger well with innovation in religion as they consider this as a form of corruption to the principles of spirit. The members of this group are bided into their act of terror by promotion of ideology of jihad requiring the Muslims to engage in the holy war against the Non-believers and non-Muslims (Fernandez, 2016).
Misconceptions about the ISIS
One common misconception about ISIS is that its member are brainwashed and follows their leaders with no other option. The members of this group are clearly radicalized but not brainwashed. Brainwashing represents the process where an individual is isolated and have their personal thoughts and opinion replaced by those of another individual. In search for the motivation of the group members people tend to think that the members are brainwashed to engage in acts such as suicide mission (Bartetzko, 2016).
Another misconception is based in the notion of considering ISIS as a just another terrorist organization. The composition of the Islamic State makes it different from other radical Islamic groups. The group follows a different path in the interpretation of the old objectives of the Muslim believers, the establishment of a Caliphate. The members of this group possess an absolute determination to achieve this goal and have demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice everything else. The countries in the West have not fully understood how captivating the idea of having the Caliphate is to the young Muslim population especially from the underprivileged part. The common notion that the inhuman crimes by the ISIS such as beheading journalists would discourage those contemplating to join has been wrong. The members and prospective members seem to operate on different standards of what humane is (Bartetzko, 2016).
Goals of the ISIS and how the characteristic of its Members helps Attain it
The main aim of the Islamic State is to create a “Khalifa” (Caliphate), which is a transnational Islamic State, based on the old days Islamic teachings. The Caliphate would require the upholding of the sharia law. The ISIS promotes justice in a similar way to the Hammurabi code where the thieves’ hands are chopped in the public and apostates are crucified. The membership of this group is ambiguous including Baathist, Sunnis, and other foreign fighters. The group has a sophisticated force, as well as a centralized top-down leadership which helps in making progress towards developing and maintaining the Islamic Caliphate (Tucker, 2014).
Bartetzko, R. (2016). What are the Biggest Misconceptions about Islamic States? Quora.
Fernandez, A. (2016). Here to Stay and Growing: Combating ISIS Propaganda Networks. Islamic World Center.
Tucker, C. (2014). The Islamic State: Origins, Goals, and Future Implications. The Eurasia Center.
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