All you ever wanted to know about ISIS/ISIL/Daesh . . .

 . . . . And never dared ask!!!


What is it?

A fanatical religious entity with an extremist, fundamentalist ideology

A well-resourced terrorist group that controls substantial territory, regardless of the wishes of the local  population

A fledgling nation-state i.e. a divinely-protected caliphate

An anti-colonial movement

Comments: ISIS has religious, psychological, and technological faces.  Even if ISIS is crushed, this idea of “our caliphate” is likely to persist and return.

 So many Muslims support it because it encompasses all of the above

Does it really appeal to so many?
Whatever polls are taken, from Pakistan to the UK,  it seems that a minority within all groups of Muslims   support jihadists and desire Sharia law.

What’s wrong with Sharia law?

The European Court of Human Rights declared that “sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy.”


Because it diverges so much from Western principles “particularly with regard to its criminal law and criminal procedure, its rules on the legal status of women and the way it intervenes in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.”

What are the hallmarks of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh?

english hallmarks

*It sponsors terrorist attacks
*It aspires to strike everywhere
*It aggressively expands into neighboring territory
*It indoctrinates children and young people

* It commits mass murder, even genocide

*It enslaves women and children

*It destroys ancient monuments and artefacts

intrinsic motivation

What are its motivations?

*to spread Islam and ensure the domination of Islamic rule by  expanding the Caliphate until it encompasses the world

*to exterminate apostates

*to convert or subjugate infidels
*to impose strict sharia law

*to eliminate all reminders of history and other societies


What’s its strategy?

Instill fear

Use armed force and terror

Achieve a worldwide outreach


A world-wide outreach?

Yes indeed. ISIS/ISIL/Daesh broadcasts its propaganda globally, varying its narrative to appeal to different types of people.

It focuses on its

° “crusade”against the “infidels”
°supposed invincibility
°social services
°strong penal code
°cruel, bloodthirsty barbarity

All these strands in its propaganda serve to intimidate normal people, inspire /recruit potential fanatics who might be angry and bitter, and  appeal to the ultra-religious who believe in a fundamentalist Caliphate Utopia with sharia law.

Their propaganda  targets recruitment. They  offer people money, training and friendship.

Since it’s hard to separate propaganda and facts, how can modern democracies successfully counteract this brainwashing?

Final observations: Such a multi-sided adversary can only be vanquished by an equally complex approach. Bombing Syria will not suffice. Nor will attacks by ground troops.  They will not kill a perverse ideology.
Here are 10 more facts about ISIS/ISIL/Daesh{“itemid”:[“001-60936”]}


3 thoughts on “All you ever wanted to know about ISIS/ISIL/Daesh . . .

  1. Pingback: No terrorist sympathizers in Westminster | the

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