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Link here. This is an incredibly detailed and intelligent background analysis into what the Islamic State is, what it stands for, the roots of those principles, and the dangers it presents to the civilized world.
The article is long but worth every word. Number one take-away from this essay, however, are these two paragraphs:
The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.
Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal. [emphasis in original]
Another quote almost as important:
[T]he Islamic State is committed to purifying the world by killing vast numbers of people. The lack of objective reporting from its territory makes the true extent of the slaughter unknowable, but social-media posts from the region suggest that individual executions happen more or less continually, and mass executions every few weeks.
I am once again reminded of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, where he bluntly told us what he intended to do, and was ignored. We ignore the Islamic State and what it stands for at our very very great peril.