IS, Where Does Their Brutality Come from?
IS, Where Does Their Brutality Come from?
  • Reporter Jo Han-seong
  • 승인 2016.01.01 23:55
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The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or simply Islamic State (IS), has become an international issue. All of the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council agreed to dislodge IS and 24 countries have carried out military maneuvers. IS is a Wahhabi/Salafi jihadist Islamic extremist militant group and is implicated in several terrorist acts including the one in Paris in November. It is also encountering international criticism for atrocious behaviors such as beheadings and mass executions and demolishing cultural and religious monuments. Wahhabism is a religious branch imposing fundamentalist Islam, and Salafi is an extremely conservative religious movement that accepts the Koran to the letter.
Before all else, their origin must be discussed. Iraq, hosting most jihadist group including ISIS, is very unstable because of sectarian strife. There are two main denomination of Islam, the Sunnah and the Shia. Because of the conflict between the two denominations and many other religious conflicts, Iraq became the birthplace for most jihadists. IS was founded in 1999 by a Jordanian Salafi jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his militant group. In Oct. 2004, the group pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. However, in Apr. 2013, it changed its named to the current name, and declared independence from al-Qaeda by killing the envoy sent by al-Qaeda.
So, what is their ultimate goal? Their ultimate goal is to establish a worldwide caliphate, an Islamic state led by a group of religious authorities under a supreme leader, the caliph, who is believed to be the successor to Prophet Muhammad. They follow extreme interpretations of their scriptures and promote religious violence and aim to kill all the kafirs (Non-Muslims). They even regard Muslims with a different interpretation of the Koran as infidels and are hostile to them.
Moreover, what benefits do they receive for distributing their brutal execution? IS handle the social networking cleverly and are recruiting new combatants overseas. Those felonious execution videos attract international attention and seduce people all around the world who seek a big change in their lives. Also, those terrors that happened far-flung from mid-east are prepared separately and without the direct support of their headquarters. To instigate Muslims overseas to sacrifice themselves, highly impressive propaganda is necessary, and the IS has achieved this job successfully.
Furthermore, why are they abolishing cultural and religious heritages? They have bulldozed the 13th-century BC Assyrian city of Nimrud and destroyed many other culturally important sites. Since their goal is to build an entirely Muslim world, they do not allow traces of other religions to remain. What they are doing is totally eliminating memories of the culture from people’s minds.
Even though many different interests are entangled with IS, the world is expecting the IS crisis to end soon. The cessation of the IS crisis would free many people and would at least slightly curtail the religious dispute in the Middle East.