Summary of the Main Arguments Made by the Article about the Ideology of ISIS
The article presents various arguments as to whether ISIS ideology was formed according to Islamic religion or not. According to it, ISIS members are using religion to advance their vision (Hasan 4). Precisely, to give themselves more legitimacy, they use Islam as a justification. The article also states that ISIS is an emotional and moral outrage rather than religious faith. Islamic religion is used as a tool of outrage and more importantly, as an advertising of an outrageous identity rather than a driver of behavior. ISIS ideology is a well-established religious identity actually protecting against violent radicalization. The article further argues that the ISIS members are not even fully aware of the Quran and basic Arabic language that is used in the Quran writings. In addition, the origin of ISIS as a terrorist group lies not in Islamic school books, but in the “slaughter of Sunnis in Iraq” (Hasan 7 ). Irreligious lust for money and power is crucial in the ISIS ideology. In other terms, ISIS is more of a diversified criminal organization.
Another argument presented in the article is that ISIS ideology is a psychological reaction rather than a faithful adherence to classical Muslim norms of jurisprudence. Most people join ISIS for money, fear, adventure, alienation and most certainly, anger at the West for what happened in Iraq. The article also asserts that ISIS is as much the product of political repression, organized crimes and a marriage of convenience with secular power-hungry Ba’athists as it is the result of a perversion of Islamic beliefs and practices. Therefore, the article concludes that the claim that ISIS is Islamic is inaccurate and empirically unsustainable, not to mention its insult of the billions of non-violent adherents of Islam across the planet (Hasan 15).
Evaluation of the Arguments
Various arguments presented in the article to assert that ISIS is using Islam as a justification for their actions is not true, because its ideology is purely Islamic. ISIS ideology seeks to rejuvenate the initial days of glory of Islam through jihad. Jihad is a war perceived as holy and fought against internal as well as external enemies (Friedland 13). As far as the ISIS ideology is concerned, Muslims work hard towards disseminating and fostering the implementation of Islam in all spheres of life by setting Islamic lands free from other cultures putting much emphasis on the Western culture. The evidence provided in the article proves that the liberation activities are done through Jihad.
The article also argues that people join ISIS because of lust for money and power, anger and desire to fight against the West. This assertion is limited because the logic behind people joining ISIS and the use of jihad is viewed as an individual duty that every Muslim must undertake (Friedland 18). Muslims must fight those who are against Islam by using uncompromising and violent military means. Moreover, ISIS believes that Arab governments that cooperate with the West or infidel Arab regimes are enemies. The evidence of ISIS being entirely Muslim is its support of Islamic texts to justify medieval punishments ranging from stoning of adulterers to the amputation of hands of the thieves.
It is invalid for the article to assert that ISIS members are not aware of the Quran and its interpretation because the religion preached by ardent ISIS followers derives from coherent and informed interpretations of Islam. After engaging in terror attacks, members of this terrorist group make videos of themselves reciting Islamic prayers.
Alternative Ideology the Article Discusses
The article discussed another alternative ideology, which is the Christian identity. It argues that one cannot call himself/herself a Christian yet deny the existence of Christ. Christian ideology consists of various tenets and beliefs (Hasan 6). According to this ideology, European white people, or the Caucasians generally, are the servants of God. This assertion is evidenced by the promises given to Jacob, Isaac and Abraham by God. Christian ideology further alludes that the initial or the first European tribes are truly the ten tribes that have been found in Israel. Therefore, this evidence proves the logic that European white people are the true heirs of the promises given by God and that they are chosen by God.
Furthermore, Christian ideology asserts that Jews are not the true descendants of Judah. It continues to assert that white European people are the true descendants of Judah and their ancestors settled in Germany and Scotland, and other European nations (Friedland 17). The ideology claims that contemporary Jews have descended from Cain, who has been a satanic pawn. The supporters of Christian ideology prove the above assertions by citing the Scripture writings of John 8: 44, John 3: 12 and Genesis 3:12.
Christian ideology also asserts that Adam and Eve are ancestors of the whites only. The evidence to this assertion is the Hebrew origin of the word “Adam”, which is translated as “red” and it signifies blood, specifically blood of the face. Supporters of this ideology point out that Adam has been created in the recent past while other non-Caucasian races have been created during the early epoch on other continents.
The Ideology that Best Explains ISIS
The ideology that best explains ISIS is capitalism. As far as capitalism is concerned, the ideas put forth by the ISIS ideology live a life that is separated from the material reality. The ideas preached by ISIS members are occasionally described by metaphors that originate from biology and epidemiology. According to capitalism, to understand and explain ISIS more emphasis should be put on the relationship between members and leaders, and class divisions in the society rather than on the ideas articulated by ISIS ideology (Friedland 18).
ISIS involves huge social contradictions in its structure with a varying difference in interests and aspirations of its leaders and members. ISIS is more focused on competing with the sectarian factions of U.S origin in Iraq. However, this does not imply that ISIS cannot benefit from contradicting aspirations and desires for political and social changes in the social classes (Hasan 21). Based on a capitalist point of view, ISIS arose along with the United States attacks in Iraq and its neoliberal work based on regional levels.
There is a proper relationship between capitalism in the Middle East, the emergence of ISIS and the terror group fostering foreign recruits. There has been a huge alienation of foreign recruits that joined ISIS. Supporting socialism, ISIS is against the idea of the West introducing capitalism in the Middle East. The United States intervention in the region had a catastrophic impact especially in Iraq, because it gave a rise to ISIS. Therefore, the ideology of capitalism is the best to explain ISIS (Friedland 20).
Implications of My Choice
The use of capitalism to explain ISIS has had a huge implication in the United States. It makes the United States a major actor in struggling over the resources in the Middle East and the turmoil in Iraq state. The effects of the 2008 world economic crisis on the United States resulted from military and political failures (Friedland 25). This happened because the United States did not undertake necessary actions to enable them re-conquer Iraq.
In future, socialist ideology can be used to explain ISIS because the capitalist point of view applies only to the resources found in the Middle East, which the United States has been interested in. This led to the formation of ISIS to fight against the West and its ideas. Socialism goes beyond the political reasons and thus, it explains the formation of ISIS better.
The global security threat should not be related only to terrorist groups working in support of Islam as a religion. The threat should be approached from the socialist and capitalist points of view. Social and political reasons of the formation of terrorist groups should be addressed from different perspectives rather than emphasizing Islamic religion as a sole causal agent (Hasan 6). Such opinion is attributed to the fact that not all members of these terrorist groups are aware of Islam religion and their interpretation. On the contrary, they join these terrorist groups for other reasons, which should be addressed.
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