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Is religion the primary motivation and recruitment behind ISIS? Show more Show less
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The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is a terrorist militant organization seeking to establish itself as state and as a self-proclaimed Islamic caliphate. Under the ideology of Salafism, a conservative interpretation and movement of Sunni Islam, and describing its efforts as a jihad, many point to how religion is at the core of ISIS. However, many others argue that the Islamic State's primary motivations are more political, using religion as a veil to increase its legitimacy and as a recruitment strategy.

Yes, religion is the primary factor. Show more Show less

ISIS has revolved itself as an organization and movement around an Salafist interpretation of Islam.
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ISIS fighters join because they believe in Islamic Jihad

The Islamic State's recruitment strategy has drawn Muslims internationally to fight in the name of Islam.
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The Argument

Many of the Islamic State's ranks have international origins and are recruited online. Notably, many of these young recruits feel disconnected to Islam, especially as many are second-generation immigrants and do not speak Arabic. Many potential recruits come across online videos that detail atrocities committed in Syria, glorify violent jihad,[1] and are requested to join the fight with recruiters framing the conflict as a fight to defend Islam as a whole. Pushed further by anti-Islamic right-wing extremist organizations, many of these recruits feel that Islam is under attack and are theologically compelled to join ISIS.[2]

Counter arguments

The term "'jihad" translates to "to struggle" and is its original meaning is not centered around the use of violence.[3] The Islamic State's theological doctrine and the act of joining ISIS in the name of Islam is against most mainstream Islamic scholarship.[4] Therefore, fighters are being recruited either due to an ignorance of Islam or personal motivations.

Premises

[P1] Muslims would feel compelled to use violence in the name of defending Islam.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Many Muslims would seek to defend Islam only through non-violent means, considering the use of violence as counterproductive.

References

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/29/how-isis-hijacked-pop-culture-from-hollywood-to-video-games
  2. https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/belgium-muslim-youth-turning-toward-jihad-in-large-numbers-a-1015045.html
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2017/07/08/jihad-is-not-a-dirty-word/
  4. https://www.theislamicmonthly.com/is-isis-islamic-or-not-it-doesnt-matter/
This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Jul 2020 at 10:22 UTC

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