The Islamic State (IS; official name since June 2014), at times known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL; //) or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS; //) and also referred to by its Arabic-language acronym Daesh (داعش), is an Islamist militant jihadist group and former unrecognized quasi-state that follows a Salafi jihadist doctrine based on the Sunni branch of Islam. It was founded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 1999 and gained global prominence in 2014, when it drove Iraqi security forces out of key cities during the Anbar campaign, which was followed by its capture of Mosul and the Sinjar massacre.
ISIL originated in 1999, pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda, and participated in the Iraqi insurgency following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a multi-national coalition led by the United States. In June 2014, the group proclaimed itself to be a worldwide caliphate and began referring to itself as the Islamic State (الدولة الإسلامية).
Quotes by IS members
- Sorted alphabetically by author or source
- If you see that I am wrong, advise me and put me on the right track, and obey me as long as I obey God in you... God gave your mujahedeen brothers victory after long years of jihad and patience... so they declared the caliphate and placed the caliph in charge. This is a duty on Muslims that has been lost for centuries.
- Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as quoted in "Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi addresses Muslims in Mosul", The Telegraph (5 July, 2014)
- Do not think the war that we are waging is the Islamic State’s war alone. Rather, it is the Muslims’ war altogether. It is the war of every Muslim in every place, and the Islamic State is merely the spearhead in this war. It is but the war of the people of faith against the people of disbelief.
- Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as quoted in "Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi resurfaces in audio urging supporters to join terror group", Independent (15 May 2015)
- Thus, he is the imam and khalīfah for the Muslims everywhere. Accordingly, the "Iraq and Shām" in the name of the Islamic State is henceforth removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name is the Islamic State from the date of this declaration.
- Anonymous spokesman of DAESH, as quoted in "ISIS announces formation of Caliphate, rebrands as 'Islamic State'", The Long War Journal (29 June 2014, retrieved 30 June 2014)
- Upon conquering the region of Sinjar in Wilāyat Nīnawā, the Islamic State faced a population of Yazidis, a pagan minority existent for ages in regions of Iraq and Shām. Their continual existence to this day is a matter that Muslims should question as they will be asked about it on Judgement Day.
- According to the parameters of this world [...] we lost, but not according to the parameters of the next world.
- Abu Abd al-Azim, as quoted in "ISIS's media response to the imminent defeat in the village of Al-Baghouz", Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (12 March 2019)
- The jihad will not stop when a certain person dies, even if he was the caliph himself.
- ISIL social media operative, as quoted in "ISIS supporters issue defiant statements after US commando operation results in their leader’s death" (28 October 2019)
- America, don’t you realize that the Islamic State is now at the forefront of Europe and West Africa? It is extended from the East to the West.
- ISIL spokesmon, as quoted in "A New ISIS Recording Names al-Baghdadi's Successor. Here's What to Know About the New Leader" (1 November 2019)
Quotes about IS
- Sorted alphabetically by author or source
- Daesh hates being referred to by this term, and what they don’t like has an instinctive appeal to me. … I absolutely refuse to refer to it by the title that it claims for itself (Islamic State), because I think this is a perversion of religion and a travesty of governance. … I’ve never used that term and I would strongly counsel people against ever using the presumptuous title that they have given themselves.
- The world’s Muslims have a critical role in global understanding. Our faith, like yours, commands mercy, peace and tolerance. It upholds, as yours does, the equal human dignity of every person — men and women, neighbours and strangers. Those outlaws of Islam who deny these truths are vastly outnumbered by the ocean of believers — 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide. In fact, these terrorists have made the world’s muslims their greatest target. We will not allow them to hijack our faith.
- Abdullah II of Jordan, "Remarks by His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein", European Parliament, Strasbourg (10 March, 2015)
- Not only ISIS and Al-Nusra, every affiliated to Al-Qaeda organization within Syria, all of them are terrorists...we want to get rid of terrorists we want to defeat those terrorists while United States wants to manage those groups, in order to topple the government in Syria...Of course, ISIS has been set up in Iraq in 2006 while United States was in Iraq, not Syria in Iraq, so it was growing under supervision of the American authority in Iraq and they didn't do anything to fight ISIS in Iraq at that time...It's been expanding under supervision of American airplanes and they could have seen the ISIS using the oil field and exporting oil to Turkey and they didn't try to attack any convoy of ISIS, how could they be against ISIS?...How the Russian could have seen this since the first day and started to attack those convoys. Actually, Russian intervention unmasked the American intention regarding ISIS and the other terrorist groups, of course.
- First of all, the sources of the Islamic State (IS) ideology and other al-Qaeda affiliate groups are the Wahabbi that has been supported by the royal family in Saudi Arabia...
- Sweida, Syria - On July 25, 2018, ISIS terrorists attacked Sweida City and villages in the surrounding countryside. The ensuing massacre, one of the bloodiest of the eight-year Syrian conflict, went virtually unreported in the West. The U.S. coalition, illegally occupying Syrian territory, turned a blind eye as the ISIS terrorists that they claim to be waging war on entered the seven villages to the east of Sweida City that were targeted for wanton bloodshed....
At 4 a.m. the terrorist group approached under cover of darkness. They encircled each village, posting snipers around the villages and along the straight road that connects them all, to prevent civilians from leaving or coming to the aid of others. ISIS fighters entered homes and murdered civilians — even children as they slept, unaware of the horror that was approaching. In Shbeki a disabled child was beheaded as he slept. In Shrehi “the roads ran with blood,” according to resident of the village...(his full name is not given for security reasons), who lost 35 members of his extended family in the attack... In September, a pall of grief still hung over the villages, and an understandable anger at the bloodbath they had endured. The anger was largely directed at the U.S. and its allies, particularly Britain. The overriding sense was one of a massacre that could have happened only with the U.S. collusion and collaboration with the ISIS terrorist entity Washington claims to be combatting. The implications of this belief are huge — the raison d’etre of the U.S. coalition in Syria is the “elimination” of ISIS, yet here we have civilians telling us that, in their informed view, ISIS has been protected and its power multiplied by the U.S. in Al-Tanf.
- This evil death cult is neither a true representation of Islam not is it a state.
- We face a fundamental threat to our security. Isil have brutally murdered British hostages, they have inspired the worst terrorist attack against British people since 7/7 on the beaches of Tunisia, and they have plotted atrocity after atrocity on the streets here at home. Since November last year our security services have foiled no less than seven different plots against our people. So this threat is very real and the question is this: Do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands from where they are plotting to kill British people, or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?
- David Cameron, "Britain could be bombing by midnight: Cameron on course to win crunch vote on airstrikes against ISIS in Syria with a majority of up to 100" in Daily Mail (2 December 2015)
- David Cameron today urged MPs to back airstrikes against ISIS to wipe out the "women-raping, Muslim-murdering, medieval monsters" hijacking Islam for their "warped ends".
- The Russians have sometimes said one thing and done another... We know from long experience in Iraq and Afghanistan to take territory, hold territory, and govern territory and prevent a reemergence of a terrorist group... The bane of Iraq has been sectarianism... There are three components to Iraq... We vastly prefer a multi-sectarian Iraqi state to any form of disintegration because we know where that leads. Sectarianism leads to the kind of thing that ISIL represents. But, for that to work in Iraq? The Sunnis have to be represented, and they have to be part of the fight to take back their own territory. So, we are working with them a lot... The Russians have been way off track since the very beginning. They have not done what they said they were going to do and they are not doing what is in their interest to do in terms of fighting ISIL.
- There is a 360-degree, not 180-degree, difference between the Islam we (Turkey) defend and what Daesh has on its mind.
- Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkish Prime Minister: ‘There Is a 360-Degree Difference Between Turkish Islam and ISIS’, Foreign Policy (15 October 2015)
- The Islamic State is not a state and I would predict fairly confidently that they are not going to establish a viable one and it is certainly not an attractive state... It is not a state in which millions of people are dying to live in a place which beheads people regularly and forces women into these highly constrained roles... It's true that liberalism is not doing well in that part of the world... But I do not think that radical Islam represents a long-term civilizational alternative to the kind of regimes that exist in Europe and North America and Asia.
- Francis Fukuyama, as quoted in "Fukuyama: 'Putinism', Radical Islam No Alternative To Liberal Democracy" (30 January 2016), by Charles Recknagel, Radio Free Europe: Radio Liberty
- Every day that you could read about an Israeli rocket gone astray or Israeli soldiers beating up an innocent teenager, you could have read about ISIS in Iraq crucifying people on the side of the road, Christians and Muslims. Where is the outrage in the Muslim world and on the Left over these crimes? Where are the demonstrations, 10,000 or 100,000 deep, in the capitals of Europe against ISIS? If Israel kills a dozen Palestinians by accident, the entire Muslim world is inflamed. God forbid you burn a Koran, or write a novel vaguely critical of the faith. And yet Muslims can destroy their own societies... What do groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, and even Hamas, want? They want to impose their religious views on the rest of humanity. They want to stifle every freedom that decent and educated and secular people care about. This is not a trivial difference. And yet, judging from the level of condemnation that Israel now receives, you would think the difference ran the other way. This kind of confusion puts us all in danger. This is the great story of our time. For the rest of our lives, and the lives of our children, we are going to be confronted by people who don't want to live peacefully in a secular pluralistic world because they are desperate to get to paradise, and they are willing to destroy the very possibility of human happiness along the way. The truth is, we are all living in Israel; it's just that some of us haven't realized it yet.
- A declassified secret US government document obtained by the conservative public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad. The document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, and that these “supporting powers” desired the emergence of a “Salafist Principality” in Syria to “isolate the Syrian regime.” The emergence of an al-Qaeda affiliated “Salafist Principality” as a result is described as a strategic opportunity to isolate Assad. Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces” fighting to “control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar)...there is the possibility of establishing a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”
- Judicial Watch, Secret Pentagon Report Reveals West Saw ISIS as Strategic Asset Declassified DIA report 
- The ISIS is a creation of US intelligence, it also confirms that the Caliphate Project was designed in Washington.
- From 2011 through 2015 the situation was dire. In 2012 the US resolution at the UN called for President Assad to step down and both Russia and China vetoed it. The US and UK responded with “fury” according to The Guardian, while Syrians were out in the streets cheering. When Russian troops came in September of 2015, the priority was to put a stop to ISIS operations in the northeast. Massive ISIS oil convoys were taking the stolen oil up to Turkey, bringing the terrorist army equally massive amounts of money to use for their rampages while, according to a leaked, verified audio tape of John Kerry speaking with the Syrian opposition, the US was “watching ISIS grow” hoping the pressure would get Assad to negotiate. Instead, an appeal was made to Putin and answered. Within a few months, the ISIS oil convoys had been reduced significantly, cutting that cash flow.
- Janice Kortkamp, Red Alert: What seeing the war in Syria taught me about US/Western government and media propaganda, Ron Paul Institute, 29 March 2022
- To summarize, in my experience the Russians have indeed been effective in the fight against ISIS and al Qaeda while displaying professionalism, precision, and minimizing civilian casualties. The US has been using ISIS as a pretext for its own completely illegal occupation of the entire northeast third of Syrian lands, and has often been helping or working directly on behalf of the al Qaeda affiliate and similar terrorist groups.
- Janice Kortkamp, Red Alert: What seeing the war in Syria taught me about US/Western government and media propaganda, Ron Paul Institute, 29 March 2022
- The CIA and MI6 were supporting the very same Libyan groups, resulting in a failed state, mass murder, displacement and anarchy. So the idea that elements of the American military-security complex have enabled the development of ISIS after their failed attempt to get NATO to once again ‘intervene’ is part of an established pattern. And they remain indifferent to the sheer scale of human suffering that is unleashed as a result of such game-playing.
- Far from using Islam as a mere facade for bloodlust... The Islamic State’s interpretations of Koranic teachings are fundamental to its mission.
- Steven Mazie, "How Islamic is ISIS?" (2015), Big Think
- Oil accounted for about half of the group's revenue. The rest came from looting an estimated $500 million from banks and extorting money from residents trapped in cities occupied by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
- Jim Michaels, “U.S. coalition slashes ISIS oil revenue by more than 90%”, USA TODAY (Oct. 2, 2017).
- I think we can probably say with some confidence that if an evangelical Christian group threw gays off towers in the Deep South, gay media outlets would currently be lambasting the Christian churches for a history of homophobia which had led to this pass. There would be demands for every prominent and obscure Christian pastor to condemn this brutal act. And they would. If a group of group of deeply extrovert Jews did a similar thing we could, I think, expect a similarly stern response. But the most that can be done with ISIS is simply to report the facts and let them sit there, as though they come from nowhere. As if the traditions of throwing gays off buildings or collapsing walls on them and so on are probably just accretions of colonial times with no connection to any religious tradition.
- Douglas Murray, "Why does the battle for gay rights stop at the borders of Islam?" (3 February 2015), The Spectator
- The world isn’t going to become an Islamic caliphate, but that doesn’t stop the Islamists from pursuing that as a goal.
- Brian Reynolds Myers, as quoted in "Here's what's driving North Korea's nuclear program — and it might be more than self-defense" (1 May 2017), by Jonathan Kaiman
- How can you say that they're "Islamic"? just because "they call themselves Islamic," why are you repeating it? if I call myself the president of USA, will you repeat that...
- Zakir Naik, Interview with CNN (2017)
- The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. We must always remember. I'll say it one more time; the greatest dangers facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can't let that happen.
- Iraq's losses mounted when ISIL took over Mosul. ISIL fighters captured Ajil and Himrin oilfields in Salaheddin province and Qayyarah and three others in Nineveh province. The production potential of these fields, 72,000 bpd under ideal conditions, was rather minuscule from Baghdad's perspective - the country at that time was exporting nearly 2.6 million bpd.
But the real damage was in enabling ISIL to finance its war machine. It was able to generate an estimated $45 million a month selling the oil from these fields, and others in Syria, through a labyrinth of oil refining and smuggling operations. The windfall allowed it, for a while, to pay its fighters generously by local standards and keep its murderous campaign going for three long years.
- Omar Al-Nidawi, “How ISIL changed the oil map of Iraq”, Al Jazeera, (1 Dec 2017).
- As we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands. Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks and twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages pose an enormous danger to civilians and must be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence. That’s the story ISIL wants to tell; that’s the kind of propaganda they use to recruit. We don’t need to build them up to show that we’re serious, nor do we need to push away vital allies in this fight by echoing the lie that ISIL is representative of one of the world’s largest religions. We just need to call them what they are — killers and fanatics who have to be rooted out, hunted down, and destroyed.
- Isis is not an existential threat to the United States. Climate change is a potential existential threat to the entire world if we don’t do something about it.
- ISIS wasn't a threat two years ago. Why? Because they would have probably been wiped out by Assad. But we put six-hundred tons of weapons into the Syrian civil war, and what has happened? We created a haven—not just us—Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates—they've poured weapons indiscriminately in there, and most of them have wound up in the hands of ISIS.
- Sen. Rand Paul, (R-KY), Rand Paul in North Carolina on C-SPAN (1 October 2014)
- We look forward to the coming, as soon as possible, of the caliphate. But the declaration issued by the Islamic State is void under sharia and has dangerous consequences for the Sunnis in Iraq and for the revolt in Syria.
- Yusef al-Qaradawi, as quoted in "Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi addresses Muslims in Mosul", The Telegraph (5 July 2014)
- What should the United States do about ISIS now that they've taken over half of Syria and a third of Iraq?
The answer is: let Assad, the Iranians, the Turks, and, yes, the Russians take care of it, since they are the states directly threatened by the growth of the so-called Islamic State. Why should we fight their war for them?
Contrary to the War Party's hebephrenic appeals to intervene, inaction on our part is key to the destruction of ISIS. The Grand Caliph of the Islamic State would like nothing more than to be able to portray ISIS as the valiant opponent of a US reentry into the region. It would be a tremendous propaganda victory for them to be able to frame their cause in this context because the result would be a successful international recruiting drive that would fill the ranks of the Islamic State's army even as hundreds are killed by US drones and missile strikes.
- No, we don't have to ally with Assad–or the Iranians, for that matter–for them to deal effectively with our monstrous creations. We simply have to stand aside and watch as those states with a real stake in this fight are allowed to take aim and fire. In this case, inaction is the most effective act we can take: by stopping our support for the Syrian Islamists, we cut off a major source of support for ISIS–and leave Assad free to go after them hammer and tongs.
ISIS and its sympathizers worldwide would like nothing better than to lure us into another land war in the Middle East, one in which we would fare no better than we did last time around. Yet that is the only alternative to the Rand Paul strategy.
- And as for his claim that the Islamic State "is certainly not a state," the President's tone is rather too defensive. He says "it is recognized by no government, nor by the people it subjugates," but none of these factors are relevant in determining what constitutes a state–which is nothing more or less than a monopoly on the use of force in a given territory. The horror that is ISIL is merely the process of state formation looked at up close: the terror they employ is simply an exaggerated rendition of how every state gains its "legitimacy"–by definitively establishing its coercive monopoly. While ISIL is doing so in a particularly graphic manner, in principle it is acting no differently than any other embryonic state in history, benign creation myths to the contrary notwithstanding.
- This week, Unesco has added its voice to a chorus of concern, warning that looting in Iraq and Syria is taking place on an “industrial” scale – one more sorry aspect to the devastating conflicts in the region. This Mesopotamian area, the cradle of civilisation, is a giant archaeological site – it’s where the first cities were built, and contains treasures from the Roman, Greek, Byzantine and Islamic periods. Today, the pillaging of cultural heritage sites shows up on satellite maps that are pock-marked with hundreds of recent, illegal excavations. Some media reports suggest this income stream is the “second-largest source of revenue” for the group (after oil sales), but in reality it’s impossible to tell. What’s certain is that, while Isis grimly documents its destruction of Unesco sites such as Nimrud, profiteering from plundered antiquities has helped make it the most cash-rich terror group in the world.
- Using information gathered by local Syrian activists, Al-Azm found that Isis initially levied 20% taxes on those it “licensed” to excavate. In mid-2014, the group began to contract out excavation. But by autumn of that same year, Isis was “starting to hire their own archaeologists, digging teams and machinery – and that’s when we saw a peak of looting activity”. At that point, the trade was lucrative enough for Isis to invest in it. All this coincided with the US-led coalition’s bombing campaign against Isis targets, which curtailed other income streams such as oil, livestock and crops from seized areas. Isis began to enforce punishments for looting without a licence, says Al-Azm. The group started to control the dealers and middle men, getting savvy to the market, scouring the internet to see which artefacts would sell at a higher value.
- Rachel Shabi, “Looted in Syria – and sold in London: the British antiques shops dealing in artefacts smuggled by Isis“, The Guardian, (Fri 3 Jul 2015), last modified on Sat (14 Apr 2018).
- The Islamic caliphate can’t be restored by force. Occupying a country and killing half of its population... this is not an Islamic state, this is terrorism.
- Abbas Shuman, as quoted in "Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi addresses Muslims in Mosul", The Telegraph (5 July, 2014)
- We are truly in a battle for our very lives not just in the sense that they will kill us if they can, but in the sense that life itself is being challenged, that it's life versus death, you either love life or you love death, creation versus destruction, love versus hatred, that's what this is about. And so, when we see the Islamic State (ISIS), we see not only that they embody Islam as I have explained here in this, that's all in the Quran what they do, but also that they embody what may be, the foremost evil force that the world has ever seen.
- Robert Spencer, ACT for America chapter in Mission Viejo, California (9 March 2015)
- Just two years ago, ISIS controlled a vast amount of territory in both Iraq and Syria. Since then, we have retaken more than 20,000 square miles of land and liberated millions of Syrians and Iraqis from ISIS’s “caliphate.” ISIS’s loss of territory is further evidence of its false narrative, which tries to legitimize a record of savagery that includes brutal executions, the exploitation of children as soldiers, and the sexual abuse and murder of women and children. To all of the young people on the internet believing in ISIS’s Propaganda, you will be dead if you join. Think instead about having a great life. While on occasion these cowards will resurface, they have lost all prestige and power. They are losers and will always be losers.
- Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. He was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organization anywhere in the world.
- Donald Trump, Remarks by President Trump on the Death of ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (White House, 27 October 2019)
- The thug [al-Baghdadi] who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him.
- Donald Trump, Remarks by President Trump on the Death of ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (White House, 27 October 2019)
- Baghdadi’s demise demonstrates America’s relentless pursuit of terrorist leaders and our commitment to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS and other terrorist organizations.
- The shocking publicized murder of a Jordanian pilot, a wonderful young man — spoke to the King of Jordan; they all knew him, they all loved him — he was burned alive in a cage for all to see. And the execution of Christians in Libya and Egypt, as well as the genocidal mass murder of Yazidis, rank ISIS among the most depraved organizations in the history of our world.
- ISIL herded approximately 450−500 women and girls to the citadel of Tal Afar in Ninewa where, two days later, 150 unmarried girls and women, predominantly from the Yezidi and Christian communities, were reportedly transported to Syria, either to be given to ISIL fighters as a reward or to be sold as sex slaves, the report said. So where are the 'war on women' advocates? I know, crickets chirping. The progressive socialist feminist movement would rather not have Obama admit he was wrong than save these women.
- Allen West, "Even the UN accuses ISIS of human rights abuses, but the left stays silent" (5 February 2015), Allen B. West: Steadfast and Loyal
- We have endured a lot of harm from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his brothers, and we preferred to respond with as little as possible, out of our concern to extinguish the fire of sedition. But Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his brothers did not leave us a choice, for they have demanded that all the mujahideen reject their confirmed pledges of allegiance, and to pledge allegiance to them for what they claim of a caliphate.
- Ayman al-Zawahiri, as quoted in "Al Qaeda 'declares war' on ISIS as 9/11 terror group boss blasts rival for declaring himself leader of all Muslims", The Mirror (11 September 2015)
Quotes by Amir Taheri
- It might come as a surprise to many, but the truth is that Islam today no longer has a living and evolving theology. In fact, with few exceptions, Islam’s last genuine theologians belong to the early part of the 19th century. Go to any mosque anywhere, whether it is in New York or Mecca, and you are more likely to hear a political sermon rather than a theological reflection. In the highly politicized version of Islam promoted by Da’esh... God plays a cameo role at best. Deprived of its theological moorings, today’s Islam is a wayward vessel under the captaincy of ambitious adventurers leading it into sectarian feuds, wars and terrorism.
- Amir Taheri, "The mad dream of a dead empire that unites Islamic rebels", New York Post (June 14, 2014).
- “Pure Mohammadan Islam”: This is what ISIS, Daesh in Arabic, promises to deliver once the caliphate has defeated “Infidel” enemies and secured its position. The promise is at the core of its propaganda, including in cyberspace. Its recent blitzkrieg victories and high-profile beheadings are not the only reason ISIS has attracted universal attention. Perhaps more interesting is Daesh’s ability to seduce large numbers of Muslims across the globe, including in Europe and the United States. It does so with an ideological “product” designed to replace other brands of Islamism marketed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Khomeinists in Iran. Daeshism, to coin a phrase, also aimed to transcend the ideological hodgepodge marketed by al Qaeda franchises.
- The promised “Pure Mohammadan Islam” is based on three rejections... The first rejection is of traditional Islamic tolerance for Christians and Jews — who, labeled “People of the Book,” could live in a caliphate by paying protection money (jizyeh). The idea is that the “protection” offered by Mohammad belonged to the early phase of Islam when the “Last Prophet” wasn’t strong enough. Once Mohammad had established his rule, the Daeshites note, he ordered the massacre of Jews and the expulsion of Christians from the Arabian Peninsula... The second rejection is aimed against “Infidel ideologies,” especially democracy — government of men by men rather than by Allah... Daesh’s third rejection is aimed against what is labeled “diluted” (iltiqati) forms of Islam — for example, insisting that Islam is a religion of peace. In Daesh’s view, Islam will be a religion of peace only after it has seized control of the entire world. Until then, the world will be divided between the House of Islam (Dar al-Islam) and the House of War (Dar al-Harb). There can never be peace between Islam and whatever that is not Islam. At best, Muslims can make truce (solh) with non-Muslims while continuing to prepare for the next war. Daesh also rejects the “aping of Infidel institutions” such as a presidential system, a parliament and the use of such terms as “republic.” The only form of government in “Pure Mohammadan Islam” is the caliphate; the only law is sharia.
- Ever since its emergence a few months ago, the declared ambition of the startup caliphate of the Islamic State has been to “wipe out every trace of Infidel influence” in areas under its control. Yet, with each passing day, it becomes more clear that, its deadly fantasies notwithstanding, the IS can’t escape from a world created and dominated by the Infidel. Start with the name that the IS, or Daesh in Arabic, has chosen for itself: ad-dawlat al-Islamiyah, or “Islamic Government.” The concepts of “state” and “government” are entirely Western, not adopted by Muslim peoples until the 19th century. The very words “state” and “government” are never mentioned in the Quran. Daesh’s “caliph” has also appointed a number of vizirs. This, too, is un-Islamic. Of Persian origin, the word vizir designated high officials of the pre-Islamic Sasanian Empire overthrown by Arab Muslim warriors in the 7th century. Mohammad had no vizirs, nor did any of his four immediate successors, the so-called “Well Guided caliphs...” The Islamic State’s most noteworthy embrace of the works of the “Infidel,” however, is surely its use of the satanic Internet. Its personnel, including converts from Europe and North America, regularly display across the Web what seems to be the main, if not the only, thing they’ve learned from Islam: cutting the throats of defenseless captives.
- Amir Taheri, "The not-so-Islamic State: ISIS’ huge debt to the infidel", New York Post (November 20, 2014).
- It is not solely by weapons that ISIS imposes its control. More important is the terror it has instilled in millions in Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and, increasingly, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Indeed, Jordan’s panic-driven decision to execute two jihadists in response to the burning of its captured pilot is another sign of the terror Daesh has instilled in Arab governments and much of the public. In the short run, terror is a very effective means of psychological control of unarmed and largely defenseless populations. Even in areas far from Daesh’s reach, growing numbers of preachers, writers, politicians and even sheiks and emirs, terrorized by unprecedented savagery, are hedging their bets. Today, Daesh is a menacing presence not only in Baghdad but in Arab capitals from Cairo to Muscat — an evil ghost capable of launching attacks in the Sinai and organizing deadly raids on Jordanian and Saudi borders. ISIS enjoys yet another advantage: It has a clear strategy of making areas beyond its control unsafe. No one thinks Daesh can seize Baghdad, but few Baghdadis feel they’re living anything close to a normal life. Daesh’s message is clear: No one is safe anywhere, including in non-Muslim lands, until the whole world is brought under “proper Islamic rule.”
- They've created ISIS. Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama — created with Obama. But I love predicting because you know, ultimately, you need somebody with vision.
- The core of the Syrian tragedy consists of the fact that Assad and ISIS represent the two faces of the same coin. Both want the Syrian people, or what is left of them inside the country, scripted out of the equation. Both have enough of a popular base to hang on for some more time even if they did not receive succor from the outside which they regularly do. At the same time neither is strong enough or is ever likely to have the popular base to impose its agenda on Syria.
- Opinion: The Syrian Orphan and a Club of Cynics, Ashraq Al-Awsat (18 Sep, 2015).
- The US State Department's National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism has found that going by the number of terror attacks and the number of killings of innocent citizens every year from 2012 until now, the big-five terror group consists of the IS, Taliban, Boko Haram, al Qaeda, and the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
- US State Department's National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism quoted in Vivek Agnihotri - Urban Naxals The Making of Buddha in a Traffic Jam (2018, Garuda Prakashan)