Understanding ISIS only way to defeat extremists

Amy Lockwood

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It’s no secret that terrorist attacks around the world have contributed to a worldwide fear of ISIS. What began as a small extremist group has evolved into one of the decade’s most feared factions.

It is unlikely that you find a person who does not know what ISIS is. It is more rare to find a person who truly understands what ISIS stands for. It is easy to write off ISIS members as a band of terrorists aiming to inflict fear and domination over people who lack their values.

Many have been critical about the Islamic ideology of ISIS, stating that they have twisted the true message of the Prophet Muhammad. Others argue quite the opposite explaining that ISIS leads what is known as “The Prophetic Methodology,” meaning they follow the Prophecy and example of Muhammad in assiduous detail.  

An article published by The Atlantic explains this very thing.

The article says, “Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel said, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.”

One of the biggest mistakes the United States and other countries have made is underestimating the Islamic State’s devotion to their religion. I am not Muslim and feel inappropriate to comment on their religious legitimacy but either way ignoring their religious afflictions has caused a missed opportunity to hit them where it hurts.

Most notably is the significance of the Caliphate in Islamic history.

The Caliph is said to be the successor to the Prophet Muhammad, though there are many disagreements about the true Caliph, ISIS declares they are restoring the Islamic Caliphate.

The Huffington Post describes this plea saying, “By using the language of Caliph and Caliphate, ISIS is attempting to establish itself as the leader of a worldwide Muslim movement and mobilize a broad coalition of support by erasing national boundaries.”

Nevertheless, the global community needs to start accepting ISIS for who they really are and what they really stand for. Simply categorizing them as savage rapists and murderers is neither a strategic nor smart way of approaching the problem.

Instead, we should try to understand ISIS in order to defeat them. In other words, how can you win a game if you do not understand the rules?

Thus, if we are able to unite with other countries and attack their expansion we could potentially cripple their progression. Coupled with the fact that the region it controls, though sizable, is generally poor and uninhabited; ISIS could be stumped right from home.

Instead of fighting fire with fire the world community simply needs to provide the water to put the fire out. Understanding Islam will be the best way to defeat the Islamic State.