The radical group Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) is a form of government which the country is managed by a single political and religious leader. And the proclamation of this group became a new era of jihadism. This event has a great theological, ideological, and political influence both on the international community and jihadist groups that oppose to ISIS. To make sense of the Islamic State and its sudden power inside the territories of Iraq and Syria, it is important to pay attention to the historical premises such as global jihadist movement that has had a direct influence on the establishment of this organization.
The greatest geopolitical puzzle today is to understand who does stand behind ISISs back. The Islamic State was founded in 2004 as a branch of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and it was called the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI). First, it established itself due to the fighting against the United States invasion in the Sunni district of western Iraq and continued spreading to eastern and northern Syria during the civil war in this country. It helped terrorists to fill the security and governmental gap created in the result of the crash of Saddam Husseins regime. (www.slate.com)
Consequently, the branch of al-Qaeda fully established in Iraq, and became a central force against American Army. By the end of the American presence in Iraq, the Islamic State was quite weakened. (www.state.gov) The USA won this civilization battle regarding the wise policy of cooperation with the Sunnis in western Iraq. After American withdrawal from Iraq, ISI had become to strengthening in order to achieve their strategic goals. (The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, 160-164)
The events of the Arab spring maintained and accelerated capacity of the Islamic State. In March 2011, the civil war in Syria helped the Islamic State in Iraq to spread their authority on Syrian territories. In 2012, the Syrian Branch of the Islamic State was founded. However, the two branches merged into the one and became more powerful which changed its name to the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). In summer 2014, ISIS achieved dramatic results occupying Mosul, the second largest city of Iraq, and declaring the Islamic Caliphate led by an Iraqi terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (Gerges, 339)
In the history of Islam, Caliphate is a fair form of government that promotes and encourages religion. According to that, caliph is a political leader who leads the Empire and considered to be the successor of the Prophet Muhammad. Historically, the Muslim caliph is a world leader who relies on peoples commitment. At the beginning of the 20th century, this political model of a government had become out of date, and it was replaced by the current model of the national state. However, caliphate, which is led by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is very different from its historical predecessors. His proclamation was rejected by almost all Muslims who never should want to be presented by a jihadist group in the world. Even those Muslims, who believe in the concept of caliphate regardless their position in society, reject this caliphate as a surreptitious, precocious, and sacrilegious act. (www.rand.org)
In conclusion, it is widely accepted that ISIS is an extension of the global jihadist movement regarding its ideology, and social origins of this organization are rooted in Iraqi and Syrian conflicts that have roared for almost five years. While al-Qaedas center revoked an alliance of Saudi Salafism and Egyptian Islamism, ISIS appeared as a union of al-Qaedas branch in Iraq and Iraqi Baathist regime Saddam Hussein that has brought an unexpected deathful combination in the result.
Gerges, F. A. ISIS and the Third Wave of Jihadism. Current History. 2014. 339-343.
Jones, S.G. ISIS Will Become More Deadly Before It Dies. Foreigners. 17 November 2015. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2015/11/isis_will_become_more_deadly_as_it_loses_territory.single.html. 20 January 2016.
Paul. Ch., Clarke, C.P. A Board Approach to Countering the Islamic State. RAND. 31 August 2014. http://www.rand.org/blog/2014/09/a-broad-approach-to-countering-the-islamic-state.html. 20 January 2016.
The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. ISIS: Portrait of a Jihadi Terrorist Organization. 2014. 264.
United States. US Department of State. The Presidents Request for Authorization to Use Force Against ISIS: Military and Diplomatic Efforts. 11 March 2015. http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/03/238769.htm. 20 January 2016.
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