ISIS: The Westboro of Islam

Article by Staff Writer: Red Leg

I thought that today I would start by talking about a major current event. Something that might really hit home for a lot considering it is happening in an area many of you fought in or had someone close to you fight in and/or pay the ultimate sacrifice.

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I hear a lot of people sometimes complain that we have no business fighting there, that the U.S should stay out of others peoples business. To which I reply with yes we should mind our own business, but this is our business, this group has made open threats to our country and have the means of causing great harm to the American people in addition to how much we have already put into that region.

As a historian I find it important to understand context. It is vital when seeking to understand a certain topic, person, or event to get the back story of what you’re looking at. A second important factor when looking a topic or event is bias. I encourage everyone to look at different sources when looking at events. It’s okay to watch the news station you may not agree with on all points because you can pull out details that line up with the news you do agree with or other ones you feel in different about. Especially when trying to understand a group like ISIS and what a major role they may play in our modern world.

Like all religious groups around the world, some more than others have followers more radical than others, Islam is no different. The radical group known as ISIS (Islamic state of Iraq and Syria) has become the newest and largest threat terrorizing the Middle East and threatening to raise their black flag on U.S soil and more importantly the White House. ISIS has become so radical that not only the Taliban, but the terrorist organization Al Qaeda has disowned them for being too extreme.

This organization has had many faces and different leaders throughout its existence. First formed in the early 2004 with strong ties to Al Qaeda their founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi swore loyalty to Osama Bin Laden. His group of Islamic freedom fighters called themselves “The Organization of Jihad’s Base in the Country of the Two Rivers”. The DOD referred to them as AQI or Al Qaeda in Iraq.

In April of 2006 the organization merged with a few other smaller terrorist groups and called themselves the “Mujahideen Shura Council” and sought to begin distancing themselves from Al Qaeda to attempt to win over the people of Iraq and gain more followers. It was this organization that was responsible for bombing three hotels in Amman. Later that year Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was assassinated and the group once again merged with other Iraqi terrorist groups and formed the group ISI or Islamic state of Iraq. At this point the group believed that the world must be purged of not only infidels, but Muslims not following the true beliefs of Islam. Under the new leadership of Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri ISI would become one of the largest terrorist groups fighting the U.S in Iraq providing not only funding but provide weapons and troops to support their call for Jihad.

At the end of 2010 , during a joint operation between US and Iraqi operations both of these men would be killed, but the organization would grow with another major event about to take place in a neighboring country. In April of 2013 under ISI’s new leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISI would join forces with the Islamic Syrian freedom fighters and form what is now known as ISIS. Being able to grow and spread their cause through online, radio, and televised propaganda ISIS has used the world of social media to spread its ideas around the globe.

With current numbers estimated around 80,000 followers both in Syria and Iraq, it is one of the largest and most violent terrorist organizations in the world. With its hatred for anyone not of Islamic beliefs is a large opponent of not only the U.S but most of the world. With the possible possession of radioactive materials this is a group that needs to be dealt with. They have reclaimed lands that we fought hard to conquer and had our brave comrade’s die for. I believe the question we must now ask ourselves is do we wait until this group attempts to attack us our one of our close allies, or should the US go in and destroy them before they get further out of control?

I want to hear your opinion and what you think. Also if there is something you want me to talk about or discuss email me directly here

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