What does the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) hold for the Middle East?

In the Middle East, a land of seemingly continual conflict, there are many ways that conflict has impacted nations such as Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Syria, and many other states.

One way that conflict has impacted the Middle East is in politics and the militarization of society. The impact of warfare is powerful everywhere in the world, even in countries seemingly as peaceful as Norway, Switzerland, or the United States, but especially in the Middle East because of the potential for internal conflict between sects and peoples.

For example, in parts of Iraq and Syria, there is the spectre of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is an extremist terrorist group comprised of Muslims who want to essentially take over the territory they now control and create a caliphate. A caliphate is an Islamic state that is led by a absolute spiritual and political leader known as a caliph.

The ISIS has essentially waged its war against the West in several ways, one utilizing propaganda. In recent weeks and months, the terroristic group has executed several foreigners by beheading them, including two American journalists, a British citizen, and a Lebanese Sunni Muslim solider, indicating its campaign against the West includes propagandistic attacks exploiting xenophobic and inflammatory scripts that are read by the condemned person prior to his videotaped execution, which is released online.

The speed of ISIS taking over a large swath of territory in Iraq and Syria has worried many foreign nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and others, because of the reportedly intense loyalty that the ISIS operatives have in Islam being the only religion and the operatives’ disregard for human life, among other factors.

The reality of the problem with the ISIS is it is a tremendously complicated Gordian Knot to cut through because it involves religion, politics, warfare, and human rights violations, among other things.

One way to combat ISIS would be to continue to counter the group with limited military airstrikes and minimal military support, as well as bombarding the besieged population with the reality that Islam is not truly an extremist religion and in fact condones peace and understanding among people.

In conclusion, ISIS is an extremely serious problem in this world and will only continue to prey on Muslims and jihadists who are dissatisfied with the West if there is nothing of substance done immediately.

(Photo Credit: Flickr via Magharebia)

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