They dominate our headlines, but what do we actually know about the so-called Islamic State? Who or what is it? What do its members believe in? What do they want? Are they really so powerful? How do we combat them? All your questions; simply answered in our five-part guide.
What even is the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Wikipedia says it’s a Wahhabi/Salafi jihadist extremist militant group, but what do all these words even mean? We broke it down.
Members of the group want to create a caliphate. What is this? What is Muslim Sharia Law? Is this actually anything to do with Islam or is the group twisting it to suit its own ends?
Islamic State seems like an unstoppable force. How powerful is the group really? Why are young Westerners attracted to join the ranks?
A global coalition of 62 countries led by the USA is targeting the so-called Islamic State with airstrikes. What’s the best way to tackle terrorist groups? Is dropping bombs the answer or do we need actual boots on the ground?
All those questions you had about ISIS but were too embarrassed to ask? Yeah, we answered them. Trust us, ISIS can be a tricky subject to get your head around. So we took a bunch of frequently asked questions and broke down the answers. What does ISIS mean? What does the flag say? How did ISIS get weapons and Toyota jeeps? Are ISIS terrorists? Is ISIS actually Islamic? All this and more, with simple answers.
A tonne of material has been written on ISIS and our understanding of the group is constantly changing. World leaders, journalists and scholars continually struggle to explain the group and its motives. If there are any definitive answers, it’s clear we won’t have them for a while due to the lack of information we have on the group. The information we do have is often conflicting and challenged. Most importantly we can’t claim to be able to explain ISIS as we cannot assume there is a rationality behind their actions that we can fully understand. This is not to say that they are just batsh*t crazy and fueled purely by evil. Instead, we are saying that the ISIS worldview may be so different to that of most Western journalists and analysts that they may simply be unable to wrap their heads around it, not with the little information we have on them anyway.
Take it from us – the guys doing the explaining – some things don’t have a rough and ready straightforward explanation. But what the hell, we thought we’d try anyway.