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Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, March 2015: What ISIS Really Wants.
"The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it."
I recall discussing the theme of this March 2015 Atlantic article in this website, but I couldn't locate that discussion off hand. So I'll start a new thread for those who want to take the time and read the rather long article and then comment. For me it's another example of religion run a muck, as the driving force for ISIS can be found in the scriptures of the Qur'an.
As Wood explains: "[T]he religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam. Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal."
The point I have made in prior posts is that when religious groups claim that their ancient written scriptures (e.g. Qur'an, Bible, Torah) are the "word of God" then they have a hard time explaining the "modernity" of their religions when government laws (man's laws) outlaw such things as stoning of women or beheading. Many of the Qur'anic verses that modern Muslims reject for functioning in today's society of rules and laws can also be found in the Bible with some digging.
So ISIS claims validity as a caliphate by referencing (interpreting is the word that modernists use) their scriptures that are the word of God. And who can argue with that "God calling" unless you are an atheist?
Anyway, these people think differently, as all religiously indoctrinated extremists do. It's just a question of degree. I could go on and on, but I'll let others chime in on the discussion. It would be helpful if you read the article first.