The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS (or ISIL - Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), is a Wahhabi/Salafi jihadist extremist militant group which is active since 1999. It was founded by the Jordanian extremist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. By the end of June 2014, ISIS renamed itself the “Islamic State” as it proclaimed the creation of a global caliphate.
They are considered to be Islamic extremists, Islamists or Jihadists, closely linked to the concept of Jihad or “struggle.” Various similar groups, such as the Taliban, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra have also made the news for decades, but ISIS appears to be in a league of its own. (1)
Since at least 2004, a significant goal of the group has been the foundation of a Sunni Islamic state. In June 2014, ISIL published a document in which it claimed to have traced the lineage of its leader al-Baghdadi back to Muhammad, and upon proclaiming a new caliphate on 29 June, the group appointed al-Baghdadi as its caliph. (2)
Abd al-Wahhab denounced all Muslims who honoured the dead, saints, or angels. He held that such sentiments detracted from the complete subservience one must feel towards God, and only God. Wahhabi Islam thus bans any prayer to saints and dead loved ones, pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, religious festivals celebrating saints, the honouring of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad's birthday, and even prohibits the use of gravestones when burying the dead. As he wrote, "those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated". (3)
ISIS has taken less than 18 months to establish their barbaric reputation. According to a report released by the CIA on September 11, 2014, the Islamic State has between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters spread throughout the region. This is significantly higher than the previous estimates which had placed the Islamic State military might at about 10,000 fighters. (4)
In Iraq, the crisis or else the Iraqi insurgency, as it is also called, escalated dramatically following the conquest of Mosul and major areas in northern Iraq by the Sunni rebel group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), thereby merging the new conflict with the Syrian Civil War, into a new, far deadlier conflict. According to the IBC Project from December 2011, 9,841 Iraqi civilians were killed from December 2011 to December 2013.
These are some ISIS latest most shocking attacks around the world:
Charlie Hebdo shooting, January 7, 2015
On the morning of 7 January 2015 at about 11:30 local time, two brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Armed with assault rifles and other weapons, they killed 11 people and injured 11 others in the building. After leaving, they killed a French National Police officer outside the building. The gunmen identified themselves as belonging to the Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen, who took responsibility for the attack. Several related attacks followed in the Île-de-France region, where a further five were killed and 11 wounded.
See how artists reacted to the Charlie Hedbo attacks.
Massacre at a Kenyan university, April 2, 2015
This was one of the most cruel attacks of members of the so-called Islamofascism. On April 2, militants of the al-Shabaab outfit attacked Garissa University College in Kenya leaving 147 people dead for no fault of their own. This is not the first time al-Shabaab, which operates out of Somalia, has caused such furore in the country. According to NYTimes, the attackers were Somali militants.
Although this attack didn't came directly by ISIS, this article by MGAfrica explains what what ISIS, Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram have in common: the fundamental ideology of ISIS, Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab rests on Wahhabism, a name that derives from a Sunni Muslim scholar Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab who preached orthodox and conservative Islam in central Arabia (modern day Saudi Arabia) in the 18th century. As Wahhabism became more extreme, Islam began losing its essential principle of tolerance and finally emerged as the core ideology of groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab. (9)
Double bombing in Yemen, September 1, 2015
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is claiming responsibility for two bombings that killed at least 20 people at a mosque in Yemen's capital city. A suicide bomber blew himself inside the mosque in Sanaa during the evening call to prayers and then a car bomb exploded outside the entrance, officials said. Medical officials said the death toll may rise with people now in operating rooms in several hospitals. Witnesses said the car bomb exploded while people were carrying out the wounded from inside the mosque, adding to the casualties. (5)
Twin bombings in Ankara, October 10, 2015
On October 11th Saturday morning, two bombs exploded at a peace rally near the main train station in Ankara, killing at least 95 people and wounding 246 others in the deadliest attack in the Turkish capital in recent memory. Most of the victims were attending a lunchtime demonstration calling for an end to the renewed conflict between the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Turkish government. The explosions happened during a peace march involving, among others, the pro-Kurdish HDP, or People's Democratic Party. (6)
Russian airliner crashes in Egypt, October 31, 2015
Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula after breaking apart in midair, killing all 224 people on board. It was en route to St. Petersburg from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. ISIS said it was responsible.
Killing in Latakia, Syria, November, 2015
At least 23 people have been killed by shelling in the Syrian city of Latakia. Another 65 were injured, RIA Novosti reported citing a source in local police. Latakia has been largely spared from violence during the four-and-a-half years of the Syrian civil war. A car bombing killing 10 people in September in Hamam Square were a rare occurrence. The city is known as a stronghold of the Alawite religious group, to which President Bashar Assad belongs. The air campaign, staged on the request of President Assad, saw dozens of sorties carried out by Russia planes on a daily basis since September 30. The Russian Defense Ministry has spoken of panic and desertion amongst Islamic State, Al-Nusra Front members and other jihadist groups, who have seen hundreds of their facilities bombed and raised to the ground. (8)
Suicide bombings in Beirut, November 12, 2015
A pair of suicide bombings struck southern Beirut on Thursday, killing 43 people and leaving shattered glass and blood on the streets according to Lebanese authorities. At least 239 others were wounded. A would-be suicide bomber who survived the attack told investigators he was an ISIS recruit, a Lebanese security source said. The man, a Lebanese national from Tripoli, Lebanon, was taken into custody after the blasts. He told authorities that he and three other attackers arrived in Lebanon from Syria two days ago, the source said. (7)
Shooting and bombing attacks in Paris, November 13, 2015
The mayhem that happened on Friday night shocked the whole world. In its most ambitious hit on Western society yet, the Islamic State killed 129 people at several locations across Paris.
What humanity needs to realize is that these attacks will become even more, unless we protest. It's fascism and authoritarian regimes which brought us here. It's not only about Paris, it's about the whole world. We need to protest and we need to understand who the guilty truly is. An older article of The Guardian, written by Seumas Milne, states that it was the USA that fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq. I think people should check it out. Milne explains that the ones who gave birth to ISIS shouldn't and couldn't be the ones who will destroy it. It's us, people from all over the world, who should try to fight against ISIS and against every form of fascism without letting extremist groups benefit from Friday's massacre (and so many others) and excuse themselves for their own future atrocities.
The following video is also worth watching about the situation in Egypt:
Find the time to watch about the Kurdish Women's struggle and war against ISIS. You can find the documentary here.
(9) MG Africa
- Paris: She Was Faking The Dead For More Than An Hour Lying Down Surrounded By Other People's Blood
- The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword: 28 Cartoonists Pay Tribute To The Victims Of The Charlie Hebdo Shooting
- Arab Newspapers React To ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Attacks With Cartoons Of Their Own
- One Year After Murder Of Journalist Who Had Revealed ISIS-Turkey-US Link, MSM, WH Silent [Video]
- Must Watch: Putin Blows The Whistle On Who Really Created ISIS And How It Continues To Grow
- Russia Bombing Reportedly Takes Out 40% Of ISIS Infrastructure In One Week - Warships Attack ISIS Positions In Syria From Caspian Sea
- Khaled al-Asaad, The Martyr Of Palmyra - Khaled al-Asaad Stood for the Future of Syria and the World Heritage
- One Syrian boy's plea - Just Stop the War in Syria!
- Captured, sold, raped: ISIS turns thousands of Christian women and children into sex slaves - Demolishing Syria’s ancient Palmyra temple
- Christians, Turkmen, Shiites and Yazidis Are Facing Real Genocide By ISIS
- Her War: Women vs. ISIS (RT Documentary)
- ISIS thugs take a hammer to civilisation: Priceless 3,000-year-old artworks smashed to pieces in minutes as militants destroy Mosul museum
- Syrian Girl "Surrenders" In Front Of The Camera Mistaking It For A Gun!
- Most Shocking Second a Day Video - Save Syria's Children
- Artists Around The World Respond To Tragic Death Of 3-Year-Old Syrian Refugee
- Greek Vacationers Rescue Syrian Refugee Stranded at Sea for 13 Hours Wearing Only a Life Vest
- Turkish couple drops wedding banquet to feed 4,000 Syrian refugees
- The Recognition Of The Genocides As The Beginning Of Justice Against The Crimes Against Humanity
- A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words: The First Genocide Of The 20th Century