History of ISIS- is it really a new religious movement?

History of ISIS- is it really a new religious movement?



The 21st century has seen it all unfolding. From the 9/11 attacks winding down to the terror of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) today. New Religious Movements are forming within the religion of Islam. In a recent news article by the Huffington Post, it is evident that the rise of ISIS and its history is not something that unfolded in the recent years. This is a progression and revival of Wahhabist Saudi Arabia of the 19th Century. This news article writes that ISIS could be just the rebirth of Wahhabism with its own set of rules. Should Saudi Arabia be worried? Not necessarily, but we will touch upon that later. The Ikhwan approach is the base of the new religious (Islamic) movement: ISIS. Firstly, let me introduce the Ikhwan: a fierce movement consisting of Wahhabis that looked to take control over Arabia in the 1800s and again in the early 1900s. They didn’t succeed the first time, but the second time, it was a totally different story. They branch down from the movements started and controlled by Abd-al Wahhab’s and Ibn Saud’, respectively. The king of Arabia at the time, Abd al Aziz interests were being threatened by the Ikhwans’, thus resulting in a revolt by the Ikhwans’ leading up to a furious civil war. Now one can argue that ISIS is a reincarnation of the historical Wahhabism. Yet another can say, that they are just some radical Muslims indoctrinated by the views’ similar to of Al-Qaeda’s. Islam does not preach the actions of these radicalized groups. Islam does call for submission but not by the means adapted by ISIS.

The Wahhabists of Saudi Arabia today do not agree with ISIS, yet they make no move in stopping it. Why? In my opinion, their un-involvement within ISIS is because of the administrative hand the United States has on them. The oil is what the United States is after, isn’t it? The relationship between the United States and Iraq is what stops The Arabians from creating any fusion. The United States’ political agenda is setting up the world’s next big bloodbath. Islam has been under the scrutiny of the media for the longest time within this century. I don’t understand why Muslims today challenge other faiths, when they cannot even solve their own unanswered questions. Yet, I still feel that ISIS is not Islam; it is a radicalized movement using the religion of Islam to get their argument across. I think that this new religious movement within Islam “has more to it than what meets the eye”. This article provides us with a rich understanding of how this movement (ISIS) eventually came to be. Yet, many questions will remain unanswered?

The presented article really ties into our Religious Studies 341 class in an exclusive way. In the lecture, we were presented with Ninian Smart’s definition and model of religion. This article ties in well with one of Smart’s seven models of religion. The doctrinal and philosophical model is defined as the “systematic formulation of religious teachings in an intellectually coherent form”. (http://bit.ly/1CPUVMx) The goal of ISIS is to indoctrinate as many people in order to justify their envisioning dream. Other models like ethical, ritual, and narrative are all contributing factors for the ISIS crew. Changing peoples’ mind and forcing them to follow a certain way of life is their everlasting forte.

In conclusion, the main purpose of this article has been justified through the events it depicts. We see it yet again of how a religion takes its toll in today’s changing society. Time will tell whether or not this new religious movement (ISIS) makes its mark on our future. We can tell its young and hungry, but was this the real beginning? What more is there to follow? How much more is there left to find out? Pieces of the puzzle have been identified. Now it’s just a matter of putting them together. Right?


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