Monday, February 16, 2015

On The Difference Between Al Qaeda and ISIS

Most of us know almost nothing about ISIS.  There's a name, news reports, and photos and we each create our own story to explain them.  My friend Jeremy linked to an Atlantic article which gives us more.  Of course, we take the author's words with a grain of salt.  But it's evidence to put into the record to compare with the other evidence that is gathered.  I recommend reading it. 

Here's a snipped that contrasts Al Qaeda with ISIS, says one is  modern and corporate while the other is 7th Century:
We are misled in a second way, by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature. Peter Bergen, who produced the first interview with bin Laden in 1997, titled his first book Holy War, Inc. in part to acknowledge bin Laden as a creature of the modern secular world. Bin Laden corporatized terror and franchised it out. He requested specific political concessions, such as the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Saudi Arabia. His foot soldiers navigated the modern world confidently. On Mohamd Atta’s last full day of life, he shopped at Walmart and ate dinner at Pizza Hut.

There is a temptation to rehearse this observation—that jihadists are modern secular people, with modern political concerns, wearing medieval religious disguise—and make it fit the Islamic State. In fact, much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse.

Is this accurate?  Time will tell.   Meanwhile this article offers much to chew on.  More than the simplistic coverage we mostly get. 

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