How Islamic is the Islamic State known as ISIS, ISIL, IS, Daesh and the new caliphate? To the extent that any group claims to be Islamic, quotes Quran and brandishes the rhetoric of the faith, ISIS is clearly presenting itself as an Islamic sect. To the extent that they have bastardized just about every other Islamic worldview, they are certainly not in the mainstream. Their appeal is not to Muslims who know the history of their faith, but to the disgruntled youth of the West and traumatized youth of the region. And, most importantly, ISIS is, ironically, the revenge of Saddam Hussein. This calculating and blood curdling group was formed not by madrasa-trained clerics but by former intelligence and military cronies of Saddam’s regime.

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