Why Is ISIS So Bad?

Why is ISIS bad? It’s a basic question that I encounter a lot, along with the related question, why is ISIS so evil? Good and evil are value judgments, so everyone will have a different opinion about what deserves the labels. But we can at least say that ISIS (aka the Islamic State) is out of step with mainstream morality in most Muslim and non-Muslim countries. Still, that begs the question: why is ISIS so bad relative to mainstream culture? The answer lies in ISIS’s needs and desires. ISIS wants to revive parts of Islamic scripture written in the early Middle Ages. Perhaps those parts reflected mainstream morality then but they’re out of step with today’s mainstream. ISIS wants to terrify the local population to subdue it. As you’ll see in my book, ISIS could govern and fight differently but it doesn’t think the alternatives are effective. ISIS needs to

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Letter from a Jihadi in Iraq

On May 10, Ekhlaas member Muhibb al-Amir al-Baghdidi (Fan of Commander Baghdadi) posted a letter he received from a certain Abu Hurayra. Muhibb claims that Abu Hurayra is “one of the soldiers of the Islamic State of Iraq.” Here’s the letter: In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. My dear brother, precious to my heart. We ask God to reward you well on our behalf. My dear brother, I have approached the zero hour, as they say, for the decisive battle, as they call it. God willing, it will prove decisive for the Muslims through the aid of God and His assistance. My dear brother, I have resolved to participate in this battle, but I am participating as a journalist or photographer. But my inner being is a fighter in the path of God against the infidels and the apostates. My brother, I swear I have a strong

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Identity of Future Caliph Revealed?

The mysterious Abu `Umar al-Baghdadi, the amir of al-Qaida in Iraq and would-be caliph, may no longer be so mysterious. Al-`Arabiyya reported yesterday, on the authority of the police chief of Haditha, that Baghdadi is Hamid Dawud al-Zawi, a former intel officer in Saddam’s security apparatus. Zawi is said to be from nearby Haqlaniya, where a large cache of al-Qaida computers was discovered. Here’s his picture:

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