Many in the West are confused about how to respond appropriately to the grizzly scenes of Islamic terror littering the headlines these days. The confusion comes from a general ignorance about the teachings of Islam and of the goals driving the efforts of the jihadists. The Atlantic recently published a lengthy exploration of the beliefs and goals of modern day Islamic groups in order to reduce our collective ignorance and to make suggestions about what a more informed response to Islam might look like for Western nations. The article is quite long, but well worth the read for anyone seeking to get more informed about Islam in our world. Click the “Read More” button below to read the article in its entirety.

“Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.

We have misunderstood the nature of the Islamic State in at least two ways. First, we tend to see jihadism as monolithic, and to apply the logic of al‑Qaeda to an organization that has decisively eclipsed it. We are misled in a second way, by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature. 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.”


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