What is ISIS?

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ISIS, also known as ISIL and Da’ish, is an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Da’ish refers to the Arabic name, aDualia al-Islamia fil Iraq wa al-Sham.

ISIS is an extremist movement that is trying to reinstate the Islamic form of government called the Caliphate. The Caliphate was the form of government in the Muslim world that was used after the death of the prophet Mohammed. ISIS wants to re-establish the Caliphate as a reaction to the declining power of the Muslim world. ISIS blames this decline on the growing secularization of Muslim countries, thus the desire to reintroduce strict Islamic law, Sharia law, in Muslim countries. The leader of the group is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State. The unofficial home of the group is in Raqqa, Syria. As is often shown in the news, ISIS uses brute force to enforce its rule.

Da’ish sources its income from Middle Eastern oil production, stolen antiques from historical sites, and trade and from taxing religious minorities in areas it controls.

 

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