Articles on Islamic State

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History tells us that it is certain criteria and not democratic niceties, secularism or a moderate hand that will make or break Islamic State. EPA/STR

Going the distance: does Islamic State have staying power?

The rise of Islamic State (IS) across parts of the Middle East has galvanised the international community in a way not seen since September 11. But before a military response is considered, western nations…
So we’re all agreed. Knee jerk is best. John Stillwell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Basic human rights under threat again in panic to stop UK jihadis

The murder of US journalist James Foley by an Islamic State militant who appears to be British has shocked the world and the UK. This was the most graphic example to date of a UK citizen’s involvement…
The silent majority of Muslims shouldn’t be blamed for the actions of Islam’s radical followers – they are victims of radical Islam. EPA/Ali Abbas

Islam’s silent majority: moderate voices drowned out by extremists

Stretching from north Africa to east Asia, many Muslims are engaged in a life-and-death tussle with extremists who are bent on extinguishing the diversity of opinions within the Muslim community. Atrocities…
A screengrab from Islamic State’s execution video of American journalist James Foley. Liveleak

James Foley, Islamic State and the media’s treatment of terrorism

The US government has confirmed the veracity of a video showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State (IS) militants. US president Barack Obama condemned the act overnight…
Personal dispositions, feelings and beliefs may play a decisive role in explaining why people become radicalised. EPA/Stringer

What goes on in the mind of a militant extremist?

So far, the ongoing discussions about radicalisation of extremists both at home and abroad have tended to emphasise its sociological aspects. It has focused on concepts such as the religion and social…

Play it again, Sam

Like him or loathe him, the late Samuel Huntington was one of the towering figures in political science and international relations. Even those who disagreed with his ideas were forced to engage with them…
Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Shiite volunteers take position in the fight against the Islamic State. EPA/STR

Kurds face challenge of unity in face of Islamic State assault

As the Islamic State (IS) continues to gain ground, it is largely Kurdish territory that they are taking in northwestern Iraq. One result of the conflict has been to bring close military co-operation between…
Members of the Yasidi religious minority refugees boarding an aid flight in Sinjar, August 10. EPA/Michel Reimon

Britain mounts belated rescue in Iraq but also reveals limitations

The immediate crisis to which the British government is now scrambling to find an appropriate response is the desperate plight of hundreds of refugees stranded on a mountain ridge and surrounded by forces…
Political crisis in Iraq: “Al-Maliki is our choice” insist supporters of the ousted PM. EPA/Ali Abbas

Iraq needs a new, more inclusive leader to fight the Islamic State

One of the defining moments in the growth of the Islamic State (IS) was when its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, announced in a mosque in Mosul at the end of June that an Islamic Caliphate was being established…
Covering atrocity on August 12 2014. Daily Mirror, The Times, The Sun.

Dealing with graphic content is a moral minefield for journalists

Even for a world accustomed to news reports of conflict and disaster, the past three months seem to be unprecedented for the frequency of horrific events. From the continuing tragedies in Syria, to the…
Iraq is rapidly spiralling into a humanitarian catastrophe, with the persecuted Yazidi religious minority facing genocide. EPA/Mohammed Jalil

Iraq’s Yazidis are on the brink of genocide – who will save them?

US president Barack Obama has confirmed that the US military made targeted airstrikes and carried out a humanitarian operation in Iraq, marking the deepest US engagement in the country since US troops…
Islamic State militants have destroyed sites of great cultural and historical significance in Iraq, such as the tomb of the prophet Jonah in Mosul. EPA/Stringer

Diversity and religious pluralism are disappearing amid Iraq’s crisis

Iraq previously had one of the most multicultural societies in the Middle East. A broad diversity of religions, races and cultures flourished in Iraq, united by common heritage, culture and traditions…
Smoke pours from the Baiji oil refinery, the largest in Iraq, by some reports under the control of ISIS forces. EPA/STR

Iraq crisis threatens global oil supplies and a stable Middle East

The mid-June penetration of northwestern Iraq by the extreme Islamist movement ISIS has prompted major concerns about the world’s oil supply and energy security. The group’s incursion threatens Iraq’s…
Iraqis fleeing from Mosul after ISIS took control. EPA/Kamal Akrayi

Explainer: what is ISIS and where did it come from?

Iraq is facing its most alarming crisis in years. The second city of Mosul and the major city of Tikrit have been seized by a violent jihadist group, ISIS – the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, formerly…

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