Articles on ISIS

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The 1,200 year old Umayyad Mosque – also known as the Great Mosque of Aleppo – lost its minaret (on left) in 2013 after continued heavy gunfire between rebels and Syrian government forces. Reuters

Friday essay: war crimes and the many threats to cultural heritage

It is important to prosecute militants who destroy antiquities. But 'everyday' development - from dams flooding towns to the impact of mining on Indigenous rock art – does vastly more damage to heritage than war.
ISIS fighters celebrating in Mosul, Iraq, in 2014. Criminological studies suggest terrorists would use diverse tactics to neutralise feelings of guilt. Reuters

How ISIS terrorists neutralise guilt to justify their atrocities

Do ISIS fighters feel guilty about the violence they perpetrate? Not likely, according to criminological research, which suggests terrorists "neutralise" their guilt, just as many other criminals do.
A girl stands near fighters in Aleppo. August 7, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Putin, Obama and the battle for Aleppo

The survival of civilians seem forgotten in a new U.S. and Russian agreement to root out IS and other terrorists in Syria.
In the future, will Turkey be a little, or a lot, democratic? Ammar Awad/Reuters

The tragedy of Turkish democracy in five acts

A professor at Ohio State surveyed Turkish citizens about their views on democracy. What he learned helps explain the current crisis in the EU wannabe.
Imam Syed Shafeeq Rahman of the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce speaks with the media following a prayer for victims of the Orlando shooting. Joe Skipper/Reuters

Why bad news for one Muslim American is bad news for all Muslims

Because Muslim Americans are an extreme 'outgroup,' they're all the more vulnerable to discrimination, especially in the wake of negative media coverage.
Antiquities seized in a raid on Islamic State fighters in Syria were returned to the Iraqi government by the United States. Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

Inside ISIS’ looted antiquities trade

Profit estimates have ranged from $4 million to $7 billion. But with the Paris attacks costing only $10,000, does a number even matter?
Remembering ISIS victims at the U.N., November 2015. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

ISIS has changed international law

The urgent need to respond to ISIS has redefined the use of "self-defense" to include attacking a nonstate threat in another country. But what are the implications of this? change?
Rome’s Trevi fountain lit up with the Belgian flag. Why do some violent acts prompt global artistic memorial, but not others? Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

Art and terror: a new kind of memorial

From Tintin weeping to spotlit buildings, images are rapidly circulating on social media as a way of comprehending the Brussels bombings. But where was the cartoon for those who died in Ankara? Are some tragedies "ungrievable"?
Without the perfect-storm conditions of post-invasion insurgency, this most potent expression of al-Qaedaism yet would never have risen to dominate both the Middle East and the world in the way that it does. Reuters/Stringer

Out of the ashes of Afghanistan and Iraq: the rise and rise of Islamic State

The final article of our series on the historical roots of Islamic State examines the role recent Western intervention in the Middle East played in the group's inexorable rise.

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