Articles on Islamic State

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The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces at al-Omar oil field in Deir Al Zor, Syria, at the announcement that they had ended the Islamic State’s control of land in eastern Syria, March 23, 2019. Reuters/Rodi Said

Kurds targeted in Turkish attack include thousands of female fighters who battled Islamic State

Kurdish women have fought on the front lines of military battles since the 19th century. A scholar explains the origins of Kurdistan's relative gender equality in a mostly conservative Muslim region.
Jack Letts has been in a jail in Syria since 2017. The British government just stripped him of his citizenship, but he has Canadian citizenship due to his father’s birth here. sky news

‘Jihadi Jack’ and the folly of revoking citizenship

The decision by the British government to revoke citizenship of a U.K.-born man puts Canada in a conundrum and raises serious questions about the practice of stripping citizenship.
The New IRA apologized for killing investigative journalist Lyra McKee during a riot in Derry. Reuters/Charles McQuillan

Why do rebel groups apologize?

Organizations try to hide mistakes and evade responsibility, studies show. But two scholars analyzing militant and terrorist groups say they are willing to acknowledge their mistakes – sometimes.
This term ‘jihad’ can include various forms of nonviolent struggles: for instance, the struggle to become a better person. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

So, what really is jihad?

Violent radicals are often described as jihadists. A scholar explains what the word means and why those using the word to justify terrorism are often misrepresenting their sources.
A Buddhist monk claiming to be the president of the self-styled ‘Protect Sri Lanka’ organisation argues with police personnel barricading the road leading to the president’s official residence in Colombo. EPA-EFE/M.A.PUSHPA KUMARA

Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday attacks were meant for international audience, but have local consequences

The bombings have been framed as part of ongoing internal conflict, but Sri Lanka was just the stage for a play that could have been performed anywhere in the world.
The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, one of the landmarks in Brunei. Brunei recently announced punishing gay sex by stoning offenders to death. AP Photo/Vincent Thian

Harsh punishments under Sharia are modern interpretations of an ancient tradition

Some Islamic nations, including Brunei, have harsh punishments under Sharia. In pre-modern times, Sharia was rarely used as criminal law, and standard of proof for any prosecution was very high.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka bombings – a clear signal the group is reforming in other parts of the world after its defeat in Syria and Iraq. M.A. Pushpa Kumara/EPA

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka terror attack. Here’s what that means

The deadly Sri Lanka attacks show a return to the coordinated, sophisticated strikes employed by al-Qaeda in the 2000s, focusing on soft targets with vulnerable institutions.

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