Undertaking a Muslim education – coming to understand the faith's teachings and its ideas about humanity – can have enormous value for anyone who wishes to tackle social conflicts.
The leaders of Islamic State do not see their caliphate as an exercise in theocracy for its own sake, but as an attempt at post-colonial emancipation.
In seeking to link IS to earlier Islamic movements, Western commentators have associated the jihadist group with the medieval Ismailis, made famous in Europe by returning Crusaders as the Assassins.
Despite what we're told, religion isn't inherently peaceful. People kill in the name of their religion, just as they love in its name.
What makes Islamic State different to traditional Islam isn't necessarily the religious texts the group uses.