Examining the Apocalyptic Motivations of ISIS
ISIS has announced their apocalyptic view that the end times are here.
The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, commonly known as ISIS, is as enigmatic as they are dangerous. With multiple executions taking part each month and with no apparent regard for the nationalities of those whom they kill, ISIS has people wondering about their strategy. While the obvious conquering of several key areas in Iraq and Syria is a means to take control and gain followers, some are suggesting that ISIS sees itself as a way to hasten the apocalypse they believe is coming.
Enemies In All Corners
The caliphate that was declared by ISIS has not made any qualms about who they start fights with. Among the more recent enemies that they have made are the nation of Jordan and Egypt, both of which had citizens that were subjected to particularly gruesome executions. The unusual part about ISIS is that they have not attempted to make any strategic alliances as one would expect of a fledgling nation or group.
In fact, they have not even sought to join their power with Al Qaeda, who many intelligence analysts consider to be a likely pairing. Instead, ISIS has continued to mount attacks against anyone and everyone that does not share their beliefs or bow to their authority. This alludes to the strong possibility that they believe that they have a divine mandate to act out against those who they feel are trying to destroy or oppress Islam.
— Gary Schirr (@ProfessorGary) February 18, 2015
The End Times
ISIS has made a unique name for itself for their ability to draw in fighters from all over the world using sleek social media and magazines that prophesize the coming end times. The magazine Dabiq is one of the most famous magazines in the arsenal of ISIS. The topics covered in the magazine make many allusions to holy books and attempt to convince the reader that they should join ISIS so that they can be on the side of righteousness in the coming final battle. It is no coincidence that the name of the magazine is shared by the town of Dabiq which is said to be the starting place for the final battle that will commence the apocalypse.
While the idea may seem absurd to some, the self-appointed caliph, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, has been able to use multimedia to attract followers and fighters to the cause. The success of ISIS in drawing new fighters and utilizing their ferocious fighting tactics, including taking slaves and performing executions, has united governments in their resolve that their growing threat must be addressed. This may well play into the narrative of ISIS; they are a group of Muslims that are fighting against the world for their lives. As more nations begin to mount offensives against ISIS, it appears as though they might be getting their own form of apocalypse sooner than later.