Terrorism has been no stranger to the world’s history. We are faced with a new threat today: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The group also brands itself as ISIL and IS. It controls territory in Iraq and Syria, and controls a good portion of the oil assets in both countries. The oil has been a product in the black market and could be making ISIS up to $3 million every day. The money they make through human trafficking also contributes to this sum.
The goals of the group include the formation of an Islamic Caliphate, in which one religious leader (the Caliph) controls the entire Muslim community. They contain radical beliefs, and promote violence in the name of religion. ISIS declares that anyone who does not follow the strict Sharia law (the moral code of Islam), do not need to be treated fairly.
ISIS has implemented restrictive laws and harsh consequences for violations. In schools, the curriculum is banned from teaching art, national history, music, literature, and Christianity. Women are required to completely cover their face. There have been many executions carried out for false violations like renouncing Islam.
The group claims control over all Muslims, but their horrific treatment of citizens of Iraq, Syria, the U.S., England, Jordan, Egypt, Japan and other countries prove otherwise. They have publicized beheadings and burnings of innocent people. American victims include Kayla Mueller, James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and Peter Kassig. They have also conducted mass beheadings, seen the execution of Egyptian Christians. They demanded ransom from Japan in exchange for the lives of Haruna Yakawa and Kenji Goto Jogo, but like any country’s foreign policy, negotiation with terrorists is unacceptable.
America has responded to these actions with airstrikes, which have been successful in killing the key people of the group. After they burned Jordanian pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh alive, Jordan waged its own airstrikes on the group.
ISIS has committed many other human rights violations. The group advocates the trafficking of women who don’t follow the faith of Islam, and most of their victims are Christian and Yazidi faith. They have also groomed children to follow their violent treatment, and there have been brutal beheadings orchestrated by kids. There is also evidence to prove that they have been harvesting the organs of the religious minorities and anyone against ISIS.
ISIS has been able to expand its reach with propaganda, and they have used social media as an outlet to spread their messages of hate. ISIS has been able to reach a contemporary audience through Twitter.
President Barack Obama has asked Congress to utilize military force to end this atrocious group. It is crucial that we stay aware of what’s going on in the world, and fight for the people who have been subject to such horrific treatment.