Terrorism- a term used to describe people who torment other civilians, governments, and the world as a whole. Currently, there is a group in the Middle East that is considered by many to be a terrorist organization: ISIS. From June of 2014, when ISIS declared itself a state under Islamic law, until July of 2015, a total of 3,027 people had been killed. However, ISIS began long before that. How deep, exactly, do the roots of ISIS go, and what can be done to stop them?
Currently, ISIS is responsible for mass beheadings and shootings in the Middle East and around the world. Specific instances include the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, and the recent killing of 74 children for refusing to fast during the month of Ramadan. The terrorist group’s final goal is to reach a caliphate state across all Muslim countries: a unified Islamic state under a single religious ruler (caliph). ISIS continues to slaughter anyone who does not conform to their specific beliefs. Even other Muslims have been killed by the group for attempting to stand up against them.
ISIS’ ideology can be traced back to the year 2004 in Iraq by a group known as Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad. The Jordanian leader, Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi, quickly joined forces with Osama bin Laden and changed the name of his organization. This new organization became known as Al Qaeda in Iraq. However, Al Qaeda in Iraq and Al Qaeda did not get along well due to al-Zarqawi’s treatment of fellow Muslims. al-Zarqawi believed that Shia Muslims would cause great changes in Islam, and therefore wanted to eliminate them. The Shia Muslims who would not conform to the Sunni beliefs would also be decapitated. In 2006, al-Zarqawi was killed by American troops, and his two successors were also killed in 2010. The next leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is still in power today.
As of now, the United States has no clear plan against ISIS. Intelligence officials state that although roughly 10,000 people from the organization have been killed, the group’s strength is still estimated to be between 20,000-30,000 due to the large demographic of young people it is attracting. Declaring war seems to be the only available option left, as the organization is neither peaceful nor willing to negotiate. However, President Obama refuses to do it. All in all, it may not happen overnight, but the reign of ISIS will continue to grow as long as nothing is done to stop them.