VICE News is a renegade news organization that has done some great documentaries (their pieces on North Korea were amazing, and scary as hell). They’re now running a five-part story on “The Islamic State”, formerly known as ISIS. Two parts are up, and they’re frightening, with on-the-spot reporting (I don’t know how they manage to get permission to film stuff like this).
The first part, called “The Spread of the Caliphate,” has the notes below. I’ll put up the second part tomorrow. This is the world we’d live in if these extremists got their way. Do watch: it’s only nine minutes long.
The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group that formerly had ties to al Qaeda, has conquered large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the group has announced their intention to reestablish the caliphate and declared their leader, the shadowy Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the caliph.
Flush with cash and US weapons seized during recent advances in Iraq, the Islamic State’s expansion shows no sign of slowing down. In the first week of August alone, Islamic State fighters have taken over new areas in northern Iraq, encroaching on Kurdish territory and sending Christians and other minorities fleeing as reports of massacres emerged.
. . . VICE News reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks embedded with the Islamic State, gaining unprecedented access to the group in Iraq and Syria as the first and only journalist to document its inner workings. In part one, Dairieh heads to the frontline in Raqqa, where Islamic State fighters are laying siege to the Syrian Army’s division 17 base.
This is pure Islamic hegemony, and it’s not a reaction to Western “colonialism.” It’s the pure desire to establish an Sunni Islamic state under sharia law, and most of the people they’re killing are other Muslims. But all non-Sunnis are “apostates,” and are executed en masse.