‘Islamic State’ as a Western Phenomenon? Reimagining the IS Debate

Ahaa

A picture on Twitter shows ISIS militants removing part of the soil barrier on the Iraq-Syria borders and moving through it as they consolidated the mini-state they carved out between the neighboring countries in recent years. (Photo: file)

No matter how one attempts to wrangle with the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS) rise in Iraq and Syria, desperately seeking any political or other context that would validate the movement as an explainable historical circumstance, things refuse to add up.

Not only is IS to a degree an alien movement in the larger body politic of the Middle East, it also seems to be a partly western phenomenon, a hideous offspring resulting from western neocolonial adventures in the region, coupled with alienation and demonization of Muslim communities in western societies.

By “western phenomenon,” I refrain from suggesting that IS is largely a creation of western intelligence as many…

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