We should look to revolutionary France if we want to understand the source of Islamic State’s ideology and violence
By: Kevin McDonald
Over recent weeks there has been a constant background noise suggesting that Islamic State (Isis) and its ideology are some sort of throwback to a distant past. It is often framed in language such as that used last week by the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, who said Isis was “medieval”. In fact, the terrorist group’s thinking is very much in a more modern, western tradition.
The Muslim world’s moral censure alone won’t shake the barbarous grip that Al Qaeda-affiliated extremists have over wide swaths of Syria and Iraq. Their self-declared “Islamic State caliphate” has some 10,000 motivated fighters, guns, foreign backers and money to burn. Like Al Qaeda, they will not be easy to uproot and destroy.