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Is religion the primary motivation and recruitment behind ISIS?
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People join ISIS for clear religious goals

The Islamic State's ultimate goals are centered around returning to the ideals of Salafi/Wahhab Islam.
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The Argument

The Islamic State is centered around Salafism, a conservative interpretation of Sunni Islam, with its roots in Wahhabism, another conservative interpretation of Islam currently championed by the Saudi Arabian government. The modern reformist Salafi movement is critical of what it deems as misguided practices of Islam and ISIS should be interpreted as a corrective effort within Wahhabism and a violent rejection of the official Wahhabism doctrine of the Saudi state.[1] Hence, with its former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declaring a "caliphate" across Iraq and Syria on June 28th, 2014,[2] ISIS seeks to establish a formal state that embodies the return to the true origins of the Saudi-Wahhab project.[1]

Counter arguments

The core reasons why ISIS has interpreted Saudi Arabia of straying away from traditional Wahhabism is due to its collaboration with the West. While one could argue that religion is the ultimate cause, politics is the main facilitating factor that causes ISIS to act.


[P1] Salafism and Wahhabism are interpretations of Islam. [P2] Wahhabism is the official doctrine of the Saudi Arabian government.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 1 Sep 2020 at 13:36 UTC

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