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Is religion the primary motivation and recruitment behind ISIS?
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ISIS fighters join because they believe in Islamic Jihad

The Islamic State's recruitment strategy has drawn Muslims internationally to fight in the name of Islam.
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The Argument

Many of the Islamic State's ranks have international origins and are recruited online. Notably, many of these young recruits feel disconnected to Islam, especially as many are second-generation immigrants and do not speak Arabic. Many potential recruits come across online videos that detail atrocities committed in Syria, glorify violent jihad,[1] and are requested to join the fight with recruiters framing the conflict as a fight to defend Islam as a whole. Pushed further by anti-Islamic right-wing extremist organizations, many of these recruits feel that Islam is under attack and are theologically compelled to join ISIS.[2]

Counter arguments

The term "'jihad" translates to "to struggle" and is its original meaning is not centered around the use of violence.[3] The Islamic State's theological doctrine and the act of joining ISIS in the name of Islam is against most mainstream Islamic scholarship.[4] Therefore, fighters are being recruited either due to an ignorance of Islam or personal motivations.


[P1] Muslims would feel compelled to use violence in the name of defending Islam.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Many Muslims would seek to defend Islam only through non-violent means, considering the use of violence as counterproductive.


This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Jul 2020 at 10:22 UTC

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