Jihad is the word used to describe Islam Militant Movements, ISIS would be considered one of these movements. They have taken Jihad-ism all the way to the extreme. They have recruited people through out the World.
Jihad is an Arabic word which means struggling or striving. It can be a struggle against one’s evil inclination or efforts to make one’s self morally better. Jihad is referred to in the Quran, but without any military connotations.
Jihadism is a term that started in the 1990s and was used more after the September 11th attacks in America. Jihadism is used to refer to the most violent persons and movements in contemporary Islam, including Al-Qaeda, Hamas and ISIS. Another way to define it is Islamism is the desire to impose any version of Islam over any society. Jihadism is the attempt to do so by force.
The militant group, known through out the World for driving government forces out of cities in Iraq. It is also known for its actions in Syria, holding attacks on government forces and opposition. The group has been designated as a terror organization by the United Nations.
There have been estimates about the number of combatants in ISIS, it varies widely from 10,000 to 200,000. In February 2015, there was an estimated 20,000 fighters who were foreign, many from countries in Western Europe and America. ISIS attracts followers from all over the world, by promoting the ‘holy war’. The ‘holy war’ in Islam is the term that refers to an armed struggle against unbelievers.
Women in ISIS
The material ISIS published towards women is that they should be supportive of their husbands. They should provide first aid, cook nursing and sowing skills, these are ways they can be supportive. They encourage women to raise children and teach them the Jihadist way. They encourage widows to re-marry so they can be supportive and have more children to raise in this way. Marriage and motherhood is important.
Propaganda and The Media
ISIS is known for its propaganda, some Muslim scholars would suggest that this is not what Mohammed, the prophet wanted. The ‘holy war’ was never meant to be a military one, a war with in one’s self.
In November 2006, the Al-Furqan Foundation was established. This foundation produces CDs, DVDs, posters, pamphlets and web related propaganda products and official statements. In 2014, the Al-Hayat Media Center was established targeting Western audiences, they produce material in many languages, such as French, German and English.
The group is known for releasing videos and pictures of executions of prisoners, whether be-headings or shootings. These videos have definitely caught the attention of the media and people worldwide. There are testimonies of widows and pictures of smiling faces doing the ISIS salute, a finger pointing towards heaven.
ISIS, after all are fighting the Holy War, they want recruits. They present themselves as an attractive place, towards young people, where everyone is a ‘brother’ or ‘sister’.