Joining ISIS


Whenever I sit down to research for my blog, I try to tell myself “Don’t write about ISIS, don’t write about ISIS” but it always seems inevitable. The extremist terrorist group has the full spotlight of the Middle East and is growing and growing by the day.

So what did I find this week?

Recruitment. The group has called all Muslims to come and fight for the Caliph, or an Islamic homeland and to rid the world of infidels. Many Muslims are answering this call and are making there way to Syria and Iraq. But with the end goal of ISIS being “ridding the world of infidels”, Western powers are trying to stop these people from making there way to the Middle East.

The most recent case being a group of three girls from Denver, Colorado. The three girls, ages 15,15 and 17, were reported missing when their schools had called their parents to inform them that they had not showed up for school. After being notified, the father noticed that the girls’ passports were gone along with $2000. The FBI flagged the girls’ passports and they were detained in Germany. Their final destination? Syria. After scouring over the girls’ recent online activity, it was found that the girls had been planning the trip for months and had frequented ISIS message boards about how to get into Syria.

The girls are not the only people that are going through extreme measures to join the fight. The Soufan Group did a report in June on ISIS and they found around 12,000 fighters for ISIS, from 81 countries in Syria alone. They found out of these 12,000 fighters, 2,500 were from Western nations.

ISIS is using the soldiers from Western countries in order to recruit others from the area. Andre Poulin, originally from Canada, made the trip to join the fight with ISIS. Poulin is known for a particular ISIS propaganda video where he talks about his life before joining the group and why he decided to join. When touching on his life in Canada, he talks about how he was a normal Canadian, liked watching hockey, liked fishing and had a normal job with a family. Then he goes on to talk about how Canadian tax dollars are used to fight against ISIS and how that is reason enough to pick up and come join the fight. The video takes a turn when Poulin is shown running through a battle and is killed in an explosion. Words appear on the screen, calling Poulin a martyr and stating that he is now living a better life.

Videos like these are what make people join. ISIS relies very heavily on Twitter and Facebook to get these videos out and talk and recruit young Muslims to join their organization. What can we do to combat this? How can we stop this recruitment and how do we stop people from joining this cause?

References

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/world/middleeast/isis-uses-andre-poulin-a-canadian-convert-to-islam-in-recruitment-video.html?_r=0

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/22/us/colorado-teens-syria-odyssey/index.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/iraq-war-on-terror/losing-iraq/why-are-so-many-westerners-joining-isis/

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4 thoughts on “Joining ISIS

  1. I agree with you Ben, in that I avoid writing anything about ISIS, for reasons based on the fact that it’s complex and very contradicting. How is a life being dead seen as a better life being alive? Of course, the people who are in and who are joining ISIS have their own reasons for why the group works for them, but I think this group joining in a way is almost a fad. ISIS has glorified their group with their popularity on social media, and caused young people with underdeveloped minds to skew their thoughts and misunderstand what is morally right in the world. The girls from Colorado were honestly too young to understand their actions, and I believe they went to join because the were greatly influenced by social media outlets ran by ISIS. I would like to know how the parents of these girls failed to notice that their children were gone for as long as they were, along with $2,000. We need to regulate these social media accounts ran by ISIS and stop joiners before they enter Syria. This situation is getting out of hand I think and ISIS is recruiting people through false information that causes them to believe their home country is bad.

  2. I as well have struggled with the decision of whether or not to write about ISIS. Like Halle pointed out the organization itself is complex and seems contradicting. The goal of ISIS is to create an Islamic State, but the way in which the members of this group go about it goes against Islam. Many of the practices of ISIS are forbidden by Islamic scripture such as denying women and children rights, torturing, and killing people.
    I think that it is important to remember that many people who are in support of ISIS truly believe what they are doing is just. Many claim that an extreme interpretation of the Quran supports the beliefs and actions of those in ISIS.
    http://eaglerising.com/8639/top-ten-quran-verses-understanding-isis/
    Because ISIS has been a main topic in the news and media, I am not surprised by the rise in followers. The girls in Colorado were not the first in Western civilizations to want to join ISIS and I doubt they will be the last.

  3. Wow, really sad but interesting post to me. Hearing of the girls in Colorado that fled the US attempting to join ISIS really baffled me, and it’s sad to think that they might not be alone in the desire to give up the comfort of life here to fight for that brutal organization. Hearing about children involved in these types of organizations always depresses me, it is so sad that some people are simply born into circumstances were they are raised in a direction that leads them towards something like ISIS. It seems as if some people never really get a chance to learn of anything else.

  4. I love this post because it really puts in perspective the HUGE impact social media and propaganda has on our world. Propaganda is not a new thing, and other groups have used it in the past to recruit people and it’s crazy to me how so many fall into its web. Now with new technologies, social media is being integrated with propaganda and that’s something that our world is now adjusting to.

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