Islamic State

#GS2 #InternationalRelations #Terrorism

Context

The Taliban said on Monday they had destroyed an Islamic State cell in the Afghan capital, hours after a suspected IS attack on a mosque killed five persons.

Islamic State

  • The Islamic State, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is an Islamic militant group that advocates a fundamentalist, Salafi jihadist doctrine of Sunni Islam. 
  • The group aims to establish a Caliphate which is a territory governed according to Islamic law. 
  • al-Qaeda's operations are limited to carrying out suicide attacks in the West or West-backed countries. 
  • But IS intends to establish a “pure” Islamic State where the “true” believers can come and live. 
  • In IS controlled regions, the minority communities had to pay minority tax to the state for protection. 
  • Minorities are not allowed to publicly practice their religion. 
  • According to their belief system homosexuals were to be thrown off high-rises. Barbaric punishments like chopping the fingers of smokers exists. 
  • Slavery is legal, but music and films forbidden. 
  • The concept of “nation-states” is also alien to the IS world-view. 
  • Syncretic traditions of Islam such as Sufism are anti-Islam according to the IS. 

Islamic State Khorasan Province

  • Islamic State Khorasan Province is the regional affiliate of the Islamic State group operating in Afghanistan.
  • Of all the jihadist militant groups in Afghanistan, It is the most extreme and violent one.
  • IS-K was established in 2015 when IS's power in Iraq and Syria peaked before its self-declared caliphate was defeated and removed by a US-led coalition.
  • IS-K takes in both Afghan and Pakistani jihadists. They get most members from the Afghan Taliban itself (those who find the Taliban organisation as not extreme enough).
  • The main targets of IS-K have been Afghan security forces, Afghan politicians and ministries, the Taliban, religious minorities, including Shia Muslims and Sikhs, US and Nato forces, and international agencies, including aid organisations.
  • IS-K committed some of the worst atrocities in recent years. They target girls' schools, hospitals etc. They had even attacked a maternity ward and reportedly shot dead pregnant women and nurses.
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