If ISIS is to be defeated, its theological foundations must be understood. As this analysis piece shows, central to ISIS operations is the idea that a Muslim cannot simply kill another Muslim. Before enemies can be attacked, they must first of all be declared apostates. This central theological precept guides much of Middle Eastern religious extremism today.
In the end, civil wars that pit Muslim against Muslim, such as in Iraq, inevitably fall back on sectarianism, even in cases where sectarianism didn’t cause the conflict in the first place.
The full article first appeared in Unforgiving Servant.