Last time I touched on the topic of political fundamentalism in Sunni Islam, as well as the historical development of these political views in the Near East. From this, I assessed two aspects of fundamentalism that will be relevant in this article: (1) fundamentalism’s main values are those of its fundaments, which could very well neglect those of social, political, or economic interest. (2) Fundamentalism aims at deconstructing the structure of its opposing civilization in order to integrate its fundaments as the basis of the civilization; however, this is not just restricted to religious fundamentalism, for secular values could be the source of this as well. Now I’m going to be elaborating on reports about the structure of I.S.I.S. as an organization and government per se (for some would outright reject this last description of it). Then, I will be addressing I.S.I.S. as a transnational organization in order to reflect upon the worldwide concern. Lastly I will talk about the international response to I.S.I.S.
Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium provides what it calls “The Anatomy of I.S.I.S.” where it provides a way to understand the way this organization is organized. I’m going to explain this anatomy from the bottom-up: I.S.I.S. has a vast variety of councils which help sustain it economically, politically, and socially; here is the list: Financial Council (weapons, oil sales), Leadership Council (drafting laws, key policies), Military Council (defense of the Islamic State), Legal Council (decision on executions, recruitment), Fighters Assistance Council (foreign fighter aid), Security Council (internal “policing,” executions), Intelligence Council (information on I.S.I.S.’s enemies), and Media Council (regulate media and social media). Here I will address that I.S.I.S.’s fundamentalism tackles social, economic, and political goals, but where it is different from other approaches is the basis of its values. An example of this can be the Security Council which aims at internally protecting and maintain I.S.I.S.’s values; another one would be the Fighters Assistance Council, its foreign aid would be aimed at supporting people that share the same ideology elsewhere. The strongest example would be the Financial Council which aims at sustaining the economy of I.S.I.S. not for sustaining the economy itself, but rather, facilitate the pursuit of I.S.I.S.’s goals, but, again, this is broad enough that it can relate to other sorts of values that aren’t necessarily I.S.I.S.’s. Nonetheless, it is evident that it is hard not to call this a sort of government that facilitates I.S.I.S.’s agenda, for its structure is highly organized. These councils are then related to the 12 governors of Iraq and the 12 governors of Syria, and from here onwards there are 3 main figures before the very top: Abu Muslim al-Turkmani who is the Deputy of I.S.I.S. in Iraq, Adu Ali al-Anbari who is the Deputy of I.S.I.S. in Syria, and the Shura Council which interprets Sharia law and monitors the caliphate’s and everyone else’s alignment to the religious ideology. At the very top, Adu Bakr al- Baghdadi is the Commander in Chief and the caliphate, and along with him there is his cabinet which are advisors. Ultimately, I.S.I.S.’s has a thoroughly layered organization that resembles that of a government. TRAC’s source of the structure of I.S.I.S.’s organization should be available in the Bolt’s website if not here.
I.S.I.S.’s Media and Leadership Council have caused some transnational concerns. I.S.I.S. has gain notoriety through its online presence in order to recruit new members and spread its message across the world. So far there have been videos that feature the beheading of U.S. journalists and a British aid worker, and in terms of recruiting new members CBC states that “the group recently released “Flames of War,” a Hollywood-style trailer that promises the fight between I.S.I.S. and the West ‘has just begun.’” Through the latter, I.S.I.S. has gained support from other countries in the Middle East, as well as sympathizers worldwide. Some examples of these include Andrew Poulin, a Canadian that joined the Sunni jihadists in Syria and an I.S.I.S.-inspired beheading plot that was stopped in Australia in which 6 people ended up in custody and 15 were detained. However, one must bear in mind that these aren’t I.S.I.S.’s coordinated attacks on foreign targets, but the works of others who have absorbed its message. I.S.I.S. differs from al-Qaeda in that it doesn’t concern itself with the work of aficionados, it solely tries to spread its message while it works within its own territory. But, in this sense, I.S.I.S. does attempt to infiltrate its values into other civilizations around it; through this it aims at deconstructing foreign values to promote its own. Thus, I.S.I.S. is concerning worldwide in the sense in which it tries to influence foreigners into supporting its effort, however, the action that happens outside Iraq and Syria occurs on its own accord by being inspired by I.S.I.S.
So, how is the rest of the world responding to I.S.I.S.? French President, François Hollande has called out for a global responses to I.S.I.S.’s actions while Barack Obama in the U.S. has had an emotional response to having left Iraq just to return to it once again, and along with him, Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott is supporting the U.S. Russia condemns the U.S.’s response. And so on. This particular topic I shall dwell more into next edition though, for once again I’m reaching my word limit.
(Source: CNN, originally from TRAC) http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/18/world/meast/isis-syria-iraq-hierarchy/index.html?iid=article_sidebar