Islamic State, a Fundamentalist Threat to the West

first_imgBy Dr. Hugo Harvey, Strategic Studies Institute, Chilean Army War College July 22, 2016 ISIS. Everyone knows the word. Saying it is enough to bring an image of death, decapitations, and limitless atrocities. Nevertheless, there are still a large number of questions regarding the origin, potential ways in which to control excesses, and what it means, in other words, its presence to the world in general and for the West in particular. ISIS, or the Islamic State is not just a terrorist group. It is not a state, as its name would like to convince you. It is a political and military organization that supports a radical interpretation of Islam as a political philosophy, with the intent of imposing that vision of the world by force to Muslims and non Muslims alike. Expelled from al-Qaeda for being too extreme, ISIS says it is the legitimate guide for all Sunni Muslims in the entire world. They have established what they believe is a state that includes large portions of land in Syria and Iraq and is governed from Raqqa in Syria. The group has had many names. It began as a group called Jamaat al-Tawhid wa-i-Jihad (JTWJ), founded in 1999 by Abu Musa al-Zarqawi. The name lasted until 2004, when it changed to al-Qaeda in the Land of Two Rivers (better known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, or AQI). In 2006 it began calling itself Majlis Shura al-Mujahedin (Mujahideen Shura Council, or MSC), and until 2013, it called itself Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). It finally settled on the terror-inducing name we all know, Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), where “al-Sham” refers to the “Great Syria”. That is, it includes Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. Daesh is the Arab acronym of its full name: al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham. French President François Hollande, together with U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, refer to the group by this name, which has several explanations. First of all, to delegitimize the group and abstain from associating the group with a “state” as they hope to do, by confusing people. Secondly, they use it to avoid associating it to Islam, which seems to be one of the goals of the attacks in Paris: Invite repression against Muslims to begin a spiral or escalation of violence. Most importantly, Daesh also has a negative connotation. In fact, depending on its Arab conjugation, it may mean “step over, or flatten with your feet”, or “intolerant”, something ISIS rejects and has banned people from using to refer to them. Since May 2010, the leader has been Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but until 2014, his only known photo is from a police report resulting from time spent captured by the United States in Camp Bucca during the occupation of Iraq. Then, on July 5th, 2015, he appeared at the pulpit of the al-Nuri Grand Mosque, in Mosul, where he gave a sermon during Ramadan as the first calif in generations. That is how, in a short time, he went from a sought-after guerrilla member to self proclaiming himself as “commander” of all Muslims. Yet, it would be a mistake to affirm that Islam is a religion that promotes hate and death. No religion does. Some Muslims have wrongly interpreted a message delivered in the context of over 1,400 years ago. For example, slavery existed at the time of Mohammed, but Qur’an limits it and grants certain rights to slaves, it allows them to buy their own freedom, and exhorts their owners to free them. Something similar happens in the Bible in Ephesians 6:5-9, when he refers to the responsibilities of the slaves and their owners. But nowadays, when slavery is illegal, those words are irrelevant. That is the trouble with Daesh, interpreting everything literally. They don’t understand that in 14 centuries, social and historical circumstances have changed, and some of what the Prophet said was appropriate for the context in which he lived.last_img read more

Weimann seals win for Villa

first_img Weimann rifled a shot in off Asmir Begovic in the 50th minute to steer the visitors to three points few might have predicted them collecting before kick-off. Villa had not won away from home since January 1 and t heir six league games on the road previous to this had all ended in defeat in a poor conclusion to 2013/14. The resultant loose ball was crossed into the danger zone by Richardson to Agbonlahor, who seemingly had the goal at his mercy but – perhaps put off by the presence of Ryan Shawcross – scuffed his shot wide. Villa began to get forward a bit more and just prior to the interval a whipped Cissokho delivery came to the head of Weimann too fast for him to keep it down, although the assistant referee’s flag was raised for offside. Seconds later, Bardsley’s low shot was parried by Guzan, with Bojan unable to follow up, before N’Zogbia cracked a fierce effort goalwards which had the sting taken out of it by a deflection. The game seemed to be warming up, and within five minutes of the restart the deadlock had been broken. The ball broke off Erik Pieters to Weimann, who took a poor first touch. But it came back to him via a combination of Wilson and Stephen Ireland, and the Austria international hit a shot which squeezed in off Begovic. Stoke sought an immediate response and Ron Vlaar did well to get in the way of a Bojan strike. But the Potters struggled to fashion much after that and boss Mark Hughes looked to reinvigorate his attack by bringing on Peter Crouch for Diouf. Arnautovic arrowed a shot wide soon after but it was just not happening for the home side, and Villa might have added another goal in the 87th minute, Bacuna shooting well off-target when he really should have done better. Stoke fans held their breath in the dying seconds as Arnautovic turned and shot in the box, but Senderos was there with the block to ensure Villa held out for the win. Press Association Stoke, on the other hand, had finished the campaign strongly, and lost only three times in the league at the Britannia Stadium over the whole season. However, it was Villa who made the winning start to 2014/15 with a result that could have been even more emphatic had Gabriel Agbonlahor and substitute Leandro Bacuna not squandered decent opportunities either side of the goal. There were three summer signings making their competitive debuts in each starting line-up, forwards Bojan Krkic and Mame Biram Diouf and full-back Phil Bardsley being the trio for Stoke, for who newest arrival Victor Moses – whose loan move from Chelsea was confirmed earlier on Saturday – was not eligible to be involved. The Villa bows were for wide man Kieran Richardson and defensive pair Philippe Senderos and Aly Cissokho, joined at the back by Alan Hutton, making his first competitive appearance of manager Paul Lambert’s tenure after two seasons of being frozen out. Winger Charles N’Zogbia, having missed all of last term through injury, was also back in the first XI and striker Darren Bent – another previously exiled under Lambert – was among the substitutes. Stoke made a positive start to the contest, with Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan collecting a shot from Steven Nzonzi, seeing a Marko Arnautovic strike sail over and surviving a couple of hairy moments when Diouf tried to charge him down. Bojan looked eager to build on the good impression he made in pre-season by scoring three goals for his new club, and he created the clearest chance yet when he cut into the area and fired wide in the 13th minute. Villa had shown little attacking impetus, but they had a great chance to open the scoring in the 25th minute when Begovic and Stoke defender Marc Wilson got into a mix-up. Andreas Weimann’s second-half strike proved the difference as Aston Villa won 1-0 at Stoke on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season. last_img read more

Getting to know Montana basketball

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on March 21, 2013 at 5:23 pm Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_ Related Stories Just in time: Syracuse playing best ball of season as it heads into NCAA TournamentMontana to mix zone, man-to-man against SyracuseBearing down: Despite injuries to key players, Montana carries momentum from stellar regular season into NCAA TournamentGallery: Syracuse practices in San Jose a day before taking on Montana in the NCAA TournamentQ&A with Montana beat writer Bob Meseroll of the Missoulian Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament opponents, the No. 13-seed Montana Grizzles have their own fair share of basketball history.How they got here:Big Sky conference champions, they beat Weber State Wildcats 67-64 in the tournament championship.Home court:Dahlberg ArenaAdvertisementThis is placeholder textNCAA Tournament appearances (10):1975, 1991, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2013Best NCAA Tournament finish:1975, Sweet 16. The Grizzlies lost to UCLA in the West region semifinals before losing to UNLV in the regional 3rd-place game.Winningest coach:George Dahlberg (1937-42, 1944-55)235-233Big Sky tournament titles (9):1991, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2013Highest NBA draft pick:M.R. Richardson, 4th overall 1978, New York KnicksRichardson played eight seasons in the NBA, four with the Knicks, half of one with the Golden State Warriors and the rest of his career with the New Jersey Nets.Career statsPPG14.8RPG 5.5APG 7.0Steals/game 2.6FG% 46%3FG% 22%FT % 69%last_img read more