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Islam v. Islamic State: Charges, Arguments, and Evidence in the Islamic Case Against ISIS

Sheikh, Naveed S.



When the Islamic State group reinvented itself as the new Caliphate in 2014, this illocutionary act followed from an extended process of semantic Islamization of brute politics. Its unholy violence, which for over half a decade made it the scourge of the earth, was justified in the name of (its) Islam, but not without ferocious demurrals from traditional Islamic authorities around the world, intent to rescue Islam from Islamic State. Based on an examination of central tropes in some of the anti-terror proclamations produced by traditional scholars of Islamic law, the present chapter identifies five key charges against Islamic State. These are, respectively: (1) that Islamic State was not a legitimate caliphate, (2) that its leaders had no religious authority to (re)define Islam, (3) that it was guilty of enacting collective anathematization against the majority of Muslims, (4) that it violated Islamic stipulations on lawful warfare and human rights, and, finally, (5) that its ideology constituted a form of Kharijism. In questioning, with Islamic scholastic authorities, the Islamic credentials of Islamic State, the chapter concludes that the group is best understood as a political cult (of empowerment), embedded in a strategic subculture (of jihadism), deriving from a sectarian identity (of Salafism).


Sheikh, N. S. (2023). Islam v. Islamic State: Charges, Arguments, and Evidence in the Islamic Case Against ISIS. In Politics Between Nations (497-517). Springer.

Online Publication Date Jun 28, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Dec 21, 2023
Publisher Springer
Pages 497-517
Book Title Politics Between Nations
ISBN 9783031248955; 9783031248962
Publisher URL
Additional Information First Online: 28 June 2023