Egypt Engages ISIS, But Understanding Of The Root Of Their Evil Is Critical

On Sunday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said his government reserves the right to retaliate against ISIS for the beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts at the suitable time and place. The group released a video showing the beheading of the Christians, and on Monday, Sisi lived up to his pledge by directing the bombing of Islamic State targets inside Libya on Monda.

It was the first time Egypt confirmed launching air strikes against the group in neighboring Libya, showing that al-Sisi is ready to expand his fight against Islamist militancy beyond Egypt’s borders, reports USA Today.

The 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, who had gone to Libya in search of work, were marched to a beach, forced to kneel and then beheaded on video, which was broadcast via a website that supports Islamic State, according to The Washington Post.

Before the killings, one of the militants stood with a knife in his hand and said: “Safety for you crusaders is something you can only wish for.”

While President Obama and administration officials prefer to describe ISIS as a group of crazed radicals, Graeme Wood of The Atlantic contends they are dangerous precisely because they are not random in their brutality.

One of the West’s errors is to buy into the “well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature,” rather than seeing it as terrorist group with a medieval religious nature.

“There is a temptation to rehearse this observation—that jihadists are modern secular people, with modern political concerns, wearing medieval religious disguise—and make it fit the Islamic State. In fact, much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse,’ observes Wood.

 

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