Mehdi Hasan: Taking Islam Out Of The Islamic State

Efforts to stem worldwide recruitment by the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State have added urgency to the debate over the role of religion as a motivator of violent extremism.

Mehdi Hasan, a presenter for Al Jazeera English, takes down a controversial article in The Atlantic Monthly by Graeme Wood that claimed ISIS is indeed Islamic.

In his article in the New Statesman called, “How Islamic is Islamic State?” Hasan argues that focusing on the internal factors that motivate “terrorists” misses the point because it ignores relevant external factors that motivate people…

…“Are they relying on words of the Qur’an? Clearly they are cherry-picking words of the Qur’an. Clearly they are using Islamic language. Why wouldn’t they? It’s an effective recruiting agent. They are in a region of the world where people take faith seriously. So if you want to attract people to you cause you say it’s holy. You say its Islamic”…


Audio interview at the link. Mehdi Hasan is a well-known apologist for Islam.

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  • Drunk_by_Noon

    When you lie that much, it’s hard to keep your stories straight.
    I noticed that with Arab, and many foreign people from low-trust societies.
    The secret code (that we are supposed to believe) is that whatever they are saying is true (in their mind) at the exact time they said it, but that we should not hold them to their words they said yesterday, because ‘things change’.

    It really just boils down to “they lie”, either out of convenience or opportunity, they just lie.

    • Sharkibark

      Actually I think you’re right. I worked in a sales position in Toronto for over ten years (now relocated up north, yayyyy!) but there were definite differences in how I had to relate to different clients. Many middle eastern clients would actively (and brazenly – there was no shame when I pointed out that they were lying…) lie while in negotiations. We used to joke that you could tell when they were lying by how earnestly they looked at you – the longer they held your gaze, the bigger the lie.

      Not all of course! I met many lovely people of all ethnicities and religions during my career and not all followed this stereotype. But enough did to actually make the stereotype in the first place.

      • disqus_W6sfZCiOd8

        Good story. We need more stories like yours.