Heart Of Darkness: The Core Beliefs Justifying IS Brutality

When Islamic State (IS) militants threw a man to his death for being gay, the world predictably reacted with shock, outrage, and horror — and that is all part of the plan.

Like the now-commonplace execution-style beheadings, stonings, crucifixions, and immolations — the killing of the man in Mosul appeared cruel and unusual, irrational, and arbitrary.

But to IS, severe punishments are key to building a new order. The group justifies even its most extreme penalties by claiming that they are mandated by Shari’a law and are meted out not in an arbitrary fashion but as part of the group’s established system of Shari’a courts and judges.