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Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, IPA: /ˈsəl/), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS /ˈsɪs/), is a Salafi jihadist terrorist organisation and former unrecognised proto-state that follows a fundamentalist, Wahhabi, and heterodox doctrine of Sunni Islam. ISIL gained global prominence in early 2014 when it drove Iraqi government forces out of key cities in its Western Iraq offensive, followed by its capture of Mosul and the Sinjar massacre.

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I'm glad to hear that some "pundits" are now referring to ISIS as a cult. I've always thought that what they call "radical Islam" is really just a cult. As we hear more about the backgrounds of Westerners drawn to ISIS like the recent Canadian shooter, they often sound disaffected. Their parents often are shocked their children tried to sneak on Syrian-bound planes to join ISIS. Ironically, social media that Americans created is used to propagate their message worldwide, allowing them to draw upon the world's lost, disillusioned souls.

Contributed by Chuck Kao

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