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Nationalist Jāhiliyyah and the Flag of the Two Crusaders, or: ISIS, Sovereignty, and the “Owl of Minerva”


Studies in Conflict and TerrorismJournal abstract

This article argues that by understanding Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) state-building processes we are able to understand how ISIS has developed while also developing a united citizenship body built from people in Iraq and Syria and those making hijra. The fragmentation of Iraq and Syria resulted in conditions that would prove conducive to the group's expansion and identifying these conditions is imperative to understanding Sunni extremism in the Middle East. The article argues that ISIS builds citizenship in two ways: first, by developing asabiyya—group feeling—among Sunni and second, by securitizing the Shi'a threat. Identifying and engaging with the concepts of sovereignty and citizenship helps to develop much stronger policy responses.

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