Extremists Transform Concept of jihad

The best examples of this Wahhabi-Brotherhood mix are the jihadist groups in Afghanistan, such as Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, that fought the Soviet Union and then the United States and its allies.

The Islamic State (IS) is evolving a notion of jihad that has components helping it stand its ground in the Middle East. In the context of establishing a self-proclaimed caliphate, IS has further shifted jihad away from a voluntary religious practice to a recruitment process or tool used by the organization’s apparatus in the areas it controls.

The enemy — initially the West and local regimes allied with it — is now anyone opposing the establishment and survival of the caliphate. This is how IS is institutionalizing jihad under the banner of the state it is attempting to create.

An academic in Mosul speaking on condition of anonymity told Al-Monitor that IS is constantly welcoming new volunteers, especially youths from the city, and paying them regular salaries ranging from $300 to $1,000 to fight in organized military ranks.

Registrations are conducted and officially recorded at IS offices. IS also demands that local policemen and former members of the Iraqi army and Sahwa forces repent and then inducts them into its combat ranks to fight the Iraqi government.

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