Does ISIS justify its actions based on actions of others against Sunni Muslims, just like Imperial Japan tried to justify its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere because of European colonialism?

For example, do they argue that their actions are in response to the actions of the Shiite-controlled country X, Christian-controlled country Y or Kurdish group Z?

In addition, do they try to link Christians, Shiites and Kurds in Iraq with government or quasi-government groups it is complaining about?

2 Answers 2


Generally, no. They usually justify their actions with religious arguments. If you read their magazine "Dabiq", you even may come under first impression that it is anti-ISIS propaganda.

Because they say

  • ISIS revived slavery, including sexual slavery. They also claim slavery is justified by Quran and abolishment of slavery was a wrong.

  • Jihad should be permanent, stopping it was a mistake. They also justify sexual slavery and permanent jihad on the grounds that Islamic polygamy makes many men sexually unsatisfied so constant influx of new sex slaves is needed. Good to the slaves, their children from their masters will be free (and legally the masters of their mothers).

  • They claim they perpetrated forced conversions to Islam of Yezids under choice of being enslaved or convert. Good to the Yezids ISIS scholars determined that their religion is separate and ancient rather than an apostasy from Islam, in which case they would be punished by death without a choice.

  • ISIS makes massacres of POWs. Yes! They themselves call it "massacres" rather than punishment, revenge, symmetric response or anything else! They also mention and show photos of "death marchs" of the POWs, a spectacular allusion to the Holocaust.


I'll base anything on this. I do not know how accurate it is or even whether it is real.

O Americans, and O Europeans, the Islamic State did not initiate a war against you, as your governments and media try to make you believe. It is you who started the transgression against us, and thus you deserve blame and you will pay a great price ...

It promised to save them and support them. It promised to save them from the terrorists. While at the same time, America and its allies remained watching the plight of the Muslims upon the hands of the nusayriyyah. They watched with happiness seeing the killing, abuse, expulsion, and destruction, neither interested in, nor concerned about, the hundreds of thousands of dead, wounded, and imprisoned Muslims, and the millions displaced – including men, women and children – all over the world at the hands of the jews, crusaders, rāfidah , nusayriyyah, hindus, atheists, and apostates, in Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Burma, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Indonesia, India, China, the Caucasus, and elsewhere ...

O muwahhid, we call you up to defend the Islamic State. Dozens of nations have gathered against it. They began their war against us at all levels. ...

So O muwahhid... O you who believes in walā’ and barā’... will you leave the American, the Frenchman, or any of their allies to walk safely upon the earth while the armies of the crusaders strike the lands of the Muslims not differentiating between a civilian and fighter? They have killed nine Muslim women three days ago by striking a bus transporting them from Shām to Iraq. Will you leave the disbeliever to sleep safely at home while the Muslim women and children shiver with fear of the roars of the crusader airplanes above their heads day and night? How can you enjoy life and sleep while not aiding your brothers, not casting fear into the hearts of the cross worshippers, and not responding to their strikes with multitudes more?

So yes, they do blame the actions of nation states for theirs.

History is right there in front of you, O Sunnis, so read it. How many times have the rāfidah conspired against the Sunnis, and what do they do to them when they gain power?

Yes, they also include the hundreds of years old conflict between Sunni and Shia as additional justification - in this case against Iran.

BUT (as the large number of Qu'ran quotes suggests) this is only additional justification and taken as evidence for their righteousness which ultimately derives from religious thought.

  • I'm not at all familiar with "average" texts from highly religious Muslims so a high number of Qu'ran quotes may not be extraordinary. Still I feel confident that I'm not sticking out my neck too far when saying that the Islamic State is highly influenced by religion.
    – user45891
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 18:56

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