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Religion, Policy and Politics

Blog Post

Enough about Islam: Why religion is not the most useful way to understand ISIS

February 18, 2015, J.M. Berger

A new article about ISIS in The Atlantic has reignited the perennial debate over the relationship between jihadist terrorism and the religion of Islam. J.M. Berger argues that, while religion is important to ISIS and other jihadist groups, they are better understood as identity-based extremist groups, often millenarian, that use religion to establish who is part of the in-group and who is part of the out-group.