Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Mystery of ISIS

"The Mystery of ISIS" in the New York Review of Books - a must-read.
I have often been tempted to argue that we simply need more and better information. But that is to underestimate the alien and bewildering nature of this phenomenon. To take only one example, five years ago not even the most austere Salafi theorists advocated the reintroduction of slavery; but ISIS has in fact imposed it. Nothing since the triumph of the Vandals in Roman North Africa has seemed so sudden, incomprehensible, and difficult to reverse as the rise of ISIS
We hide this {our lack of understanding of ISIS} from ourselves with theories and concepts that do not bear deep examination.