People continue to refer to the Islamic State (IS) as a terrorist group but it really should be referred to as a state at this point. Granted, there is precious little that separate a terrorist group from a state. The only appreciable differences a state manages to hold a near monopoly on violence within a controlled territory for an extended period of time. That monopoly gives the state the power to issue arbitrary and conflicting decrees. IS is now to the point where it can do exactly that:
The Islamic State group has reportedly banned women from wearing a burka, a veil that covers the entire face, as a security precaution in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The alleged new rule is striking in part because the militant group also known as ISIS has beaten and killed women in the past for refusing to wear the conservative garment.
I wonder if the French government and Gary “Ban the Burqa” Johnson will express support for IS now.
Islamophobes of all sorts but neocons especially have been jumping for joy because of this decree. In their minds it proves that the practices of Islam are so dangerous that even IS can’t live with them. In reality IS has about as much to do with Islam as most Christian kingdoms of Europe had to do with Christianity. Religion is just the justification for seizing power just as the struggle of the proletariat was the justification used by the Bolsheviks. But the justification a government uses for existing is never the actual goal. Now that power has been seized IS is acting like any other government that has obtained power by tossing aside its justification for existing and focusing on maintaining its power instead. Maintaining that power comes in the form of issuing decrees that are contradictory to is original mission statement. Anybody who believes this particular arbitrary decree invalidates IS as an organization should take a close look at their own government because it does exactly the same thing for exactly the same reason.