For John, BLUF: We don't understand all we know about Islamic Terrorism. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From the blog The Lobelog we have a discussion of "The Islamic State’s Supposed Theology", by Mr Musa al-Gharbi.
I think that Mr al-Gharbi has some good points in his contribution, and they are worth discussing. Here are the first two paragraphs, without the embedded links:
It is problematic to assert that the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) is not “Islamic” in large part because the assertion presupposes there is a “true” and a “false” Islam—one by which Barack Obama or liberal Muslim intellectuals can judge whether others are “authentic” believers or not. This is the same takfir (excommunication) doctrine that animates IS and its precursors, a dogma that most IS critics are eager to condemn when turned on religious minorities (especially Christians) in the Middle East.Regards — Cliff
Instead, one could argue that IS’s doctrines are far outside the mainstream beliefs and practices of contemporary and historical Muslim communities. By virtue of its fundamentalism, which relies heavily on fringe interpretations, cherry-picking Quranic verses, and revisionist history, IS rejects and does violence to the rich, diverse, and pluralistic Islamic legal tradition. IS tries to be as provocative as possible, especially in relation to other jihadist groups—often deliberately and cynically evoking Islamophobic and Orientalist tropes to goad its Western enemies. Many of its aspirations and tactics, moreover, have modern, secular roots.