For ISIS, the United States’ Military Strikes Confirm God’s Favor -- Sightings (Jeffrey Kaplan)
You might say that what is happening in Iraq and Syria is a battle for the soul of Islam. For many Muslims ISIS or ISIL or IS is an apostate version of Islam. They don't wish to accord it legitimacy than most Christians want to accord legitimacy to the Aryan Nation or Westboro Baptist Church. But there are others, taken with apocalyptic visions of service to the cause of world Islam who are quite happy to follow one who claims to be Caliph and might even be the expected Mahdi (an Islamic Messiah). In this Sightings piece, Jeffrey Kaplan points out the religious foundations for this movement that has sent shivers up the spines of persons everywhere. Since the essay leaves us without a concluding interpretation, I will leave that up to you to consider what all of this means.