Holy Warriors of the Caliphate : Stroke of illogical fanatism or religious nationalism?

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för statsvetenskap (ST)

Abstract: The Islamic State continuously, and successfully, recruits new members from all over the world. Although portrayed by the media as poverty-stricken, ranging in lonely individuals lacking education, these members are individuals who often lead normal lives with good economic and social standing as well as a high level of education. This thesis take us on a new recruits journey from conscription to warfare. Trying to discern the core reasons behind why someone joins, conforms and fights for a modern day Caliphate produce the concept of a typical Islamic State recruit. Among the findings is the revelation that the recruits, self-perceived socio-economic status, is a major factor when combined with the possibility of great social rewards and a sense of importance and belonging. An individual who has been recruited, then, chose to stay in the organisation based on loyalty, dependence and conformity. Finally; the thesis uncover the reasons why the incumbents take up arms to defend the prescribed ideological beliefs. Beliefs that rests on a solid religious foundation. The member feels his or her ideology to be under attack — and anew — will take up arms to defend that what is believed to be true. Based on the study we can conclude that the final stage of the individual members journey is based on a kind of nationalistic view of the Caliphate and the importance of Islamic supremacy.

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