ISIS has been making a lot of headlines lately, And often they don’t have to perform a large scale attack to make the first page. Unlike other terrorist groups before them they’ve taken a much stronger hold on social media and video propaganda. They’ve also been attempting to appeal to western sympathizers.
Many of the sympathizers they’ve attracted are teenagers. Its a strange phenomenon. Why is ISIS so appealing to teenagers and what do they believe ISIS stands for? So who better to ask than teenagers themselves.
So what exactly do students believe ISIS is fighting to achieve?
“To be noticed.” Said Jon Seve (9th).
“Enforce their interpretation of Islam on the world.” Said Dawson Haley (9th).
The second question was a trivia question which was asked to them was based on what the acronym ISIS stood for. Nobody knew the full answer, but Dawson did get the “IS” part right which stands for Islamic State.
A less black and white question was where they thought ISIS wanted to invade next.
“Closer to Europe.” Said Jon.
“Saudi Arabia.” Said Dawson.
“Any countries who are near their controlled territories.” Said Andrew Grauer (9th).
Fourth, who is the leader of ISIS? Unfortunately nobody knew his name. Which made it clear that the leader of ISIS Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi isn’t nearly as infamous as deceased Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
The fifth question was one that struck closer to home.
“Why do you think ISIS hates the United States?”
Nearly all of the students agreed that it was due to a power struggle, but Dawson thought that it was more because of the differences in religious beliefs and Jon believed it was because of all the conflict we’ve had in that area so ISIS hates us for invading their home.
A more gruesome question followed.
“Why do you think ISIS films beheadings?”
All of the students were in agreement that the reason was to cause fear and intimidate other countries who oppose them. I also asked if they doubted the authenticity of the videos which provoked mixed answers. Andrew believed that they were indeed authentic, Dawson concurred, but did not rule out the possibility that some aspects such as the location could be the effect of a green screen.
“Why do you think some teenagers from other countries have attempted to join ISIS?”
“They think that ISIS is fighting a just cause.” Said Sebastian Panimbosa (9th).
“They agree with ISIS’s interpretation of Islam.” Said Andrew
Finally, the students were asked what they would do to stop ISIS if they were a world leader.
“I wouldn’t try to get involved.” Said Sebastian.
“I’d try to negotiate with them to see if they would stop.” Said Dawson.
“Bomb them like we’re doing now.” Said Andrew.