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05 Apr 2015

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In December 2013, two suicide bombers stormed the headquarters of TV station Salaheddin and killed five journalists, after accusing the station of "distorting the image of Iraq's Sunni community". Reporters Without Borders reported that on 7 September 2014, ISIL seized and on 11 October publicly beheaded Raad al-Azzawi, a TV Salaheddin cameraman from the village of Samra, east of Tikrit.355 SONY VAIO PCG-6Q1L CPU Fan

As of October 2014, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, ISIL is holding nine journalists and has nine others under close observation in Mosul and Salahuddin province.354HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

During 2013 and part of 2014, an ISIL unit nicknamed the Beatles acquired and held 12 Western journalists hostage, along with aid workers and other foreign hostages, totalling 23 or 24 known hostages. DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

A Polish journalist Marcin Suder was captured in July 2013 but escaped four months later.356 The unit executed American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and released beheading videos. Eight of the other journalists were released for ransom: Danish journalist Daniel Rye Ottosen, HP 519004-001 Laptop Keyboard

French journalists Didier François, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Hénin, and Pierre Torres, and Spanish journalists Marc Marginedas, Javier Espinosa, and Ricardo García Vilanova. HP 576835-001 Laptop Keyboard

The unit continues to hold hostage British journalist John Cantlie and a female aid worker.357

Cyber-security group the Citizen Lab released a report finding a possible link between ISIL and a digital attack on the Syrian citizen media group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RSS). Supporters of the media group received an emailed link to an image of supposed airstrikes, HP Mini 110-3135dx Laptop Keyboard

but clicking on the link introduced malware to the user's computer that sends details of the user's IP address and system each time it restarts. That information has been enough to allow ISIL to locate RSS supporters. "The group has been targeted for kidnappings, house raids, and at least one alleged targeted killing. At the time of that writing, ISIL was allegedly holding several citizen journalists in Raqqa," according to the Citizen Lab report. DELL PK130801B00 Laptop Keyboard

On 8 January 2015, ISIL members in Libya claimed to have executed Tunisian journalists Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari who disappeared in September 2014.359Also in January 2015, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto Jogo was captured after travelling to Raqqah and displayed on video with another Japanese citizen with a demand for $200 million ransom. DELL F484C Laptop Keyboard

An unknown number of Syrians and Iraqis, several Lebanese soldiers, at least ten Kurds, two American journalists, one American and two British aid workers, and three Libyans have been beheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. ISIL uses beheadings to intimidate local populations and has released a series of propaganda videos aimed at Western countries.360 French Macaron Pillow,Creative Cushion - Matty's

They also engage in public and mass executions, sometimes forcing prisoners to dig their own graves before shooting lines of prisoners and pushing them in.361362 ISIL was reported to have beheaded about 100 foreign fighters as deserters who tried to leaveRaqqa.UNESCO's Director-General Irina Bokova has warned that ISIL is destroying Iraq's cultural heritage, in what she has called "cultural cleansing". "SONY VAIO PCG-71111M battery

We don't have time to lose because extremists are trying to erase the identity, because they know that if there is no identity, there is no memory, there is no history", she said. Referring to the ancient cultures of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities, she said, "This is a way to destroy identity. You deprive them of their culture, you deprive them of their history, their heritage, and that is why it goes hand in hand with genocide. SONY VAIO PCG-21211M battery

Along with the physical persecution they want to eliminate – to delete – the memory of these different cultures. ... we think this is appalling, and this is not acceptable."364 Saad Eskander, head of Iraq's National Archives said, "For the first time you have cultural cleansing... For the Yazidis, religion is oral, nothing is written. By destroying their places of worship ... you are killing cultural memory. It is the same with the Christians – it really is a threat beyond belief."SONY VAIO PCG-21212M battery

To finance its activities, ISIL is stealing artefacts from Syria366 and Iraq and sending them to Europe to be sold. It is estimated that ISIL raises US$200 million a year from cultural looting. UNESCO has asked for United Nations Security Councilcontrols on the sale of antiquities, similar to those imposed after the 2003 Iraq War. SONY VAIO PCG-21212V battery

UNESCO is working with Interpol, national customs authorities, museums, and major auction houses in attempts to prevent looted items from being sold.365 ISIL occupied Mosul Museum, the second most important museum in Iraq, as it was about to reopen after years of rebuilding following the Iraq War, saying that the statues were against Islam and threatening to destroy the museum's contents.367368SONY VAIO PCG-21213V battery

ISIL considers worshipping at graves tantamount to idolatry, and seeks to purify the community of unbelievers. It has used bulldozers to crush buildings and archaeological sites.368 Bernard Haykel has described al-Baghdadi's creed as "a kind of untamed Wahhabism", saying, "For Al Qaeda, violence is a means to an ends; for ISIS, it is an end in itself".170 SONY VAIO PCG-21214V battery

The destruction by ISIL in July 2014 of the tomb and shrine of the prophet Yunus—Jonah in Christianity—the 13th-century mosque of Imam Yahya Abu al-Qassimin, the 14th-century shrine of prophet Jerjis—St George to Christians—and the attempted destruction of the Hadba minaret at the 12th-century Great Mosque of Al-Nuri have been described as "an unchecked outburst of extreme Wahhabism".369Sony VAIO PCG-31111M battery

"There were explosions that destroyed buildings dating back to the Assyrian era", said National Museum of Iraq director Qais Rashid, referring to the destruction of the shrine of Yunus. He cited another case where "Daesh (ISIL) gathered over 1,500 manuscripts from convents and other holy places and burnt all of them in the middle of the city square".370 Sony VAIO PCG-31311M battery

In March 2015, ISIL reportedly bulldozed the 13th-century BC Assyrian city of Nimrud, believing its sculptures to be idolatrous. UNESCO head Irina Bokova deemed this to be a war crime.371

There is also the fear that warfare waged on any side will harm cultural heritage. "The worst thing about wars is that they do not distinguish between the past and the future", SONY VAIO PCG-81212M battery

Mosul calligrapher and conservationist Abdallah Ismail told a local correspondent for the German-funded publication Niqash.org. He suggested that ISIL was "taking the pulse" of the local population to see how it would react to their appetite for destruction. Philippe Lalliot, France's ambassador to UNESCO gave this perspective: "When people die in their tens of thousands, must we be concerned about cultural cleansing? Sony VAIO PCG-41112L battery

Yes, definitely yes ... It's because culture is a powerful incentive for dialogue that the most extreme and the most fanatical groups strive to annihilate it."370 According to the London Charter and several Hague Conventions, the deliberate destruction of historical sites and places of worship, unless such destruction is a necessity during war, is a war crime. SONY VAIO PCG-6Q1L CPU Fan

According to media reports, ISIL has established a system for harvesting and selling human organs from fighters, captives, and hostages, including minority children in Mosul and other areas. ISIL is using imported teams of doctors who are not allowed to interact with local medical staff.

ISIL has received severe criticism from other Muslims, especially religious scholars and theologians. SAMSUNG N150 Laptop Keyboard

In late August 2014, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh, condemned the Islamic State and al-Qaeda saying, "Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on Earth, destroying human civilisation, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims".377 DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

In late September 2014, 126 Sunni imams and Islamic scholars—primarily Sufi378—from around the Muslim world signed an open letter to the Islamic State's leader al-Baghdadi, explicitly rejecting and refuting his group's interpretations of Islamic scriptures, the Qur'an and hadith, used by it to justify its actions.379380 "You have misinterpreted Islam into a religion of harshness, brutality, torture and murder ... HP 576835-001 Laptop Keyboard

this is a great wrong and an offence to Islam, to Muslims and to the entire world", the letter states.381 It rebukes the Islamic State for its killing of prisoners, describing the killings as "heinous war crimes" and its persecution of the Yazidis of Iraq as "abominable". Referring to the "self-described 'Islamic State'", HP Mini 110-3135dx Laptop Keyboard

the letter censures the group for carrying out killings and acts of brutality under the guise of jihad—holy struggle—saying that its "sacrifice" without legitimate cause, goals and intention "is not jihad at all, but rather, warmongering and criminality".381382 It also accuses the group of instigating fitna—sedition—by instituting slavery under its rule in contravention of theanti-slavery consensus of the Islamic scholarly community.381 DELL PK130801B00 Laptop Keyboard

Other scholars have described the group as not Sunnis, but Khawarij.

The group's declaration of a caliphate has been criticised and its legitimacy disputed by Middle Eastern governments, other jihadist groups,384 and Sunni Muslim theologians and historians. Qatar-based TV broadcaster and theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawistated: "Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

The declaration issued by the Islamic State is void under sharia and has dangerous consequences for the Sunnis in Iraq and for the revolt in Syria", adding that the title of caliph can "only be given by the entire Muslim nation", not by a single group.Two days after the beheading of Hervé Gourdel, hundreds of Muslims gathered in the Grand Mosque of Paris to show solidarity against the beheading. HP Pavilion DV9233EU Laptop Keyboard

The protest was led by the leader of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, Dalil Boubakeur, and was joined by thousands of other Muslims around the country under the slogan "Not in my name".386387 French president François Hollande said Gourdel's beheading was "cowardly" and "cruel", and confirmed that airstrikes would continue against ISIL in Iraq. DELL F484C Laptop Keyboard

Hollande also called for three days of national mourning, with flags flown at half-mast throughout the country and said that security would be increased throughout Paris.

The group has attracted widespread criticism internationally for its extremism, from governments and international bodies such as the United Nations and Amnesty International. Compaq Presario CQ57 Laptop Keyboard

On 24 September 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated: "As Muslim leaders around the world have said, groups like ISIL – or Da’ish – have nothing to do with Islam, and they certainly do not represent a state. They should more fittingly be called the 'Un-Islamic Non-State'."388 The group was described as a cult in a Huffington Post column by notable cult authority Steven Hassan. HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

The declaration of a new caliphate in June 2014 and the name "Islamic State" have been criticised and ridiculed by Muslim scholars and rival Islamists inside and outside the territory it controls.61626364 In a speech in September 2014, President Obama said that ISIL is not "Islamic" on the basis that no religion condones the killing of innocents and that no government recognises the group as a state,68 DELL INSPIRON 1464 Laptop Keyboard

and many object to using the name "Islamic State" owing to the far-reaching religious and political claims to authority which that name implies. The United Nations Security Council, the United States, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Russia, the United Kingdom  and other countries generally call the group "ISIL", while much of the Arab world uses the Arabic acronym "Dāʻish". DELL Vostro PP37L Laptop Keyboard

France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "This is a terrorist group and not a state. I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists. The Arabs call it 'Daesh' and I will be calling them the 'Daesh cutthroats.'"394 Retired general John Allen, the US envoy to co-ordinate the coalition, IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X301 2774 Keyboard

US military Lieutenant General James Terry, head of operations against the group, and Secretary of State John Kerry have all shifted toward the term DAESH by December 2014.

In late August 2014, a leading Islamic educational institution, Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah in Egypt, advised Muslims to stop calling the group "Islamic State" and instead refer to it as "Al-Qaeda Separatists in Iraq and Syria" or "QSIS", SONY Vaio VGN-AW Laptop Keyboard

because of the militant group's "un-Islamic character".396397 When addressing the United Nations Security Council in September 2014, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott summarised the widespread objections to the name "Islamic State" thus: "To use this term Islamic State is to dignify a death cult; a death cult that, in declaring itself a caliphate, has declared war on the world".398 The group is very sensitive about its name. Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

"They will cut your tongue out even if you call them ISIS – you have to say 'Islamic State'", said a woman in ISIL-controlled Mosul.In mid-October 2014, representatives of the Islamic Society of Britain, the Association of British Muslims and the UK's Association of Muslim Lawyers proposed that "'Un-Islamic State' (UIS) could be an accurate and fair alternative name to describe this group and its agenda", further stating, Lenovo 45N2106 Laptop Keyboard

"We need to work together and make sure that these fanatics don't get the propaganda that they feed off."400401 The "Islamic State" is mocked on social media websites such as Twitter and YouTube, with the use of hashtags, mock recruiting ads, fake news articles and YouTube videos.402 One parody, by a Palestinian TV satire show, portrays ISIL as "buffoon-like hypocrites", and has had more than half a million views on YouTube. HP Pavilion DV7-4053 Laptop Keyboard

In mid-February 2015, Graeme Wood, a lecturer in political science at Yale University said in the Atlantic, "Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” HP G72-227WM Laptop Keyboard

Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.”34 Wood further states, "The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. COMPAQ Presario CQ61 Laptop Keyboard

But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam."Mehdi Hasan, a political journalist said in the New Statesman, "Whether Sunni or Shia, Salafi or Sufi, conservative or liberal, Muslims – and Muslim leaders – have almost unanimously condemned and denounced Isis not merely as un-Islamic but actively anti-Islamic." HP Pavilion DV3000 Laptop Keyboard

404 The British Historian, Tom Holland, writing for the New Statesman said, "Islamic State, in its conceit that it has trampled down the weeds and briars of tradition and penetrated to the truth of God’s dictates, is recognisably Salafist. When Islamic State fighters smash the statues of pagan gods, they are following the example of the Prophet; when they proclaim themselves the shock troops of a would-be global empire, HP Pavilion DV9243EA Laptop Keyboard

they are following the example of the warriors of the original caliphate; when they execute enemy combatants, and impose discriminatory taxes on Christians, and take the women of defeated opponents as slaves, they are doing nothing that the first Muslims did not glory in. Such behaviour is certainly not synonymous with Islam; but if not Islamic, then it is hard to know what else it is."405FUJITSU Lifebook E8110 Laptop Keyboard



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