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Archive for the ‘Islamic State’ Category

Graeme Wood. The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State.  New York, NY: Random House, December 20th, 2016. 352 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a book that tries to give readers the look of what supporters of the Islamic State looks like written by a journalist for the publication called The Atlantic.  The author Graeme Wood interviews various Islamic State supporters and goes all around the world in his pursuit of interviews.  This book is the result of Wood’s investigative journalism.  Since there is not a lot of book out there that describes the people who support the Islamic State in their own words or their perspective (even though the book injects his critique and his thought) this makes this work all the more fascinating.

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Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan. ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.  New York, NY: Regan Arts, February 17th, 2015. 270 pp.

5 out of 5

This is the second book I have read on ISIS/Islamic State.  I have previously read Black Flag.  I appreciated this present work that details to the readers further insight into the Islamic State.  The two authors definitely has done their research and while the future will no doubt have more scholarly books analyzing ISIS with more information this book is quite helpful at the moment given how little book length treatment currently exists on ISIS.  I think this work would still be important even in the future among the collection of works that paved the way in terms of analyzing ISIS.  Both authors are journalists who among other things contribute to the periodical Foreign Policy.  Their background no doubt is helpful. The book essentially traces the history of how Al Qaeda in Iraq evolved into the Islamic state.  The main question that the book focuses on is how is an insurgency group that at one time was as a “junior varsity” among terrorist’s organization eventually became its own self-proclaimed state.

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Joby Warrick. Black Flags: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of the Islamic State.  New York, NY: Doubleday, September 29th, 2015.  416 pp.

The author Joby Warrick is a journalist whose career includes covering the Middle East.  Previously I read the author’s first book titled The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole who Infiltrated the CIA.  I enjoyed this present volume a lot more both in terms of the subject and writing style.  In Black Flags the author focuses on what was formerly known as Al Qaeda in Iraq and its founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and how the organization later evolved into the Islamic State.  The book was filled with a lot of facts that I didn’t know before but learned from here.  The work was so fascinating that I had a hard time putting down the book.  Given how I am reading this book on the eve of the Iraqi and Kurdish army’s invasion into the last stronghold of the Islamic State in Iraq in the city of Mosul, I found this very timely and eye opening.

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It has been over two years that the Islamic State has been around.

News about what’s going on down on the ground is hard to come back.  Which is what makes these three documentaries produced by Vice Documentary on ISIS quite amazing.  I think they are quite insightful.

As a Christian it has led me to pray for the people under ISIS control and for the Christians and the various minorities in the area of Syria and Iraq.  My prayers are also for the Sunnis and Shiites too.  Including for them to come to know the Lord and Jesus’ saving power.

Here’s the three documentary in chronological order.

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I have this terrible gut feeling that the evil and the horror of the Islamic State that we know of is only the tip of the iceberg.

Here’s a documentary by Ross Kemp called “The Fight Against ISIS.”

I watched this and I prayed that God would end ISIS soon.

They are so evil.

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