The recent Atlantic article “What ISIS Really Wants” has that unique trait that makes an article worth discussing at length: It combines deep insight with deep flaws. It taught me a lot about how end-times prophesy and the Caliphate’s role in ISIS’s interpretation of Sharia figure in the Islamic State’s appeal. But the article wraps those lessons inside an orientalist view of Islam, in which re-creating the 7th century is the only way to be “serious” about the religion.
It would be a shame if readers either ignored the article or swallowed it whole. But fortunately, its insights into the Islamic State are completely separable from its stereotypes about Islam. I guess that’s what a sift is for.
Look for that article — I’m still futzing with the title, but it will have “Islamic State” in it somewhere — around 10 EST.
The summary will go on to discuss whether President Obama loves America (isn’t that the issue we really need to be talking about?), whether conservatism can learn from its mistakes, and Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to Congress, before closing with a sex fantasy that a feminist cartoonist prefers to 50 Shades of Grey.