Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Cracks in the Islamic State

| Feb. 15, 2017

The Fighters Who Fell Away

The U.S.-led operation to reclaim Mosul has created a religious rift within the Islamic State (also known as ISIS). Of course, the terrorist group has always had a complicated relationship with Islam—much of the Muslim world disavows the group. But now, faced with the pressures of impending defeat, some fighters have abandoned ISIS' strictures, such as bans on alcohol and cigarettes, which has irked those who are more dogmatic about the enforcement of sharia law. This has created a deep split over the group's doctrine.

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For Academic Citation: Mironova, Vera and Ekaterina Sergatskova.“Cracks in the Islamic State.” Foreign Affairs, February 15, 2017.