Over the past year the world has watched the Middle East be torn apart by the Islamic State. As we very well know people seem to be flocking to the middle east to take up arms with ISIS from other parts of the Middle East as well as even the U.S.. The question then is ‘why would people leave their lives behind to take up arms with these seventh century throwbacks?’
You will of course here many explanations for the problem such as ‘they are all mentally ill’ or ‘lack of opportunity leaves them no choice but to join’ both of which are laughable. The root reason why people join the Islamic State may very well be different for each person who joins. One captured ISIS member during an interview said that joining the group was the only option he had to provide for his family and that the lack of opportunity was a result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq says Lydia Wilson who conducted the interview. Another study surveyed 250 different fighters from various groups and asked them what there reason was for joining the their prospective group, the results concluded that Islamists unanimously claimed to support their cause, though it is suspected they felt the pressure to over state their own religiosity. An even more disturbing reason for joining the group given by Rukmini Callimachi in her New York Times article is that the Islamic State lures men from deeply conservative Muslim societies with there slave market of young women.
Whatever the reason is for people to join the Islamic State it is clear that they have been able to target many groups of people and convince them that joining the group will benefit them in some particular way. I think it is evident that if we want to beat ISIS we need to understand who and how they are recruiting, because no matter what the reason is for joining the end result is massive loss of life.
Here I have linked the graph showing the results of the survey mentioned previously.