Why Islamic State’s caliphate is trouble for Egypt

Mahmoud Salem (@Sandmonkey) writes: It has been less than two months since the rise to power of IS, which some cheekily refer to as SIC (State of the Islamic Caliphate), but its significance should not be ignored. The group’s emergence and continued existence is an impressive feat in today’s world order. IS now controls territory that stretches from the eastern edge of Aleppo, Syria, to Fallujah, in western Iraq, and the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. It has already established a judicial system, provides security, runs schools and offers social services.

Social media networks have shared pictures of vehicles with “Islamic Caliphate” license plates and the new state’s passport. There are also reports of a newly established consumer protection authority for food standards in Raqqa. Much has also been written about IS’ sophisticated media and PR operations. For all intents and purposes, IS has established a “functioning” state in — and I repeat for emphasis — less than two months.

While some analysts might refer to the Taliban and claim that there’s nothing new here, such a comparison is flawed for one important reason: The Taliban’s main prerogative was control of Afghanistan, a historically established and internationally recognized state with internationally recognized borders. IS, however, has no interest in controlling a state that has borders. On the contrary, its political philosophy is vehemently opposed to borders. [Continue reading…]

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