(A version of this essay originally appeared in Khiyana: Daesh, The Left and the Unmaking of the Syrian Revolution, a collection of wonderful essays on Syria from a left-wing perspective published by Unkant – it is available to purchase here)

“Oh Allah, strike the apostate rulers,
Oh Allah, kill them one after the other, sparing none.”

   – Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

 “A harsh and violent upbringing has as its consequence that violence dominates the soul and prevents the development of the personality. Energy gives way to indolence, and wickedness, deceit, cunning and trickery are developed by fear of physical violence. These tendencies soon become ingrained habits, corrupting the human quality which men acquire through social intercourse. Such men become dependent on others for protection; their souls even become too wicked to acquire virtue or moral beauty. They become ingrown. …This is what has happened to every nation which…

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