On Feb. 18, 2015, President Barack Obama delivered remarks at the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism. He called for greater tolerance and acceptance of Muslim Americans, but also underlined the need to effectively combat extremist violence.
Attacks by violent extremists have been on the rise since 2010, and most victims are Muslims. This trend demonstrates that the Muslim world is not pitted against the West in an ideological "clash of civilizations," but that the Muslim world is facing a more complex struggle for the future of Islam, according to Anthony Cordesman’s new report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
On January 23, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about Islamic extremism at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
ISIS has three major components: a proto-state, an Islamist network, and a state of mind.
The caliph in the Islamic State and the Supreme Leader in Iran hold absolute authority in both political and religious realms with few, if any, real checks on their power.
Despite their similar names, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria represent two distinct visions of an ideal state based on the faith. They have more differences than similarities in politics, economic life, culture and, most of all, how they blend politics and religion.
The contrast between the Islamic State and the Islamic Republic is especially visible in their treatment of women and minorities, evident in ISIS documents and Iranian laws.
The Islamic world is rife with political diversity, from ultraconservative monarchies to new democracies. But two places reflect the escalating rivalry over an ideal Islamic state in the 21st century: The Islamic Republic of Iran, predominantly Shiite, was born of a revolution against centuries of monarchical rule. The Islamic State, purely Sunni, was born out of war in the modern nations of Iraq and Syria.
On Feb. 4, 2015, ISIS militants executed captured Jordanian pilot Moaz Kasasbeh by burning him alive. The pilot’s execution drew condemnation across the Islamist spectrum.
On Feb. 4, 2015, President Obama met with 15 Muslim American leaders at the White House. Discussions focused on countering violent extremism, protecting civil liberties, and other issues.