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Conrad Pogorzelski 1

Annotated Bibliography

Is ISIS Islamic?

Conrad Pogorzelski
Professor Malcolm Campbell
English 1103
March 12, 2015

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Abdulla, Rasha A. "Islam, Jihad, and Terrorism in Post-9/11 Arabic Discussion Boards." Journal
of Computer-Mediated Communication. 12.3 (2007): 1063-1081. Print.

This was from a peer reviewed journal, the journal of computer-mediated relation. This focused
on Arab message boards. The first thing that it did was to explain the difference between Arab
and Muslim, something which I should do in my paper. This source will be used to show
opposition to my argument. It is trying to show that most Muslims were not supportive of the
attacks of 9/11 in which thousands of American lives were taken. In the opening paragraph it
states that 43% of Muslims on the most popular Arab discussion boards said that the acts
committed were crimes of terror and that they were bad. Another figure thrown in there is that
around 30% said that the attacks were justified, even if though they felt sorry for the victims and
their families. Although there are some other things in the article that I will probably use to
construct a counter-argument to the side that I am advocating for, I will definitely be using those
same statistics to help with the point that I am trying to make. If that poll was done in America or
another country such as Britain, then I would expect the numbers to be way different. I do not
know a single American who would say that the acts were justified, and every single on of them
would absolutely condemn the terrorists for 9/11 as terrorist and say that in fact their acts that
they carried out were acts of terror that deserve punishment. I will use these numbers to try to
make the case that even though there is only around 30% of those on the message board who said
that the attacks were justified, that the reason those Muslims would say that is because of the
teachings of Islam, specifically the Islamic texts such as the Koran. As for the part about those
same people feeling bad about what happened to the victims and families of those who were
murdered, I will say that it is irrelevant and almost disgusting that that is even included, although

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understandable. The reason I say understandable is again going to be along the lines of those
Muslims who said that those acts were justified were probably saying this because of the Islamic
texts. However, I will not spend much time referencing this article because it is based off of
message boards, I will use it mainly to show the opposite side and to reference those figures. I
believe that the article is most definitely reliable seeing as it is a scholarly journal that has been
peer-reviewed and is now in a scientific journal. (Peer-reviewed journal)

Ali, Maulawi. The Holy Quran. Tilford, UK: Islam International Publications Ltd.
2004. Print

This text the single most important text in Islam, the Quran. Coupled with other Islamic texts, it
will probably be the source that I cite the most. This is going to be the crutch to my entire paper,
and what I rely heavily on. Although there will be citations throughout the entire paper from the
Quran, it will be heavily quoted throughout the middle to late paragraphs and pages because that
is where the main argument will be. I will be pulling out a lot of verses from the Quran, first
making the case that there is only on allowed interpretation of the Quran, as specified by Allah.
The next step will be showing that you must read the Quran in context, giving legitimacy not
only to the verses from it, but for my argument as well. I dont want to look like a racist
American who is out for Muslims. Giving the reader back ground knowledge of the verses will
not only give them a better understanding, but I also believe that it will give me as the author
some legitimacy. After I make the case that there is only one Interpretation allowed by the

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Quran, for the Quran, I will then move on to another key argument that must be made as a prerequisite for whether or not ISIS is Islamic. That argument is this. That the Quran must be read
as in stages of Jihad. That without this, the Quran will contradict itself and that if it contradicts
itself, it can no longer be perfect, and therefore not truly the words of Allah, or comes from a
person who is not perfect and makes mistakes. This of course the most important belief as a
Muslim, that you believe that Allah is perfect and therefore I feel like it will force readers to look
at the Quran from the perspective of different stages of Jihad in which the contradicting verses
would then be able to exist without contradicting one another because it is in context of the stage
of Jihad in which it was written at the time, or was intended for that specific stage of Jihad. I am
unable to summarize the Qurans content other than to say that it is the most important Islamic
text in the Islamic faith, and that I will be focusing specifically on the parts that have Muhammad
in them. As for the reliability of this translation of the Quran, I believe it to be pretty accurate. It
is an English translation from Arabic, which always comes with its down-sides, one being that
certain words or ideas may not be correctly translated, or that words in another language dont
quite have the same counter-part in English. As far as this Quran not being accurate because
those produced it did not want it to be, I highly doubt it. Firstly, it comes from an Islamic
website. Secondly, it can be compared against other English versions of the Quran and therefore
it would be relatively easy to see if there were big mistakes, or intentional mistranslation of the
text. (Fourth source)

Graeme Wood. What ISIS Really Wants. The Atlantic. March 2015. Web news article.
February 26 2015. <http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-reallywants/384980/>

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This is an extremely long article, and although not peer reviewed, is very informative and
is very comprehensive. Throughout the article, it covers practically everything dealing with ISIS.
It starts out giving an overview of what ISIS is as an organization, where it is, and how the world
perceives it. But this is only briefly. It gives examples of punishments that are required in the
Koran. After that it moves on to providing pretty much an argument that ISIS is in fact Islamic.
There are several high-profile people cited and quoted, as well as citations of Islamic texts. The
author also talks about how ISIS is being combatted and how it should be fought. He states that
the ideology behind ISIS is the most important part and that military action might not be as
effective. The author also met with some people who are involved with ISIS or would like to be,
which I found to be very interesting. This gave a unique a perspective to the article, and helped
to give the author some more legitimacy. He was not only an outsider talking about something he
was not a part of, or couldnt get on the inside of, but managed to get ahold of people that were,
or at least had the perspective to be valid. One thing that was a theme throughout the entire piece
was the idea that Muslims ultimate authority comes from the Koran which is the Word of Allah,
and that is where the inspiration for actions by Muslims should come from. In addition, if their
actions or speech contradicts Allahs word, then they deserve punishment which usually entails
being put to death. Again this article is extremely long with so much information that could be
used for my paper. However, I would like to back up some of the ideas within the news article
with other sources, such as citing the Koran, or the people themselves who spoke to the author of
the piece.
This article seems to be pretty reliable. Although a lot of it is personally opinions, they
are also formed from a large net of information that the author gathered. As I already said, there

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were multiple people who were quoted, all who carry authority on Islamic religion, were a part
of ISIS or another terrorist group, or belonged to government entity who were a cause for the
actions being taken. In addition to these reasons for the article to be legitimate, it also comes
from a well-known, and reliable news outlet. (News article)

Pew Research Center The Worlds Muslims: Religion, Politics, and Society. Pew Research
Center April 30 2013. Web article. March 2 2015 <http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/theworlds-muslims-relgion-politics-society-beliefs-about-sharia/>

This article is a series of polls conducted by the Pew Research Center, a very well-known and
reliable institution. It is very well respected and is often times cited in news articles, especially
when dealing with numbers, figures, and statistical data. This specific piece is centered on Islam,
specifically dealing with Sharia law. This poll is spread across multiple countries, however there
is a commonality. That is that the people who were polled were only those who were identified
as Muslims. The questions start broad, asking if there are multiple ways to evaluate and interpret
Sharia law. After these broad questions of how it should be interpreted, applied, and to whom
should have to submit to its authority, it moves to more specific ideas all under the main topic of
Sharia law. Some of these include what punishments should be acceptable under Sharia law and
what should not be allowed. The article showed graphs for each of the different questions asked,
including the question asked, to who, and the possible responses with the different countries in

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which the questions were asked. This article could possibly be helpful in that it will allow me to
show that when Muslims believe that the Koran is the word of Allah, cannot be reinterpreted,
that it is divine authority, and must be followed, then there are acts that come out of this result
that are akin to terrorist acts, that although atrocious and ill perceived by the majority of the nonMuslim public, that the acts would be founded by the Islamic faith, specifically from the Islamic
texts. I will uses this information to build a case of comparing Muslims who base their actions
from personal goals, societal standards, and cultural norms as opposed to those who act strictly
under the authority of Islamic texts that are supposed to dictate what it is a Muslim does. This
will help refine what it is that I am researching, and hopefully help prove a point that although
ISIS has been perceived by the western world as being a group of terrorists acting under the
name of Islam when they are actually not representative of the religion; that the group, or at least
some of its ideas are supported by Muslims who do believe that what they are doing is justified
by the Islamic texts. These polls help to show this. As you look at the counties who majority said
that Sharia law can only have one interpretation, that it is divine authority, and should be
implemented and followed, you will also see that those same countries are more for harsh
punishments, even death for those who turn away from Islam or commit other crimes. In some
countries such as Iraq these questions produced pretty unified answers from the people and for
some questions there are an upwards of 70%-80% of people in those countries who agree with
one another on the topic, specifically for the strict following of Sharia Law which comes from
the sacred texts of the Koran. (Online article)