The source of this disharmony is the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, a political grouping that claims, with all seriousness, to be an independent sovereign state in western Iraq and northern Syria. Until April 2013, when it announced its expansion into Syria, it was known as the Islamic State of Iraq, and few took it seriously. In the words of one jihadi author, until recently the Islamic State was ‘a mere joke’. Yet over the last year the joke transformed into a political ‘tsunami’, stunning those who had dismissed it as a ‘paper emirate’.
Indeed, it is the Islamic State’s once derided claim to statehood that now forms the most significant point of contention in the highly divided jihadi movement. The division runs between those jihadis who accept and promote the Islamic State’s claim to statehood and those who reject it, regarding the Islamic State as merely one jihadi group among others. What makes the matter of statehood so controversial is that the Islamic State’s leadership has expansionary designs, posing as the core of a reborn caliphate.
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 Cf. ‘Abd Allâh Bin ‘Abd al-Rahmân al-Shinqîtî, Utsûnâmî al-dawla al-Islâmiyya fî-l-‘Irâq wa-l-Shâm, http://alplatformmedia.com/vb/showthread.php?t=34558.