Mar 18, 2018 Last Updated 3:21 PM, Mar 16, 2018

What ISIS Really Wants

What ISIS wants

Does the "Islamic State" really have a theological agenda?

In his thought-provoking cover story "What ISIS Really Wants", published in the March 2015 issue of The Atlantic magazine, journalist Graeme Wood investigates the ideological roots of the so-called Islamic State and argues:

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse.

The article has sparked considerable debate:

The Atlantic’s big Islam lie: What Muslims really believe about ISIS

Brookings Institution
Enough about Islam: Why religion is not the most useful way to understand ISIS

The New Yorker
The Clash of Civilizations That Isn’t

Why ISIS Isn’t Medieval

Washington Post
What ISIS really is: Sham Muslims, real criminals

Graeme Wood responds:

The Atlantic
A survey of reactions to The Atlantic's cover story—from think tanks to jihadist Twitter

Center for Strategic and International Studies
Roundtable discussion (video)