19 December 2014

The Islamic State Might Be Going Green


The Islamic State (IS) could be having a green moment — and, no, that's not a reference to all the cash flowing into the newly formed caliphate from oil sales and ransom.

According to a recent tweet from Charles Lister, visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, IS may be dabbling in environmentalism. Lister circulated an image of two alleged IS posters. The first prohibits logging in Iraq's Nineveh province, the other dynamite fishing in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor.

The apparent interest in Earth-friendly policies raises the question of what IS believes it might achieve by protecting the environment, as the posters seem to indicate.

"IS clearly want to be seen like a state," Yezid Sayigh of the Carnegie Middle East Center told VICE News, "and if the photos are genuine, this seems to confirm the same pattern — that is, of IS assuming the normal bureaucratic functions of government departments."

The show of environmental authority, Sayigh said, could also be based on a continuation of previous government policies. In jihadi-controlled areas, IS has obligated local functionaries and former government administrators to resume the activities they undertook while under Iraqi or Syrian government rule. In this way, the anti-logging and -dynamite fishing signage could be a reflection, he said, of "these people doing what they were already doing before IS took over, albeit now in IS's name." READ MORE AT VICE NEWS.