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President Barack Obama stands accused of political correctness for his unwillingness to accuse groups like ISIS of "Islamic extremism," choosing a more generic term, "violent extremism".It would dishearten Muslim leaders who have continually denounced ISIS as a group that does not represent Islam.Wood's essay is an intelligent and detailed account of the ideology that animates ISIS.Of course many ISIS leaders believe their ideology.Exactly, ISIS has rediscovered – even reinvented – a version of Islam for its own purposes today.That is, Islam as it was practiced in the desert 1,400 years ago.Wood is much taken by the Princeton academic Bernard Haykel, who claims that people want to turn a blind eye to the ideology of ISIS for political reasons. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and perhaps 30,000 members of ISIS.This battle of ideologies can be seen vividly in the life of one man, Islam Yaken, profiled brilliantly by the New York Times' Mona El-Naggar.Islam Yaken is now a true believer.
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