Why ISIS Is a Crisis in the United States

Why ISIS Is a Crisis in the United States

The terrorist group that even al-Qaeda condemns for being “extreme” and “unlawful" is growing in size, power, influence and money. And they're closer to us than we even know it.
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Fourteen years and three days ago, the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda bombed the World Trade Center in New York City.

I was 5 years old at the time and living in another country; yet, I remember watching the twin towers fall on television, and I remember my family talking about 9/11 for days. It was an act of terrorism we all would never forget.

Fourteen years and three days later, the United States, thankfully, has not suffered an act of terrorism near as tragic or extreme as the bombing of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. New laws and precautionary acts were placed into effect since then that have heightened levels of national security. And with Osama bin Laden dead, we all feel safe again.

However, right now, as you read this article, a terrorist group that even al-Qaeda condemns for being “extreme” and “unlawful" is growing in size, power, influence, and money.

Many of you became familiar with this group when you saw videos that went viral in the past year -- videos of men in black ski masks cruelly beheading innocent foreigners dressed in orange prison-suits. Many of these foreigners were journalists or non-profit aid workers who were taken hostage, killed mercilessly on camera, and shared on websites for all the world to see.

This group is called ISIS, which stands for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS is an extremist Islamic militant group in Syria and Iraq that is so cruel in its strict enforcement of the Sharia ‘Islamic' Law that many traditional terrorist groups condemn their practices.

They can be identified by their black flag with white Arabic writing that proclaims: “There is no god but Allah [God]. Mohammad is the messenger of Allah.” They also distinguish themselves with the hand gesture of pointing their index finger towards the sky.

Before, they were just a small terrorist group involved in Syria’s civil war, but now, they make $1 to $2 million a day by selling oil, looting from city treasuries, and the acquisition of powerful weaponry. Thus, they are continuing to expand at a rapid rate across the Middle East. Their ultimate goal is to conquer and unite the whole of the Middle East and create one whole nation called the “Caliphate,” which they want to expand control over the whole world.

In the process of doing so, they are cruelly murdering anyone who refuses to covert to Islam. Eventually, their goals are to eliminate the country of Israel and kill all Westerners.

ISIS abhors Western culture, hates Western religion (because it’s not Islam), and detests the fact that much of the West has been an Israeli ally since she became a nation in 1948.

As a result, ISIS hates America with a passion and wants to see American annihilated. They refer to the United States as “The Great Satan” and have frequently burned our flag publicly in their cities.

The U.S. has been sending hundreds of airstrikes to try and stop ISIS from conquering more land, but ISIS welcomes all the public attention and has been killing and raping more hostages to spread their name and instill a sense of fear world-wide. Kayla Jean Mueller, a 26-year-old American aid worker, was abducted in 2013 and tortured, raped, and eventually killed by ISIS militants in February 2015 while doing humanitarian work in Syria.

ISIS has been known to organize recruitment ‘pep-rallies’ among the youth of the Middle East, calling young men and boys to join their movement. Their bait: they're given weapons and they’re taught if they die for the ISIS cause, they will receive great rewards in the afterlife, one of them including having 70 beautiful virgins as wives in heaven.

On camera, boys have been filmed carrying machine guns and committing their lives to ISIS, saying, “In the name of God, I’d like to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and to kill with them.”

As ISIS continues to take over villages and cities, they torture and behead men, women, and children if they do not sympathize with their cause, and as a result, many join the ISIS army out of fear for their lives and for the protection of their families.

This terrorist group is worth your attention because they are a lot closer than you think they are.

ISIS has been implementing a new plan of action: reaching and terrorizing America by making inroads into the United States and gaining American followers to join them in their cause.

Yes, that’s right. They hate Americans, but want to use them to bring about mass destruction in the U.S.

And that is the ISIS strategy: making the “new face” of Terrorism an American - not the jihadists you saw flying planes into the World Trade Center 14 years ago.

In doing so, they amass American followers who are sympathetic to the ISIS cause after being brainwashed by ISIS’s political propaganda that can be found on social media sites and by means of underground ISIS groups here in the U.S. Many of these Americans are sold on the idea of being apart of growing rebel organization that has the power to instill fear into people, countries and nations by executing extreme cruelty and violence.

Over 200 Americans have already been reported trying to fly to Syria and Iraq to join the ISIS cause. Michael Steinbach, assistant director of FBI’s counterterrorism division, also said that “there are hundreds, maybe thousands” of ISIS followers in the United States. Other government officials have revealed that ISIS has followers in all 50 states.

Already, an unknown ISIS follower in the U.S. hung the black-and-white ISIS flag in front of the White House fence and tweeted from a pro-ISIS Twitter handle saying:

"#AMessagefromISIStoUS

We are in your state

We are in your cities

We are in your streets

You are our goals anywhere"

ISIS publicly stated around the same time, “God willing, we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.” This was accompanied by threats made to the U.S., where ISIS militants were filmed stating, "Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq. We will humiliate them everywhere…"

If you think these are just minor threats that don’t mean much, think again: the FBI has already made more than 30 arrests this year of both men and women who are suspected of plotting terrorist attacks on behalf of ISIS. Two of them were female American citizens inspired by ISIS and accused of planning to bomb New York City’s Herald Square.

My purpose of writing this is not to instill fear, nor to produce a sense of hatred towards those who affiliated to the Islam religion or those involved in ISIS-inspired terrorist activity. The truth is we live in a lost and dire world, and fear and hatred only fuel the fire. However, I am here to promote awareness to the youth of our generation who may feel as though terrorism is of the last decade and does not exist anymore - at least not within our borders.

Please consider this: What’s worse than losing a battle to your opponent because you’re weaker is looking a battle to your opponent because you failed to realize he even existed.

Terrorism is a very real threat, which is why it is so important that we pray for the protection of our cities, that we pray that our government has wisdom when it comes to fighting terrorism, and that we pray for ISIS so that they will realize the people they are really destroying is themselves.

Be aware of your surroundings and of the global situation we are living in right now, because chances are if it is not directly impacting you this very moment, it may in the near future.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/robert-fisk-beware-of-the-role-of-the-laptop-in-our-addiction-to-politics-and-war-9790093.html

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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