Iran will do what it can to help stop this extremist group

The file photo shows the ISIL Takfiri militants in Iraq.

Sir, All Iranians, and indeed most of our friends in the west, are concerned by the emergence of Isis. Like both the Taliban and al-Qaeda, Isis was established with the support of outside players. However, Isis adds a new element to the mix in that it has the support of Turkey.

Of course Turkey had no role in the establishment of the Taliban. The Taliban was and is a local group in an isolated country in central Asia. And al-Qaeda is predominantly Arab. But Isis is an international group, with (according to our understanding) more than 35,000 members.

What makes Isis different from the Taliban and al-Qaeda is that it favours an Islamic caliphate, which is both reactionary and dangerous. Its ideology stands in direct contrast to democracy, peace, security, international stability and intellectual Islam.

Some in the western media call the group Islamic State (IS), giving them greater credibility than they deserve. Are they Muslims? The key figures are Ba’athists. Ba’athism is a combination of Marxism, socialism, and Arab nationalism. Ba’athists don’t believe in any religion, whether it be Islam, Christianity or Judaism. The soldiers think they are Muslim but their behaviour does not match any Islamic standard of law, ethics or morality.

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