. . . What makes the ideology of ISIS appealing to its members and young recruits, especially those who travel from Europe and desperately want to join the fight, is actually the global message that this group tries to address to its Muslim audience. It has declared its determination to go beyond the parochial nationalist discourse and to establish a sovereign Islamic caliphate that aspires to global jihad.
Last November, members of a Sunni militia in Syria went to a hospital, found a patient whom they took to be a Shi‘ite, and beheaded him. Showing a typical jihadi concern for public relations, they then made a video about the incident in order to get their message out, saying of the Shi‘ites: “They will come and rape the men before the women, that’s what these infidels will do. They will rape the men before the women. God make us victorious over them.” As it turned out, their video proved a bit of an embarrassment: it emerged that the man they beheaded was not in fact a Shi‘ite — but as jihadis will tell you, and not only jihadis, these things happen.