The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Student opinions on the newly-formed Islamic State

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The official flag of the Republic of Iraq
With traumatic events unfolding in Iraq due to the presence of the Islamic State (IS), or previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), It may be difficult for students to understand a humanitarian and geopolitical crisis located tens of thousands of miles away.In the past few months, IS has slaughtered 1,700 Shia soldiers, persecuted the Yazidi Christian minority and beheaded an American journalist. IS seeks to establish a sovereign Islamic state, essentially ruled by a caliph who is a supposed successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and impose Sharia law in the towns that it controls.

Four MVHS students reflect upon the origins and broader implications of IS’ rampage.

Sophomore Marcus Plutowski has his own ideas about what catalyzed the IS’ rise to notorious prominence.

“In my opinion, [the Islamic State] is the natural consequence of the borders created by Europeans during the period of decolonization and the governments set up thereafter,” Plutowski said. “The cultural strife caused by arbitrary borders and the instability caused by the frequent cycling of rulers caused by the Cold War have made a large cultural-based rebellion inevitable.”

Besides artificial borders imposed by Europeans, junior Eric Lee believes that the decline and ultimately, downfall, of the Ottoman Empire prompted the rise of radical extremist groups such as IS. The Ottoman Empire claimed to be the list caliphate, and it lasted until 1914, or World War !.

“While the Ottoman Empire was by no means a good benevolent entity,” Lee said, “its fall has brought about a number of groups like [the Islamic State] which should never have been allowed to form in the first place.”

Junior Nupoor Gandhi, however, is more concerned over the instability of the Iraqi government and the consequences of another potential US deployment in the Middle East.

“It strikes me as rather convenient that much of the U.S. weaponry and vehicles for the Iraqi army consistently fall into the hands of ISIS,” Gandhi said. “In fact, IS would serve as perfect rationale for another invasion or even a war in Iraq.”

She considers that both the U.S. deployment in Saudi Arabia and manipulation of Kuwait were unnecessary. Ultimately, Gandhi believes IS is not the focus, but rather the decoy.

Senior Kimberly Lu looks at the brighter side of the situation. She believes that the humanitarian crisis perpetuated by IS is unacceptable, especially against the Yazidis, a Christian minority in Iraq, and applauds the United States and United Nations attempts to alleviate humanitarian suffering.

“The airlifts of food, water, baby diapers and other supplies to the Yazidis trapped in the mountainous caverns and the physical rescue of around 20 of them are incredibly admirable,” Lu said. “It must have taken a lot of courage to conduct the airlift because at any time, the aircraft could have been shot down.”

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