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memri
June 2, 2016 No.
1253

A Self-Profile Of The Islamic State: The Creedal Document

By: Ella Landau-Tasseron*

In 2015, the Islamic State (ISIS) released a document titled "These Are Our Creeds and Ways." The document is a self-profile of the Islamic State, presenting the organization's basic theology and political ideology. It deals with topics that have occupied Muslim minds for generations, yet it also reflects modern and local conditions and phenomena. An examination of its contents reveals that ISIS adds nothing new to traditional Islamic dogmas except for making the return of the caliphate a mandatory article of faith. It is firmly based on Islamic sources, which it cites often, and much of its content is identical to Islamic conservative Hanbali and neo-Hanbali doctrines.

For the full text of Prof. Landau-Tasseron's paper, click here.

 * Ella Landau-Tasseron is a retired professor at the Department for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research fields are early Islamic history, the Arabian tribal system, Islamic political institutions, hadith, Islamic historiography, and jihad. Among her publications are a series of articles on the tribal society in pre- and early Islamic times, two monographs on the institution of the Islamic "oath of allegiance," and a monograph on non-combatants in Islamic thought.