[ by Charles Cameron — humor, comparison, elucidation, analytic necessity, apocalyptic, and the matter of the Mardin fatwa ]
For many Muslims, these two comparisons explain simply and effectively just how divergent from their understanding of Islam the jihadists are.
This in no way takes away from the idea that if we are to understand IS and AQ, we need to consider their nature as specifically “end times” driven religious movements.
For the point of divergence, I recommend Sh. Hamza Yusuf‘s comments on the “Mardin Fatwa” of Ibn Taymiyya, in this clip from his address in Oxford’s Sheldonian:
I’d be interested in further details / discussion on the Mardin fatwa topic.