ISIS: The Street Gangs

By: Sam Sheinker

Summary of Story/Link

ISIS is creating gangs along the streets. In some ways this is bad, in some ways this may even be good. For some people, they have nothing so joining a gang might actually help them because gangs members typically help one another. In some ways this is bad because some of the gang members are filled with hate and have the intension of becoming terrorists. "For some gang members, joining ISIS could even make real the mythologized gang life that made gang membership originally so appealing. Real gang life -- where gang members stand around in the rain waiting for something to happen, or beg, borrow, and steal converted imitation firearms to make good on their threats -- rarely lives up to the hype. Hence, many real gang members still live at home with their mothers." "Having studied how gangs work, I know first-hand some gang members are Islamists. Others are attracted by the concept of terrorism. When gang members identify with Islam, however, it is only on a superficial level. Above all, gang members desire to be feared, thus, as in the Muslim Boys case in London, they strategically pose as jihadists and trade on powerful false perceptions about links to al Qaeda"

Ideals Related to This Story

Opportunity and Rights are linked to this story

In the story, the people of Iraq and most likely very poor and don't have many options. Joining the gangs could actually help them. Other times they may not have a choice if they want to join a gang, they may just be born into it or may not have a choice because life there is so bad. People may see that joining a gang is the only option they have in Iraq or any other areas ISIS has taken over. They may even force them to join there gang.

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