Growing inequality and a general lack of concern for civilians living
under ISIS's rule could eventually spell the end of the group,
Elizabeth Palmer and Khaled Wassef report for CBS News.
In Raqqa, Syria, ISIS's de facto capital, civilians chaffing under
the jihadist's strict rule are becoming disenchanted with the
self-proclaimed Islamic State. Residents are poor and disenfranchised —
while fighters for the group are living lavishly. "
From the book The False Messiahs, by Jack Gratus, it's easy to see that
ISIS is nothing new in history. Someone like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the
leader of ISIS, comes along, gathers a religious following, builds a
movement, and then the whole thing collapses. I suspect, based on how
ISIS is utilizing short-term strategies that will alienate most people,
it will not last very long either.
A short example from the book is the Pastoureaux movement beginning
in 1251 in France. "They were led by one of the three original
preachers, a man who claimed to have received a direct call from the
Virgin Mary to summons the Crusade. He was said to have come from
Hungary and was known as Jacob, the Master of Hungary." Jacob had great
sway over those who heard his message, and he gained a large following.
"He claimed that his elect would never go hungry or in need because he
had the power to increase their provisions indefinitely. In fact, the
Pastoureaux provisioned themselves by going into towns and villages and
taking what they wanted." They quickly looted over 100 communities.
"Town after town welcomed his people as holy and Jacob as Christ
himself." Jacob's movement grew as he plundered and preached. But
when he began to preach against the nobility and proclaimed them the
enemy, the authorities chose to end his reign, and he was captured and
hacked to death. (pp. 74-5).
Several such movements are related in this remarkable book. These
movements, like ISIS, had a leader claiming religious dictatorship,
claimed to be the restoration of past glory, were extremely violent, and
were completely intolerant of outside ideas. They all failed.