The group wants to provoke the West to act contrary to its proclaimed values, hoping to demonstrate to Muslims that the only true governing system is the group’s self-declared caliphate, says The Christian Science Monitor.
“The crusaders claim to bear the standard of ‘liberty’ and ‘justice’ for all the oppressed peoples of the world, when in fact their tyranny knows no limits when directed against the Muslim ummah,” said the most recent edition of the Islamic State’s Dabiq propaganda magazine, released shortly after the Brussels attacks in March. The ummah refers to the international community of Muslims.
As part of its campaign against Western values, the Islamic State aims to provoke a strong military response, including an increase in airstrikes that kill civilians, to paint the West as careless with Muslim lives, says the CSM.
It also seeks to embroil the United States in a ground war in Iraq and Syria, which would serve the group’s end-of-days narrative that the fight is the prophesied apocalyptic battle of Dabiq, a clash between Islamic armies and “Romans,” or Westerners, in northern Syria that will prompt the beginning of judgment day, says the CSM.