“Al Qaeda and ISIL and groups like it are desperate for legitimacy. They try to portray themselves as religious leaders -- holy warriors in defense of Islam. That’s why ISIL presumes to declare itself the “Islamic State.”
And they propagate the notion that America -- and the West, generally -- is at war with Islam, President Obama said in February at the summit on countering violent extremism. “Of course, the terrorists do not speak for over a billion Muslims who reject their hateful ideology. They no more represent Islam than any madman who kills innocents in the name of God represents Christianity or Judaism or Buddhism or Hinduism. No religion is responsible for terrorism. People are responsible for violence and terrorism.”
President Obama is right—the jihadists in ISIS do not represent the world’s Muslim population. But then again, despite its army numbering in the tens of thousands and sympathizers worldwide, it turns out they’re not quite the fringe group many thought—or hoped—they were.
According to a new report based on four recent polls, 8.5 million people view the brutal terror organization positively, while another 42 million view them somewhat positively.
"ISIS is only a fraction of what it could potentially become,” said Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project, which conducted the research, reports the Daily Express.
"If we don't act quickly, this is still going to grow – and what we're looking at today is going to look like the good old days compared to the future,” he added.
This, my friends, is absolutely terrifying.