My Question "Is an anti-Muslim backlash an explicit policy goal of ISIS?" is on hold as of now.

The story so far: I asked the question in a similar form, it was put on hold as too broad (or so). After an edit by me to narrow the scope and another edit by @Oddthinking to include more sources for notability it was opened again.

To be closed a few hours or half a day later by Sklivvz. The boilerplate text used is "appears not to be about scientific skepticism", Sklivvz reasons given in a comment are

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about motivations, which are non factual -- or it is about a non notable claim.


everyone seems to claim that the intent of Isis is to divide people. This claim is not suitable for Skeptics. No one seems to claim that it's an explicit claim by Isis, which makes this second claim not notable.

(conserved here for when the comments are removed)

I was also asked to remove everything but the claim to be checked (is this text by ISIS representative?), which I won't do because there's not much fluff to the question anyway ("everything but the claim" is one paragraph) and I find it neccessary and helpful to have a bit context. For this reasonk oddthinkings edit is great, I don't want to roll back.

Anyway, I see no point to argue this with one person (who does not appear to have read the question carefully) in the comments, so I bring up the issue here.

The question in the form I want answered (that wont cram into the title) is:

Is this plan - to recruit disenfranchised Muslims by first triggering an over-reaction against Muslims from the West - representative of stated ISIS policy goals, or this an odd outlier?

  • Sorry, but I've got to agree with the close, you're asking about the motivation of a group, for which we cannot and do not know their motivation. How can anyone supply empirical evidence which is without bias here?
    – Jamiec Mod
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 11:23
  • 1
    see edit, it's not guessing motivation but checking public sources.
    – mart
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 11:55
  • This is a really good question; you could probably ask it at the Politics SE site. Might get better answers too (they allow expert answerers to include their own analysis in answers, which this site doesn't) Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 17:39
  • I'd certainly be ok with migrating the question, I don't want to double post.
    – mart
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


I appreciate your effort but I do not think your question is easily salvageable.

First of all, none of the examples you give claim that the stated goal of ISIS is "to recruit disenfranchised Muslims by first triggering an over-reaction". That is your interpretation, or as we call it, an "inferred claim". All that their magazine says is that their actions radicalize the conflict, which is a different thing. Our bombing of them also radicalizes the conflict, unsurprisingly, but it's not warranted to say it's our "aim". To fix this, you need to either change your question to something which is actually claimed, or remove all your examples and find an example of the claim you want to ask.

Secondly, assuming that you find an example, the question is still about motivations. We don't allow such questions, full stop. A part of this is also disallowing questions that try to go around the limitation by limiting the evidence to "stated" things, because this simply creates an arbitrary goal post that ends up helping no one. The problem is that it's not a specific enough claim: what is a "stated policy" of ISIS? Is something they claim on a magazine a "stated policy"? In a video? Who knows?

So you do need to find a specific enough example of the claim so there can be definitive evidence we can look at. For example: "The New York Times claims that ISIS «has publicly stated that they attack Western targets in order to trigger an over reaction» Is this true?" This is something we could answer!

Good luck and cheer up! There's no need to post snarky comments such as "this person does not appear to have read the question", they only make me feel you are not going to accept anything I say, whereas I actually would like to help you. Let's try to be more mature and focus on the quality of your post.

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