Mogahed said it’s “kind of an obvious point” that the group uses Islamic texts to justify its brutality. “But I want to answer a slightly different question, which is: If Islam did not exist … would a group like ISIS, with all the other realities as they are, exist today and do the same things?”
“My answer to that hypothetical question is a resounding yes.” Discussing global terrorism at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Mogahed, who formerly led research on Muslims with the polling organization Gallup, said that extremist groups all over the world commit the same kinds of violence using what she called “the local social currency” to justify it. “That is sometimes Christianity. That is sometimes Judaism. That is sometimes Buddhism. And it is sometimes secular ideologies. So a world without Islam would still have a group like ISIS—they would just be called something else that may be less catchy.”
Could ISIS exist without Islam? Not an area I know much about, but I do know people often read into texts what they want to.