the "islamic state" is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. ISIS removed "Iraq and the Levant" from its name and began to refer to itself as the Islamic State, so for anyone who doesnt dive headfirst into whatever "foreign conflict" the US is interested in this week, theres that.
ISIS seeks the establishment of a caliphate, a type of Islamic state led by a group of religious authorities under a supreme leader (caliph) who is believed to be the successor to Mohammed. Thats fine. Many other countries in the middle east are governed in terms of the Qur'an. Heck, we divided up the middle east for the better half of 45 years into various citystates based on the misplaced concept of manifest destiny, which finds its origins in Christianity. Israel is governed as a Jewish state and believe me, if you arent a birthright Jew your options for public services and housing are severely limited.
The problem with ISIS is that it rejects the political divisions established by Western powers at the end of World War I in the Sykes-Picot Agreement as it absorbs territory in Syria and Iraq. Then again the United States basically ignored Palestine when it pulled israel from its magical sky god book and transported displaced Jews into it after WWII. Historically our response is to bomb the everloving snot out of anyone who disagrees with American anything but it cant work against a sustained, strategic effort. in short, Arabs are Muslim, and extremism preys on those who have become determined with nothing to lose.
If Australia wants a peek into the exact reason this keeps happening, its because of our foreign policy. Iran and Iraq are only the most recent that come to mind but this extremism only flourishes because of more than 50 years of americans, under pretexts ranging from anti communism to the carter doctrine, fucking with middle eastern countries. We tried to overthrow the palestinian freely-elected government, hamas, and when it didnt work, israel entered a 2008 land war and simply murdered their elected political officials. we overthrow countless governments and prop up dictators in the region that serve out interests while casting average arabs and persians, mostly muslim, into torment and strife. We choose who governs in syria by funding rebel groups, we determine if and when an Egyptian president stays or goes by funding military leaders and ensuring coups proceed as planned. Our problem is that we are completely blind to the fact that while we control political leadership across the region, we have forever lost "the hearts and minds" as george bush so eloquently phrased it, of the very people we we claim to help by bringing our special brand of democracy.
This is very controversial but ill say it anyhow. Osama Bin Laden had some, not all but some, reasonable requests of the US government in response to the terrorist event on 9/11 that we could have implemented along with domestic security measures that would provide a reasonable, but not perfect assurance, of our security. Instead, we chose to dump 3 trillion dollars into a 15 year campaign of scorched earth across afghanistan, and in the process created more terrorists. we dumped a portion of that cash into Iraq, murdered their elected leader (whom we supported during George HW Bush and whom was willing to negotiate a surrender and truce) and watched as sectarian violence killed millions. That was the democracy we brought. and in the wake of Iraq, we have the exisence of a militant group that not only rejects western democracy, but has slammed hard right into religeous extremism because after failing all else, most members are content with trying a nuclear option having exhausted their resources. Maybe it is allah punishing them, maybe its not, maybe its all arbitrary but at least its something, and so far the americans hate it so it must be correct.