No matter what else is going on in the world, the Islamic State is still out there attacking cities and seizing territory, constantly striving to create its new version of a heaven on earth, which in this case is called a "caliphate."
By definition, a caliphate is an Islamic state led by a "caliph." So what precisely is a "caliph"?
A typical definition offered by a Western dictionary defines this term as:
* an important Muslim political and religious leader
* a successor of Muhammad as temporal and spiritual head of Islam -- used as a title
So a caliph is both a political and religious leader, quite literally a man who is claiming to be a "successor of Muhammad."
Now, with that in mind let's look at a key passage in a new Washington Post story -- " 'Till Martyrdom Do Us Part" -- about the lives of woman inside the territory controlled by ISIS. This includes women who have volunteered to be part of the Islamic State, as well as those who have been kidnapped. This story is part of an ongoing Post series about life inside the caliphate.
Let me stress that this feature is quite well reported, which is amazing in light of the restraints under which reporters are working when attempting to cover the Islamic State. Much of the attributed information is based on ISIS social media and, I found this amazing, Skype conversations with people living inside the caliphate.
Then there is this summary material that serves as a kind of thesis statement:
In the Islamic State’s ideology, a woman’s place is in the home, tending to her husband and producing children.