by Hassan Hassan
"ISIS' reluctance to claim responsibility for attacks in Istanbul and Medina presumably because they are predominantly Sunni cities, contrast with its rush to endorse the attacks against foreigners and Shia in Dhaka and Baghdad. But in the region, few doubt the group's responsibility.
Nothing is out of bounds for ISIS, including the holiest of Islam's sites during Islam's holiest days, even if there are multiple traditions that explicitly prohibit such acts, such as a saying by Mohammed: "Whoever terrorizes the people of Medina will be cursed by God."
Aside from blood-soaked Ramadan, ISIS built its narrative around the idea of Sunni victimization. But it has declared those who refuse to pledge allegiance to it as murtadeen -- those who become apostates.
Its punishment for Sunni apostates is more severe, such as the burning alive of the Jordanian pilot, Moath al-Kasasbeh, in January last year. This is reality felt on a daily basis, when people living under ISIS see severed heads and dead bodies left to rot for days because victims dared to oppose its rule."