Much has been said about Muslims and Iraq but little historical information has been given to understand the context. Context is important in understanding anything especially with regards to conflicts. Islam and the conflict in Iraq requires knowledge of at least four different parties with a general understanding of their ideology.
Islam was founded around 622 C.E. by Muhammad who claimed that he was a prophet sent by God (Allah).
Fast forward to his death. Muhammad left no male children to succeed him, only daughters. His followers wanted a successor to take up the position of their prophet but two groups disagreed as to how it should be done.
Shias believed that Muhammad's son in law was chosen by Allah as his successor. Sunnis believed that his successor should be elected by tribal leaders.
So a fight ensued between the two and continued throughout the following centuries up to this day.
Iraq is made up of Sunnis who are 37% of the population and Shias 60%. Under Saddam Hussein the Sunni minority dominated the Shia majority. After the war started by George Bush the Shia majority came to power and started persecuting the Sunnis. Both have been persecuting each other throughout Iraq's history.
Kurds, who are mostly Sunni, are a separate ethnic group who cover portions of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. They have been fighting for independence in all those countries except for Iran.
Now for the origins of ISIS who is a horse of a different color. Their history is important to understand how and why this situation has unfolded.
Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab was the ideo/theological ancestor of ISIS, Al Queda, the Taliban, Boko Haram and ISIS.
Wahhab was an 18th century Islamic scholar who believed that the majority of Muslims were apostates and therefore not true Muslims. The movement that he founded is known by outsiders as Wahhabism but they use the term Salafi. Wahhab's major peeve was that Muslims were practicing idolatry. His concept of idolatry was far more strict than most Fundamentalists. It included the Muslim practice of having shrines, monuments and tombs of various saints and martyrs and the pilgrimage of those who revered them.
Wahhabism is also much stricter in the rest of its practice than the majority of Muslims.
Wahhab went to make a deal with the Saudi sheikhs who ruled what today is Saudi Arabia. His deal was to offer political legitimacy to their rule in exchange for Wahabbist domination of religious affairs. That deal has remained in effect for 300 years to this day. Even though they make up no more than 20% of Saudi Arabia's population they effectively rule it even to the point where a government official was removed after giving a mild criticism of the sect.
Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia is the main source of money, fighters and suicide bombers around the Muslim world. They are said to make up about half of ISIS's fighters. These individuals are the product of an education starting in grade school where America, Israel and others are constantly demonized. They are the most fanatical of all Muslims.
So ISIS invades Iraq and what do they do? They impose their own rules which includes women wearing the Burkha - completely covering their bodies and the Niqab - a veil covering their face except for the eyes. This is not normal for most Muslim women who customarily wear a scarf on their heads.
They destroy sacred monuments ("idols") particularly those of Shias. I remember watching on video the detonation of explosive charges on "The tower of Jonah" (Yes, the Old Testament prophet) which was sacred to Christians and Muslims. It was a tall tower similar to the Washington monument. There one moment, gone the next.
I have seen videos of suicide bombers inside of mosques (presumably Shia mosques). A group of worshippers standing one moment, a flash the next, people lying on the floor right after that.
I can go on and on but the point is that they are not regular Muslims.
Any solution needs to take into account the Shia/Sunni division which simply means that you will never be able to form a nation that forces the two to live together. You have to take into account the Kurds fight for independence which is not tied in to religion. You need to take into account the fact that ISIS was able to spread rapidly because the demoralized Sunnis had been persecuted by the Shias for years including death squads where Shias drill into the heads of Sunnis.
In my opinion one needs to create three separate nations where everyone should be happified [sic!] to have their own sovereign state. Anyways the boundaries that exist now are artificial boundaries that are the product of British Imperialism which had no concern for creating peaceful separation of all warring parties.
This requires boots on the ground for a temporary period of time, preferably no more than a year or two. The Kurds will be happy and become an example to the other two groups. And more importance, Wahhabism in any form will not have fertile ground in which to reproduce.
Demonizing all Muslims will only drive them, the young in particular, into ISIS hands. One needs to handle the situation with 'soft power'. Blasting away will only strengthen ISIS even if 90% of them would be initially killed. That is what happened to the Taliban. Initially destroyed at first but resurrected and more powerful today (people tend to resent you when you blow up wedding parties with drones.).
So what do you think?