The recently-formed Islamic State proclaims itself to be the re-creation of an ancient Caliphate, which was formed after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, in 632 A.D. The Caliph governs the temporal and to a certain extent the spiritual affairs of the Empire. Through conquest, it grew to include a large area in Southwest Asia, North Africa and Spain. Due to dynastic struggles, however, the Caliphate began to decline, and it collapsed with the Mongol destruction of Baghdad, in 1252 A.D.
A Caliphate is supposed to serve as a model state for Muslims to exist in accordance with Islamic teaching. It is important to note that Sharia was never intended to be a state law; rather, it is meant to offer the guidelines as to how individuals should live their lives under the teachings of The Great Prophet. Accordingly, it is inconceivable that the Quran could be used to justify Muslims of one sect killing those of another. But, that is exactly what IS, as well as other terrorist groups, are doing in Syria and Iraq.
Islamic State doesn’t seem to take an interest in the actual governing of the territory under its control. Residents must deal with: an extreme scarcity of food and other necessities; utilities operate only on occasion; gasoline is virtually non-existent and jobs are only a memory. The Jihadist fighters, however, are eating well and young Western women are recruited to serve as wives and sex slaves. Terrorists seem to party-on, while residents can barely make-do.
On the negative side, Islamic State has enemies in all directions: other terrorist groups; the Syrian and what is left of the Iraqi Army; Kurdish Fighters and the Western air strikes continue on an on-going basis. Revenue from stolen oil–perhaps IS’s main goal–has been more than halved as global market prices have declined by almost 60%, just since last June.
Lastly, the Islamic State is now having to kill disenchanted volunteer Jihadis from the West, as they have realized the fallacy that IS has any sort of just or rightful Islamic Cause. So, it appears that IS has been realized, by many in the Middle East, to just be a group of greedy economic terrorists. In essence, Jihadi Organized Crime.