The war against ISIL is not over. While the mainstream media are busy with Donald Trump and Theresa May, the multilateral conflict against ISIL rages on with uncertain results. The black flag of the insurgents is still up in Syria and Iraq (not to mention an unknown number of their members who escaped from Libya and are still unaccounted for). At the present day, we have five different battles going on between ISIL and various aggregation of allied forces with no end in sight. It looks like that the end of the self-proclaimed caliphate is still far from reality.
In the last few years we’re witnessing a new phase in the phenomenon of Jihaidism, the shift from terrorist organizations to the embryos of new states. There was a precedent, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan held by the Taliban between 1996 and 2001. A number of small and not-so-small group tried to stage up coup d’etat in various countries in Africa and Asia. In my opinion, there is a red line that connect the various “islamic” states, nowadays under the resonant label “caliphate”.
There’s a difference between the words “emirate” and “caliphate”. It’s not a simple semiotic matter. When we talk about an emirate we’re referring to a state ruled by a central authority, named emir, and that implies a dynasty, a succession of power based on a bloodline. Think about Saudi Arabia, it’s a good example. On the other hand a caliphate implies a leadership that is both political and religious, the caliph claims a direct descendent from the prophet Muhammad, imposing the full weight of religion on its population.