When ISIS tried to join a militant rebel group in Syria to fight against President Bashar al-Assad the Syrian rebels basically told ISIS to get out.
Which, unfortunately for Syria, Iraq, and the rest of the planet, ISIS has refused to do.
Within the past year ISIS has seized and occupied thousands of square miles of Syria and Iraq, claiming that the occupied areas are now part of an Islamic state it calls a caliphate. The people who live in those areas have fallen under the harsh Islamic Sharia law that ISIS brutally enforces on the men, women, and children under its thumb.
ISIS has succeeded in its conquests because this group, so abhorent that no other rebel or terrorist group would be associated with it, has young men from all over the world rushing to join its ranks, which have swelled to the point where ISIS currently has 30,000 fighters, 19,000 of them from 90 foreign countries.
ISIS has a wildly successful recruiting method, attracting alienated young Muslim men of the electronics and screen generation by means of social media campaigns carried out on Facebook and Twitter. They post high-quality youtube videos of their brutal murders mastered to look like live video games. They distribute fast-paced video games that are fantasy murders. They call to young men to become jihadi fighters, and their message promises adventure, excitement, comaraderie, money, fun and things that are perhaps more enticing: Identity. Manhood. Power. The taste of domination over the subjugated.
Less easy to understand is the pull of ISIS on young Muslim women.
Besides the three Glasgow school girls recently in the news, dozens of young women from Western countries, teen-aged girls or only slighlty older, middle-class and educated, have run away to Syria to join ISIS. And the trend appears is growing.
As with boys, ISIS uses chatty social media messages to attract girls.
But what is the pull on these girls?
A sense of religious fervor and zealotry? A longing to escape their lives? To somehow find themselves? Are they seeking to be part of what they see as a great cause? Are they desperate to belong?
Probably all of the above, but might it not also be that these girls are in search of a great romantic adventure that involves giving themselves over totally to the will of a strong man?
The ISIS media campaign promises girls that they will be brides of jihadi fighters.
Perhaps it's the word "bride" that has the pull. It sounds romantic. The stuff of a girl's dreams, this particular one being that she will be taken by a strong, brave, powerful man and will become his. She will give up her will, dress in black from head to toe, live for her husband, and be subject to him in body and soul.
Perhaps it's a dream of total will-free submission, a psychological twist of the Fifty Shade Shades of Grey fantasy that has held women all over the world spell bound.
The boys who flock to ISIS dream of being the conquerors, the girls dream of being the conquered.
But what these naive girls who join ISIS are really walking into is a life that condones brutality and oppression, the life endured by desperate women in countries where religion dictates that women are physical property and have no freedom or voice or rights or protection from abuse or mistreatment.
Of course there will be some women who will profit from conditions in the Islamic State. The women who will be given positions of power over other women. The women who will be needed to police the women in carrying out the will of the men.
But life for most of the women living in the Islamic State will be even more dismally oppressive than life for most of the men, who will take their desperation out on the women.
And their right to do so will be the will of God. Even the women will believe it.