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The question is this: do you believe that ISIS are motivated by (some interpretation of) Islam? And if so, isn't recognizing and acknowledging this important in order to be able to defeat them?

Let's say there young British Muslim who thinks about joining Daesh.
He is a strong believer. Obviously part of his motivation for joining Daesh is Islam.
Nobody is denying that or not acknowledging it.

Making your money by kidnapping people isn't an action that motivated by the young Muslim might think is according to the values of his religion.
Giving him more awareness that it's an essential part of how Daesh operates can decrease his willingness to sign up with Daesh.
Acknowledging the criminality of Daesh isn't denying it's nature.

Daesh profits if it's seen as fighting a holy war and succeeds in framing it's public image that way. If it succeeds to do so the youth in Saudi Africa find it cool. If the youth in Saudi Arabia rather see Daesh as a band of kidnappers they consider it less cool.

Daesh is name it's Arab enemies use. People we prefer to win against it.

When it comes to understanding the nature of terrorist organisation it's also very worth to read Gwern's article Terrorism is not about terror.
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