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Caliphate - With the news this week about the uprising of radical Islamists in Iraq by a violent group called ISIS, a word I had seen before appeared in articles about the radical Islamists, has been appearing in articles about the burgeoning new Middle East civil war. A caliphate describes a form of fundamentalist Islamic theocracy that is controlled by Muslim religious leader called a caliph. This despotic fundamentalist form of Muslim government rules by dictatorship and the brutal Sharia Law.