Social media affects recruitment simply by linking people up—Facebook, for example. When someone travels to Syria and posts pictures from there and his friends see those pictures, those friends are more likely to be inspired to go. That is not really propaganda; that is just regular information conveyed through online social media that then facilitates recruitment.
3. Semiotics, Praxis and Signalling
4. Case Studies
4.1. Paris: 13 November 2015
These are not marginal aspects of DA’ESH politics. Rather, they are important for broadening the range of potential Western recruits the videos can speak to and crucial for enrolling them in circulating the videos.
4.2. The Destruction of Cultural Heritage Sites in Iraq and Syria
Saturday, 03/03/01, 1:59:07 p.m. (#383)14As a Buddhist, I must say that, from a religious perspective, it makes no difference whatsoever if these statues are destroyed or if they are saved. They are merely representations of a man and they, like everything else, are impermanent and in a world of constant change—nothing lasts forever….
the actions of the mujāhidīn [holy warriors] had not only emulated Ibrāhīm’s … destruction of the idols of his people and Prophet Muhammad’s … destruction of the idols present around the Ka’bah when he conquered Makkah but had also served to enrage the kuffār, a deed that in itself is beloved to Allah.
The Muslims today have a loud, thundering statement and possess heavy boots. They have a statement to make that will cause the world to hear and understand the meaning of terrorism and boots that will trample the idol of nationalism, destroy the idol of democracy and uncover its deviant nature.
The kuffār [unbeliever] had unearthed these statues and ruins in recent generations and attempted to portray them as part of a cultural heritage and identity that the Muslims of Iraq should embrace and be proud of. Yet this opposes the guidance of Allah and His Messenger and only serves a nationalist agenda.
4.3. National Values versus the Values of Radical Islam
- To change the ignorance (jahiliyyah) law as a result of democracy into Shari’a law;
- To change power from the hands of the owners of capital to the hands of (Muslim) people (ummah);
- To destroy the national barriers that divide Muslims; and
- To appoint one caliph to unite Muslims.
5.1. The Appeal of Da’esh and Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia
Certainly, Da’esh’s media materials consistently speak to and amplify, perceptions of racism, inequality and oppression. These issues are directly addressed in a themed issue of Dabiq entitled Wala and Bara versus American Racism:
The example of Ibrāhīm ... is for one to be prepared to reject his own people when they fall into kufr and shirk, and not to remain attached to them on account of tribal or blood ties. If this is the case with one’s own people with whom a common lineage is shared, how much more so in the case of those with whom one shares nothing more than a superficial characteristic such as skin color!
... A Muslim’s loyalty is determined, not by his skin colour, his tribal affiliation, or his last name but by his faith. He loves those whom Allah loves and hates those whom Allah hates. He forges alliances for the cause of Allah and breaks relations for the cause of Allah.
Atrocities committed by the Islamic State, he said, are aimed at “making the West get a taste of their own medicine,” which part of him thinks the West deserves.Ahmad Walid Rashidi, cited in New York Times, 24 April 2015
5.2. A Regional Dispersal
If you find it difficult to go to Sham [greater Syria] because of cost and security concerns, why not try the Philippines? Truly, our brothers in the Philippines are awaiting your arrival, why are you so slow in answering their call?
Does it make sense that we have a neighbour being attacked by a swarm of criminals but we aim for a further neighbor rather than one closer by? We give more importance to the further neighbour and make the closer one lower priority? Brothers, this is not to demean efforts to emigrate to Sham but to advise those of you who are still in the land of kafir but have not yet set out on your journey: if you find it hard to get to Syria, strengthen the ranks in the Philippines.(Telegram appeal, 8 June 2017, cited in IPAC 2017a, p. 4)
5.3. Significant Trends
Using a visual repertoire provided by Hollywood film and the U.S. military and therefore familiar to American and global audiences, the Islamic State efficiently delivers its image-projectiles. Wrapping images of atrocity in a familiar visual and narrative format makes them more accessible and thus more potent, inflicting the effect of terror on viewers.
The significance of these attacks and others is enormous and cannot be underestimated. By calling on Muslims around the world to rise up in arms, the Shaykh launched attacks in Canada, America and Australia (three of the countries mentioned in his speech) with nothing more than words and a shared belief in the act of worship that is jihad. A general in a conventional army couldn’t possibly hope to have such power over men he’d never met on the other side of the world, ordering them to attack and possibly be killed, even if he offered them money!.
So let every Muslim who wishes to taste the sweetness of walā’ and barā’ follow the example of Ibrāhīm and declare enmity towards the kuffār amongst his own people—whether black, white, Arab, or non-Arab—and then march forth and wage war against them with whatever means are available to him.
5.4. What Can Be Done?
5.5. The Soft Power of Social Media
Jihadist groups seeking an intensive Internet presence must contend with the paradox that interaction with Web users allows them to attain their goals by creating a sense of virtual community, consisting of individuals who share and mutually reinforce their radical beliefs but at the same time the same instruments that nurture the cyber-community also open the door to dissident actions or critical voices who can gradually erode the ideological orthodoxy of the terrorist movement.
Dread Muslim: Walls are all you people care about.Eleanor Robson: I have several dear friends & colleagues in Mosul, worked with them for 25 years to help protect their cultural heritage. You?Dread Muslim: I have several brothers and sisters in Syria worked with them to save their future from dying. Saved many years of their life.Eleanor Robson: We’re not so different; I use my professional skills to support life & work of Iraqi friends who care about its past & future.Eleanor Robson: I agree that too many people care more about the past than the present but I’m not one of them.Vicious Assyrian: Thank you.Dread Muslim: May Allah guide You. Please forgive me if what I said sounded rude to you.Eleanor Robson: That’s very generous; thank you. There’s nothing to forgive though :) I’ve been feeling the same way today…
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Though it is best known as the Islamic State, we refer to this organisation as Da’esh, following international practice aimed at denying it legitimacy as either Islamic or a State (see Dragovic 2015).
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