Sanitizing Language, Dehumanization And Predatorization: Revealing And Understanding Islamic State’s World View And Self-Perception. International Communication
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AbstractTop Paper in Global Communication and Social Change
The radicalization and mobilization of vulnerable individuals skyrocketed as a direct consequence of the recent mediatization of terrorist recruitment by Global Jihadist Movements and the emergence of a global information space. Especially the Islamic State (IS) is known for its global communication and media savviness. The current study sets out to reveal and understand how IS persuades sympathizers to commit terrorist plots or to join the battlefields of Syria/Iraq. We did this by content-analyzing 279 articles from IS’s magazine Dabiq, undoubtedly the group’s most important written media. Findings are threefold: 1) IS perceives itself more through a political lens than through a religious one; 2) theological foundations to describe the group’s world views are reasonably narrow and referring to ahadith decreases significantly over time; 3) following Selective Moral Disengagement Theory, IS is increasingly hostile by consistently activating dehumanization practices. Implications for countering violent extremism initiatives and future research are discussed.
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