Capitalizing on the Koran to fuel online violent radicalization: A taxonomy of Koranic references in ISIS’s Dabiq
Author(s)Frissen, Thomas; U0098795; ; JFA; CORA; ;
Toguslu, Erkan; U0076454; ; ; ; ;
Van Ostaeyen, Pieter; U0112514; ; ; ; ;
d'Haenens, Leen; U0046656; ; ; ; JLA;
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AbstractThe current study set out to investigate to what extent ISIS is bolstering its jihadist ideology on a ‘cut-and-paste’ or ‘cherry-picked’ version of Islam in their renowned online propaganda magazine Dabiq. The main objective was to examine in a systematic and quantitative way to what extent ISIS utilizes the Koran in an atomistic, truncated and tailored manner to bolster its religious legitimacy. A total of 15 issues of Dabiq and 700 Koranic references were scrutinized. By means of a quantitative analysis we developed an innovative taxonomy of Koranic chapters and verses (i.e. surahs and ayat, respectively) on the basis of their appearance in Dabiq. Our large-scale data analysis provide consistent empirical evidence for severe decontextualization practices of the Koran in three ways: (1) a thin, Medinan-dominated religious layer, (2) ayah mutilation, and (3) clustered versus exclusive mentions. Limitations and implications for future research, policy makers and CVE initiatives are discussed.