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The Caliphate and the Aiding Sword: A content analysis of "Islamic State" propaganda
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [sv]

A content analysis of "Islamic State" (IS) propaganda material released around the movement's proclamation of a Caliphate in 2014, this study is an attempt at analysing ways in which presented arguments express a coherent narrative of symbolic meaning. Using Robert Benford & David Snow's ideas on the so-called three core framing tasks as a clarifying template, I discuss ways in which the analysed material argues for the legitimacy and relevance of the IS movement. IS propagandists argue that the Muslim umma is under attack, and that Muslims need to unite under a common authority that can protect their religion, restore their strength, and counteract their humiliation. The IS Caliphate is presented as a hopeful sign, but is in need of committed recruits who are willing to sacrifice for what is presented as the greater good. As the analysed propaganda is particularly focused on this latter (motivational) aspect of the narrative, it focuses extensively on formulating arguments that reinforce it. I hold that many of these arguments can be traced back to what can be described as appeals to virtues like sincerity, authenticity, and truthfulness – and that all of these are also used to argue for the credibility of the IS Caliphate as an Islamic authority. Arguing that this Caliphate will serve the role of an aiding sword of Islam, it is furthermore presented as a necessary and vigorous structure aimed at protecting "truth" and at eradicating "falsehood".

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 145
Keywords [en]
Islamic State, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Caliphate, Propaganda, Violent extremism, Jihad, Takfir
Keywords [sv]
Islamiska Staten, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Kalifat, Propaganda, Våldsbejakande extremism, Jihad, Takfir
National Category
History of Religions
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-139864OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-139864DiVA, id: diva2:1075031
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Available from: 2017-03-06 Created: 2017-02-16 Last updated: 2017-03-06Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • Other style
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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