“Kill Them Wherever You Find Them” - Radicalizing Narratives of the “So-Called” Islamic State Via the Online Magazine Rumiyah

Micha Bröckling, Carola Fritsch, Monzer Haider, Tülin Yalman

Abstract


During the civil war in Syria and Iraq, numerous predominantly young Europeans joined the terrorist organization of the Islamic State and committed attacks in their homelands in the name of the Islamic State. The study “Westliche Jugendliche im Bann des Islamischen Staates” (Kiefer et al., 2016) examines the contents of the IS propaganda magazine Dabiq which was published until 2016. Dabiq was aimed at young people with the intention to radicalize them in the ideology of the IS. The Dabiq follow-up magazine Rumiyah appears at a time when the IS began losing ever larger parts of its former territories in Iraq and Syria and as signs of structural disintegration are appearing. It is upon the changes occurring within this period of transition that we focus our research efforts. We identify the radicalization strategies in Rumiyah and analyze whether, and to what extent, the IS adapts its propaganda to the changing political situation as compared to Dabiq. With the assistance of a deductively developed category system, this study uses a qualitative content analysis of all previous issues of Rumiyah to investigate the narratives Rumiyah utilizes in addressing its readers as well as the pathways proposed toward radicalization. Our research indicates that journeying to the Caliphate is no longer the primary objective of radicalization. In Rumiyah, young people are being asked to relocate the battle to their home countries, which we associate with the territorial losses of the IS. In addition, the frequent narration of enemy images and clear rules in Rumiyah magazine provides clues as to what action guidelines could be used to counter the radicalization of youth. Regarding the re-sults of this research, both the promotion of an interfaith and intra-Muslim dialogue as well as the support of parents whose children are looking for clearly communicated rules suitable to protect young people from radicalization by the IS and thus prevent terrorist attacks in their countries of origin.


Keywords


Radicalization; Islamic State; Rumiyah; Dabiq; Terrorism

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References


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