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Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines / Stuart Macdonald; Nuria Lorenzo-Dus

Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Pages: 1 - 23

Swansea University Authors: Stuart, Macdonald, Nuria, Lorenzo-Dus

Abstract

Images are known to have important effects on human perception and persuasion. Jihadist groups are also known to make strategic use of emotive imagery and symbolism for persuasive ends. Yet until recently studies of the online magazines published by violent jihadist groups largely focused on their t...

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Published in: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
ISSN: 1057-610X 1521-0731
Published: Informa UK Limited 2019
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa47929
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first_indexed 2019-01-14T20:00:03Z
last_indexed 2020-07-25T19:08:21Z
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spelling 2020-07-25T13:19:39.1622158 v2 47929 2018-12-11 Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines 933e714a4cc37c3ac12d4edc277f8f98 0000-0002-7483-9023 Stuart Macdonald Stuart Macdonald true false fac9246a2aa3ba738f8b431e20e45a64 0000-0002-6211-7939 Nuria Lorenzo-Dus Nuria Lorenzo-Dus true false 2018-12-11 LAWD Images are known to have important effects on human perception and persuasion. Jihadist groups are also known to make strategic use of emotive imagery and symbolism for persuasive ends. Yet until recently studies of the online magazines published by violent jihadist groups largely focused on their textual, not their image, content and, whilst the image content of these magazines is now the subject of a burgeoning number of studies, few of these compare the images used by different groups. This article accordingly offers a cross-group comparison, examining the image content of a total of 39 issues of five online magazines published by four different jihadist groups. Starting with a content analysis, it shows that the images’ most common focus is non-leader jihadis. Using a news values analysis, it then shows how these images of non-leader jihadis are used to visually construct the identity of a ‘good Muslim’. This construct is characterised by three traits, each corresponding to a different news value: fulfilled (personalisation); active (consonance); and, respected (prominence). Moreover, these traits are intertwined: fulfilment comes from responding actively to the call to violent jihad, which in turn promises respect. The article concludes by highlighting some subtle differences between how the news values of personalisation, consonance and prominence are realised in the different magazines, and by discussing the implications of the ‘good Muslim’ construct for efforts to develop counter-messages. Journal Article Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 1 23 Informa UK Limited 1057-610X 1521-0731 terrorism, counterterrorism, images, identity 31 12 2019 2019-12-31 10.1080/1057610x.2018.1559508 COLLEGE NANME Legal Studies COLLEGE CODE LAWD Swansea University 2020-07-25T13:19:39.1622158 2018-12-11T09:48:57.6215222 Stuart Macdonald 0000-0002-7483-9023 1 Nuria Lorenzo-Dus 0000-0002-6211-7939 2 0047929-11122018095433.pdf VisualJihadCronfa.pdf 2018-12-11T09:54:33.5270000 Output 458173 application/pdf Accepted Manuscript true 2020-07-14T00:00:00.0000000 true eng
title Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
spellingShingle Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
Stuart, Macdonald
Nuria, Lorenzo-Dus
title_short Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
title_full Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
title_fullStr Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
title_full_unstemmed Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
title_sort Visual Jihad: Constructing the “Good Muslim” in Online Jihadist Magazines
author_id_str_mv 933e714a4cc37c3ac12d4edc277f8f98
fac9246a2aa3ba738f8b431e20e45a64
author_id_fullname_str_mv 933e714a4cc37c3ac12d4edc277f8f98_***_Stuart, Macdonald
fac9246a2aa3ba738f8b431e20e45a64_***_Nuria, Lorenzo-Dus
author Stuart, Macdonald
Nuria, Lorenzo-Dus
author2 Stuart Macdonald
Nuria Lorenzo-Dus
format Journal article
container_title Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
container_start_page 1
publishDate 2019
institution Swansea University
issn 1057-610X
1521-0731
doi_str_mv 10.1080/1057610x.2018.1559508
publisher Informa UK Limited
document_store_str 1
active_str 0
description Images are known to have important effects on human perception and persuasion. Jihadist groups are also known to make strategic use of emotive imagery and symbolism for persuasive ends. Yet until recently studies of the online magazines published by violent jihadist groups largely focused on their textual, not their image, content and, whilst the image content of these magazines is now the subject of a burgeoning number of studies, few of these compare the images used by different groups. This article accordingly offers a cross-group comparison, examining the image content of a total of 39 issues of five online magazines published by four different jihadist groups. Starting with a content analysis, it shows that the images’ most common focus is non-leader jihadis. Using a news values analysis, it then shows how these images of non-leader jihadis are used to visually construct the identity of a ‘good Muslim’. This construct is characterised by three traits, each corresponding to a different news value: fulfilled (personalisation); active (consonance); and, respected (prominence). Moreover, these traits are intertwined: fulfilment comes from responding actively to the call to violent jihad, which in turn promises respect. The article concludes by highlighting some subtle differences between how the news values of personalisation, consonance and prominence are realised in the different magazines, and by discussing the implications of the ‘good Muslim’ construct for efforts to develop counter-messages.
published_date 2019-12-31T04:06:43Z
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