Matching Items (5)

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The War on Terror Must Not Be Won: Heretical Hypotheses on the Suicide Engine

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It is imperative for the West that the War on Terror not be won, yet it is also certain that the War on Terror will be won, a victory for

It is imperative for the West that the War on Terror not be won, yet it is also certain that the War on Terror will be won, a victory for the West which simultaneously signifies its defeat. This state of affairs is not paradoxical, but catastrophic, and as is argued in the course of this essay, the War on Terror is the logical and necessary terminus of the Western project and its attendant metaphysic. Beginning with Marx's analysis of the commodity in Das Kapital, it has become increasingly clear that the West (and for that matter, the rest of the world) is succumbing to a regime of simulation, in which reality is liquidated in favor of increased inertia of circulating signs. Using Jean Baudrillard's infamous critiques of the postmodern society as a guide, the following essay examines the emerging forms of terrorism and their relation to Western social structures, ultimately concluding that the West is on the brink of an abyss which is marked by the advent of the anonymous act of terrorism.

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  • 2015-05

Narratives of Recruitment: A Comparative Analysis of ISIS and the USMC

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The United States is attempting to find the most efficient ways of responding to the threat of terrorist recruitment within its borders. ISIS has effectively recruited individuals from around the

The United States is attempting to find the most efficient ways of responding to the threat of terrorist recruitment within its borders. ISIS has effectively recruited individuals from around the world on a large scale and specifically targets citizens of Western countries with high-quality, cinematic, English-language recruitment material. In the following analysis, we propose an additional approach to understanding ISIS recruitment appeal by comparing the content of recruitment messaging from a militaristic (but value-oriented) organization that is familiar to the authors of this thesis (the United States Marine Corps) with the militaristic but value-oriented unfamiliar (ISIS). Through this analysis, we seek to understand ISIS recruitment not from a theological basis but from a communications framework: narrative analysis. We identified narratives in each organization's recruitment materials and, by comparing larger themes that appeared across materials, determined the overarching narrative arc for each organization (into which the many smaller individual narratives were tied). We found that the narratives of the organizations are similar and different in many ways, but most significantly, they articulate fundamentally different resolutions: ISIS is driving towards a defined narrative resolution (which results in the end of the modern world) while the USMC recruitment materials depict no concrete resolution, as the organizational arc is depicted as continuing throughout time. Our discussion of narrative trajectory and defined resolutions directly supports existing scholarly literature linking the need for cognitive closure with extremist views: providing certainty and assurance about the future to potential extremist recruits. As demonstrated in our analysis, the narratives produced by ISIS for the purpose of recruitment depict a definite and conclusive resolution to both individual and organizational narratives, removing ambiguity (of actions, of antagonists, and of resolutions) and the anxiety associated with chance from the lives of the potential recruits. We believe ISIS's removal of uncertainty and provided template for how individuals should conduct their lives is an important part of the appeal its recruitment material has for Western recruits. Our suggestions for real-world use of our findings apply the immediacy and defined resolution found in ISIS recruitment narratives to counter ISIS-recruitment strategies.

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  • 2017-05

The Islamic State: A Historical, Ideological, and Methodological Analysis of the Organization and its Rhetoric

Description

The Islamic State also known as ISIS is an organization and a self-proclaimed state that emerged from many diverse factors. Its roots lie with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (1966—2006),

The Islamic State also known as ISIS is an organization and a self-proclaimed state that emerged from many diverse factors. Its roots lie with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (1966—2006), the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the ideologies of various modern-day Jihadi-Salafist. ISIS proclaimed a world-wide Caliphate in 2014 and named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as its Caliph. Muslim, non-Muslim states and Islamic authorities however, rejected its claim to statehood or caliphate. The goal of this thesis is to understand the development of this new phenomenon by analyzing its history, rhetoric, ideology and practice. Prior to its creation, the tensions in Iraq during the Saddam Hussein regime and its relationship to the first and the second Iraq war in 1990-91 and 2003 as well as the creation of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan that led to the emergence of a new phenomenon, global jihadism. The main ideology that the Islamic State promotes is a form of Jihadi-Salafism that claims to unite Muslims against all non-Muslim governments in order to bring “true Islam” back into the world. To do this, jihadists justify the establishment of the Caliphate in an effort to provide legitimacy to their actions, appealing to young people who often times are seduce by their eschatology. Once individuals join, they are taught concepts pertaining to martyrdom to establish loyal to the organization and its cause. To win people over, the Islamic State employs modern methods of communication that includes social media such as Youtube and Twitter, as well as magazines such as Dabiq. These resources address the online community and specifically attract individuals who feel isolated from their communities, or individuals who wish to create an impact on the world. Overall, the Islamic State, although it employs Islamic symbols and scriptures in their claim of representing all Muslims, does not adhere to, nor respect the historical and intellectual discussions of Islam in favor of their own political agenda. Its adherents utilize concepts from certain Salafi and Wahhabi ideals, emphasizing jihad as defensive war against the West in an attempt to isolate parts of society so that they can retain control. They ignore the main concept of mercy within the Islamic faith. Muslims in the Arizona community agree that the Islamic State is not a representation of Islam in this world and should not be equivocated with the Islamic practices that more than 1.6 billion Muslims practice in their daily life.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Examining Women as Agents of Violence Within ISIS: Including a Case Study on the Recruitment of Sudanese Medical Students with Historical Analysis

Description

We live in an era where the notion of feminism is widespread. Just walking on the Arizona State University campus, one can see people wearing t-shirts and holding coffee cups

We live in an era where the notion of feminism is widespread. Just walking on the Arizona State University campus, one can see people wearing t-shirts and holding coffee cups that say "FEMINIST," working from computers covered in stickers calling for gender equity. I, myself, am a feminist. On any given day, I fit in perfectly with many others on campus - sporting a t-shirt that says, "Raise Boys and Girls the Same Way," and lugging around my laptop covered in feminist propaganda stickers. I subscribe to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's definition of feminism. In essence, a feminist is "a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes," regardless of religion, ethnicity, race, and class (Adichie, 2012). Through the lens of this definition and those like it, women have made many advancements (though there is still significant progress to be made in this arena, particularly for women of color) – more women participate in the workforce and education, women have gained greater autonomy over their bodies, and domestic responsibilities are, in many societies, no longer only assumed by women.

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  • 2020-05

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Hijrah to the Islamic State: A Preliminary Analysis

Description

In this thesis, I conduct a preliminary analysis of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham's travel manual-cum-propaganda ebook Hijrah to the Islamic State, which has been used by people

In this thesis, I conduct a preliminary analysis of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham's travel manual-cum-propaganda ebook Hijrah to the Islamic State, which has been used by people from various parts of the world attempting to enter Syria and join the terrorist organization. Using techniques from discourse and propaganda analysis I examine how the author of the text uses discursive resources to construct the reader of the text, the author's expectations for the reader, and the act of traveling to Syria. I then use news articles from varying organizations as well as the Islamic State-produced periodical magazine Dabiq to locate the document within the context of Islamic State affairs and propaganda. Subsequently, I show that the use of discursive resources is consistent with the ethos espoused in Dabiq, and in addition to serving as a guide to entering Syria Hijrah to the Islamic State is also a soft introduction into the radical belief systems of the terrorist group itself.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05