Al Jazeera Equates Jihadist Magazine to Catholic Magazine
If a picture can paint a thousand words, perhaps a screen-grab can act as an introduction to this article. At the very least, the following grab shows how one may encounter Islamist propaganda by way of Al Jazeera (a/k/a “Al Qaeda’s Ministry of Information”) on the internet without really looking for it. Imagine what a wannabe Jihadist (a so-called “lone-wolf”) can find when they seek out Jihadist propaganda. Here’s the Tweet that led to the Islamist propaganda discussion below:
“Misreading Militant Magazines?” Is that possible? Not so much:
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) recently released the fourth issue of its slick online magazine, Dabiq. [OBS will not link to Dabiq] The latest issue offers a mix of photo essays, reports on ISIL’s activities, political propaganda and strategic imperatives. The editors say their mission is to offer a forum for discussions on theological concepts such as hijrah (migration), jihad (holy war) and tawhid (monotheism).
Beyond their aesthetics, however, the magazines emphasize the groups’ political rather than theological motivations to justify their actions as responses to Western transgressions. Similar to the U.S.-based Crisis magazine, which describes itself as a “voice for the faithful Catholic laity,” the new militant magazines aim to provide a proselytizing perspective of the world, one not ordered along the secular separation of the political life from religious life. OPINION: Behind the barbarism: Misreading online militant magazines by Rafia Zakaria Al Jazeera America 11/18/14
Did you catch that rhetorical device? Al Jazeera America draws a moral equivalency between a mainstream Catholic publication and an Islamist militant (don’t say terrorist!) magazine.
Unfortunately, discussions about militant publications remain stuck on the unhelpful good-evil binary and an outright dismissal of the magazines without any meaningful analysis. For instance, in March, The Long War Journal belittled Inspire by critiquing its poor English and highlighting only the magazine’s feature on bomb-making instructions. Similarly, Mother Jones’ Jenna McLaughlin focused her recent review of Dabiq on ISIL’s barbarity under a screaming headline: “ISIS magazine promotes slavery, rape and murder of civilians in God’s name.” Headlines that were less inflammatory but had similar slants could be found in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate and other outlets. This singular emphasis on the group’s evil deeds is a missed opportunity to interrogate the group’s evolution beyond parroting tedious, anti-Western condemnations. [emphasis added, internal links omitted- OBS] Id.
So, Al Jazeera suggests you ignore the bomb-making instructions, the slavery, rape and murder of civilians; ignore “the group’s evil deeds.” Come, let us all sit around a campfire and sing “Kumbaya”, or the Jihadist equivalent thereof, as we engage the Islamist militants in free and open debate. Wait, does Islamist “thought” even allow such a thing?
By the way, apparently ISIL/ISIS savages are exemplars of diversity:
Dabiq emphasizes ISIL’s transcendence of differences in race, language and nationality. Photographs in the magazine’s current issue highlight the racial and national diversity of ISIL fighters. Several articles reiterate that conversion to Islam means automatic belonging to the caliphate and arrival in their lands automatically confers citizenship and a passport. Against the backdrop of strict immigration enforcement in the Western world, where refugees are put in detention centers and forced to return to hostile environments, ISIL claims to offer a refuge as long as the migrants embrace Islam. Id.
A curious thing this Jihadist “diversity”: it excludes non-Muslims. – Grizzly Joe