A Computational Approach to Explore Extremist Ideologies in Daesh Discourse

This paper uses a computer-based frequency analysis to present an ideological discourse analysis of extremist ideologies in Daesh discourse. More specifically, by using a computer-assisted text analysis, the paper attempts to investigate the hidden extremist ideologies beyond the discourse of the first issue of Rumiyah, one of the main digital publications of Daesh. The paper’s main objectives are to expose hidden ideologies beyond the mere linguistic form of discourse, to offer better linguistic understanding of the manipulative use of language in religious discourse, and to highlight the relevance of using a computer-based frequency analysis to discourse studies and corpus linguistics. The paper also employs van Dijk’s ideological discourse analysis, by adopting his positive self-presentation and negative other-presentation strategies. Findings reveal that Daesh discourse in Rumiyah is rhetorically structured to hide the manipulative ideologies of its users, which in turn functions to reformulate the social, political and religious attitudes of its readers.