Religious Appeals in Daesh’s Recruitment Propaganda

The self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Daesh) employs a complex online media strategy to recruit targeted demographics. Its success has exacerbated conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere, and has become a concern for the international community. The Carter Center (the Center) is working to counter Daesh’s recruitment propaganda efforts by undertaking in-depth analysis of its recruitment media, including video, print and social media. This report examines the use of Qur’anic verses in 256 of
Daesh’s propaganda videos. The use of these verses in Daesh propaganda are analyzed by frequency, partial or full ayahs, and whether they are Madani or Makki. By examining Daesh’s manipulation of the Qur’anic text to claim religious legitimacy, this analysis can serve as a resource for religious and community leaders’ understanding of Daesh’s recruitment strategies. This is imperative for effective counter-messaging and rejecting Daesh’s misinterpretation of the Qur’an to justify political violence.

Tags: Counternarratives, Discourse Analysis, ISIS, Quantitative, Recruitment, Violent Jihadism