Al-Qaida in Iraq Beyond Rhetoric

Visualizing an ‘Islamic State of Iraq’

In: Sociology of Islam
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  • 1 University of Leipzig Leipzig, Germany

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In any contest for power, the multiple actors involved employ various strategies to convey their messages to national and international audiences. The contest for control over the state between the Iraqi government forces and Jihadist groups after 2003 has seen the latter deploy both rhetoric and particular forms of visualization to persuade their audience of the need to establish an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and beyond. This article evaluates the extent to which al-Qāʿida in Iraq (aqi) and its successor the ‘Islamic State of Iraq’ (isi) have tried to appeal to supporters by employing specific rhetorical and visual signs. It analyzes the group’s utopian prospects – a vision that is reinforced through rhetoric and images that play on emotions and inspire the adherents of the ‘Islamic State’.

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