This recent article on ISIL using the uproar of the grand jury decision on Darren Wilson to promote their own cause is pretty surprising.
The article features many screen caps from different ISIL promoters throughout Twitter. I found this very useful because I normally search for those specific propaganda twitter accounts to see what’s going on in the world of ISIL.
Besides the obvious shock factor of how on top of their promoting game ISIL is, I think the real result we should be looking at is how many people see these tweets and think: These guys are right.
I found this tweet to be most compelling simply because of the bloody axe in the front. The rioting and looting in Ferguson got way out of control but the last time I checked no one killed anyone else with an axe. No one even had an axe, there was some gun shots and a lot of fire… but no axe.
Besides that picture, the other tweets went along the lines of this: “To #Ferguson people, the solution of #freedom is #islam. #IslamicState #IS #ISIS #FergusonDecision”
These types of tweets I think can potentially be the most influential on susceptible people.
A lot of these tweets use Islam as a scapegoat for all the world’s problems. I think the most common one is for judgement day. ISIL often references to the impending judgement day and how the followers of ISIL will be the only ones let up into Heaven.
Although the tweets can sometimes be influential, even more influential are the long propaganda videos posted in English. Although YouTube and Twitter are quick to take down the worst videos, mostly of beheadings and such, there are the quick users out there that get to see the worst of the worst.
So maybe after a Twitter user in Ferguson reads the aforementioned tweet and thinks, “Maybe I should learn more about Islam…”. So, he or she reads up on Islam online and tries to understand what ISIL is all about. He or she finds Dabiq, and watches some propganda videos online. Suddenly, he or she doesn’t think ISIL is all that bad.
Now I’m not saying he or she hoping on a plane and joining ISIL’s fight right now, but now perhaps he or she is a bit more sympathetic to ISIL and its “cause”. Clearly with all the propaganda videos ISIL is aiming for people to join them but they also aim to make people around the world sympathetic to them.
Especially the American people.
So what can be done about ISIL and its propaganda? In my next blog I will talk about what the U.S. and other Muslims in Middle Eastern countries such as Jordan and the United Arab Emirates are doing to combat the propaganda.