The Islamic State's Frantic Response To The Wave Of Refugees Fleeing Syria

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The Islamic State's Frantic Response To The Wave Of Refugees Fleeing Syria

Post by Guest on Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:59 am

In response to the refugee crisis involving the migration to Europe of hundreds of thousands of people from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries, the Islamic State (ISIS) has launched a large-scale media campaign urging Muslims not to seek refuge in the West but rather to come to the territories under its control. As part of the campaign, ISIS has released 13 videos and has published numerous articles and pamphlets; additionally, its activists have flooded social media with this message, including with a Twitter campaign under the hashtag "Refugees – to where?" The massive scale of the media output on this issue shows that ISIS sees the Syrian wave of migration to Europe as an acute challenge. ISIS leaders see this challenge is twofold: It undermines ISIS propaganda that promotes ISIS as a burgeoning state to which Muslims are flocking, and it constitutes an actual demographic problem.

ISIS's migration campaign has revolved largely around a negative message, namely condemnation of those who choose to flee to the West and an assertion that migration to Europe and the West will only bring the refugees further misfortune. Moreover, ISIS and its supporters stress all Muslims' obligation to perform hijra (migration) to the Islamic State, and the view that Muslims who live elsewhere are neglecting their religious duties. he messages in the campaign revolve around comparisons. ISIS propagandists juxtapose the negative aspects of migrating to the West with the positive aspects of life in the Islamic State and migrating to it. Thus, they present the Islamic State as an Islamic utopia, as opposed to Europe, presented as a land of moral depravity.

The ISIS territories are presented as lands where Muslims live in peace, security, and prosperity, in contrast to the dangers and perils that await refugees in Europe. Life in the Islamic State, they say, may perhaps be dangerous, but it promises glory and honor through waging jihad, most prominently for the people of Syria – but life in the West will be a life of humiliation and abuse for those who choose to leave battle-torn countries of the Middle East, for they will be targets of Europeans' conspiracies and European attempts at converting them to Christianity. Writers quote passages from the Koran and Hadith, and from renowned scholars to emphasize the obligation to live in an Islamic land. They frequently quote ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who has called upon Muslims to migrate to the lands under his rule.


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