Wednesday, 7 October 2015

ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra share near identical ideologies: Report | Homeland Security News Wire

A just-published report analyzes a cross-section of 114 propaganda sources over two years from the three main Salafi-jihadi groups: ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The three groups share near identical ideologies, challenging the concept that “ISIS is more extreme than al-Qaeda.” Built upon distorted Islamic religious principles, the propaganda produces single-minded focus on violent jihad. The report finds explicit references to these principles throughout the propaganda:

A just-published report, Inside the Jihadi Mind: Understanding Ideology and Propaganda, analyzes a cross-section of 114 propaganda sources over two years from the three main Salafi-jihadi groups: ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which sponsored the report, notes that the three groups share near identical ideologies, challenging the concept that “ISIS is more extreme than al-Qaeda.” Built upon distorted Islamic religious principles, the propaganda produces single-minded focus on violent jihad. The report finds explicit references to these principles throughout the propaganda:
    Ideological values form the moral basis of the groups’ actions and are present in 80 percent of all the propaganda sources. These include Islamic creedal values in 62 percent, the values of honor and solidarity with Muslim communities in 68 percent, and explicit references to the end of days in 42 percent.
    Justifications from the Quran, Hadith or from scholarship appear in 87 percent of the propaganda.

Ed Husain, author of The Islamist: Why I Became an Islamic Fundamentalist, What I Saw Inside, and Why I Left (2009) and Senior Adviser at the Center on Religion & Geopolitics said:
An initiative of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, the Center on Religion & Geopolitics (CRG) presents informed analysis on the interaction of religion and conflict globally, offering policy responses to meet the scale of the challenge through reports, media commentary, events and policy briefings.

This initiative started as a Web resource called Religion & Geopolitics launched in June 2014. In the last fifteen months it has grown and developed and to recognize this change a more suitable name and description is the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics (CRG).
We are losing the battle of ideas and urgently need to understand and defeat this global ideology. ISIS, al-Qaeda and others kill in the name of religion. They call for a caliphate of slavery, death and destruction. They justify their evil by abusively citing scripture and creating religious certainty in the minds of angry, eager and obedient recruits.

For too long we have shied away from this truth. It is by rallying the best of religion that we defeat the worst of it. It is the language of religion that will uproot this violent ideology. Civil society, governments, Muslim scholars, technology firms and others all have a part to play.’
World leaders have cited ideology as a key challenge. Speaking about how we defeat ISIS, President Barack Obama said last week “This is a long-term campaign — not only against this particular network, but against its ideology… We have to prevent it from radicalizing, recruiting and inspiring others to violence in the first place. And this means defeating their ideology. Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they’re defeated by better ideas — a more attractive and compelling vision.”

Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, praised the report: “This is the single best work I have read on the ideological foundations and theoretical underpinnings of the ongoing wave of jihadi violence. Accordingly, it makes a valuable contribution both to the literature on terrorism and radicalization as well as to the measures and efforts needed to most effectively counter the appeal of the jihadi message.”

— Read more in Emman El-Badawy et al., Inside the Jihadi Mind: Understanding Ideology and Propaganda (Tony Blair Faith Foundation, October 2015)

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