The Islamic State’s Local Propaganda Is Key to Understanding Its Appeal

The Islamic State’s Local Propaganda Is Key to Understanding Its Appeal
Demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State group slogans as they wave the group’s flags in front of the provincial government headquarters, Mosul, Iraq, June 16, 2014 (AP photo).

In seeking to explain the recruiting success of the so-called Islamic State (IS), Western analysts tend to view the group through the lens of its most provocative acts: staged executions, destruction of heritage sites and calls to bring about the “End of Days.” Yet while its Western enemies are preoccupied parsing the allure of its spectacular savagery and zealous apocalyptic ideology, IS is carefully cultivating a parallel appeal to its core Arab constituency, not through shock and awe but through routine and accomplishment. The brand that IS media most regularly markets to inhabitants of IS-controlled territory and supporters is that […]

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