The mass media plays an enormous role on every single aspect of society today, in every single modern culture in the world. In “Media and Martyrdom” by Faisal Devji, the author goes into great detail as to how the Islamic world, and especially Jihadists, utilize the mass media to their advantage.
The jihad is defined as a series of global effects that have assumed a universality of their own. This is exhibited throughout all of the jihadist social order. Perhaps the most important way in which the jihad assumes its universality is through the mass media. The jihadist extremists use the availability of mass media coverage as an advantage in allowing them to really their ideals and messages, of which are usually aggressive and violent. The role of mass media in the jihad goes further than mere influence. Due in large part to the past and continued usage of mass media, the jihad has created media themes, images, visuals, and stereotypes. For most Islamic people, and a majority of the modern world, the jihad site is experienced visually, as a landscape initially made available by way of the international media, and then redacted in conversation, posters, art, literature, and many other mediums. Not only do landscapes of the jihad receive more airtime than any other object identified with Islam, but they also attract the world’s attention in unprecedented ways precisely because they are identified with Islam. In other words, jihadists are utilizing, manipulating, and controlling the coverage they receive through the international mass media. This is precisely how they effectively manage their world representation. For jihadists, martyrdom achieves absolutely zero meaning unless their actions are being witnessed in the mass media. This is obvious by the fact that martyr’s constantly leave behind videotapes after they carry out attacks, or even record the attack with intent to distribute their message through the channels of mass media. The sequence of events...
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