Once upon a time
Western genres and narrative constructions of a romantic jihad
The article examines the romantic narratives told by the “Islamic State” in the propaganda online videos of foreign fighters. Employing a method of narrative analysis, based on insight from Literary Studies and Narratology, it holds that while narratives of jihad differ to “war on terror” narratives told in the West with regard to their content, narratives of jihad employ a very western romantic genre style. Focusing on the narrative elements of setting, characterisation and emplotment the article illustrates a romantic narrative of jihad which contains classical elements of a romantic story in which the everyday person is forced to become a hero in a legitimate struggle against an unjust order for the greater good and in aid of the down trodden. The article thereby aims to contribute to the debate on why such narratives of jihad have an appeal in certain parts of western society.
Keywords: narratives, ISIS, romanticism, discourse, jihad, videos, propaganda, foreign fighters
Published online: 10 October 2018
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