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“Facta Non Verba”- Controversial Study Details Islamic Extremist Objectives July 11, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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The Arizona State University Center for Strategic Communication (CSC) released a controversial report this week that analyzes extremist writings and provides an opinion on the goals of extremists.  As one of my favorite past times is beating up on “research” I will do the same here.

The study analyzed over 2,000 extremist writings from Al Qeada, Al Shababb and others.  According to the report CSC says: We conclude that verses extremists cite from the Qur’an do not suggest an aggressive offensive foe seeking domination and conquest of unbelievers, as is commonly assumed. Instead they deal with themes of victimization, dishonor, and retribution. This shows close integration with the rhetorical vision of Islamist extremists” (emphasis added).    The first issue is that the study simply looks at “verses cited” from the Qur’an without delving into the more esoteric aspects of communication.  It should be noted that writings by Al Qeada are propaganda.  Propoganda is defined as: “…a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position. Propaganda is usually repeated and dispersed over a wide variety of media in order to create the chosen result in audience attitudes.”   Reading propoganda alone without analyzing the context or actions is dangerous.  History is filled with relevant examples that don’t need repeating in this post. While the “verses cited” may not suggest an aggressive offensive foe, the actions certainly do.  Between 2004 and 2000 Al Qeada claimed 313 attacks killing over 3,000 people.  I may be a bit sensitive but an average of 6.5 attacks per month killing an average of 62.5 people per month for 4 years certainly seems to suggest an aggressive offensive foe. (more…)

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