Congruences and differences between mainstream and extremist discourse amongst university students in Jordan
AuthorsHarahsheh, Sabah A.M.
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AbstractThis qualitative study deconstructs ISIS’s narrative in order to identify some of its main rhetorical tactics, before assessing whether such ideology and rhetoric appeal to Arab Muslim youth. This project depends on the rhetorical analysis by taking all speeches written and delivered by Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, ISIS’s media spokesman from 2011 until 2016, as a case study. The rhetorical analysis aims to demonstrate how ISIS appropriates the past, interprets the present, and visualises the future for Arab Muslims. The analysis of four focus groups reveal how young Arabs interpret extremist’s messages to demonstrate the convergence or divergence of extremist rhetoric with that of a sample of Arab youth living in Jordan. ISIS’s rhetoric shows that the group has been frozen in time and space; it relies on opposite dualities in managing the affairs of life, and puts the laws of God against the laws of man as a belief to establish the Caliphate. To do that, it borrows heavily but selectively from the Islāmic laws based on the teachings of the Qur’ān and Sunnah, and imposes the past on the present to reach the utopia it promises to establish. There is a congruence between the view of some youths and the vision of ISIS in terms of the audience’s interpretations of such extremist ideology regarding the ‘other’; some youths also believed that Sharīʿa should be applied to the letter because it is suitable for every time and place. The example provides a relational analysis or one that acknowledges the intricate and complex network that connects extremist ideas and ideologies with existing, mainstream ideas such as the anti-Shi’ite sentiment. The analysis demonstrates the need for developing a participatory communicative space for dialogue among youth and between youth and other actors, be it state, international organisations, or civil society.
CitationHarahsheh, S. (2022) 'Congruences and differences between mainstream and extremist discourse amongst university students in Jordan'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
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