Countering ISIS's Propaganda: Islamic Piety, Belonging, and Exposure of Life under ISIS's Rule
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The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham's (ISIS) recruitment tactics have yielded substantial results in the Western world. Recruiters use a variety of push and pull factors to separate potential recruits from their society while drawing them in to ISIS. Radicalization is especially prominent in Western Europe due to the host countries' failure to assist Muslims with integration into Western society. This paper examines why ISIS's recruitment has been successful by analyzing how each push and pull factor influences radicalization and makes the target susceptible to recruitment. In particular, this paper focuses on the importance of a sense of belonging and the ways in which all other listed factors relate to it. This paper also discusses shifts in the rhetoric of ISIS's propaganda and the effects that those shifts have had on recruitment. In addition, it analyzes a few case studies and argues that the effective usage of Western media will reduce the number of radicalized individuals.About Jonah GellmanJonah Gellman graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in International Security Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Arabic. During his time at OU, Jonah tutored students in Arabic and worked as a Security Practicum Intern. He will be working as a researcher of Middle Eastern studies upon graduation. In his spare time, Jonah enjoys playing racket sports and watching foreign media.