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ISIS: Raging on the Internet, but not in the Mosque (and don’t blame the web)

21st Century Wire says…

How real is ISIS? Is it more real, or less real than al Qaeda?

According to some, ISIS is flourishing more online than it is in brick-and-mortar life…

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ISIS INTERNET MARKETING DEPT: The majority of ISIS manpower is working in the virtual space.

Award-winning, veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk poses that very question: “I’m even wondering whether “Isis” –  isn’t more real on the internet, than it is on the ground.”

Fisk also goes on to say that the “virtual” has dropped out of virtual reality, and that this generation’s obsession with the truth (as it’s sometimes portrayed) online is the reason ISIS youths are going bonkers for beheadings. We agree with this supposition in part, but to blame the internet for the ISIS crisis would be one dimensional without factoring in the avalanche of financial and arms support the terrorists are receiving from entities like the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

This statement by Fisk, however, is sublime in both its quality and its accuracy:

“The belief, the absolute conviction that the screen contains truth – that the “message” really is the ultimate verity, has still not been fully recognised for what it is; an extraordinary lapse in our critical consciousness that exposes us to the rawest of  emotions – both total love and total hatred”.

Yes, the internet is a powerful tool, and it may appear dangerous to some, but if anything is inverted in this 21st century conundrum, it’s not the technology. The minds of its users were more likely warped long before they switched their computers on.

What even worse still, is the amount of free publicity and PR exposure given to ISIS/ISIL/IS by international media conglomerates like CNN, FOX, and the BBC. When the Islamic State’ post a staged jihadist propaganda video on YouTube – you can be certain that western broadcasters will give their videos heavy rotation 24/7. ISIS could not afford the free marketing they get from our media moguls.

Their consciousness was buried by a globalised, corporatised mega-media machine – buried under successive layers of lies, omissions and mistruths coming from “the mainstream” gospel, including TV broadcasters and newspapers. Lies, piled on top of lies – and then shaming the public to accept the lies – leads to a highly dysfunctional and unconscious society, not only in the west (where lying is a celebrated and high art form), but in the Middle East too.

Perhaps the media gatekeepers can start by having the stones to revisit 9/11, and maybe look a little closer to see what really happened, and then maybe, just maybe – we can talk about ‘the internet’.

Approximately 1 year ago, 21WIRE warned the establishment about the rise of particular violent strain of terrorist (now ISIS) in Syria, and how they were being allowed by US corporations like Facebook and Twitter, using social media to glorify extreme violence, and as a recruitment and fundraising platform for terrorism. See the full report on this disturbing trend compiled by Memri.org in a PDF document found here.

Unless the CIA and MI6 have their embeds inside Facebook and Twitter (which they may do) – then how can we know for sure whose side these corporations are on – as they routinely censor, gather and herd our innocuous data and traffic on a daily, or minute-by-minute basis, through the use of complex filters and customized algorithms?

Who’s side are they really on?

More on ISIS’s online prowess…

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TEAM PICTURE: A fully staged and photoshopped ISIS propaganda photo which could have just as easily been created in an office by a CIA contractor.

Propaganda war of Islamic extremists is being waged on Facebook and internet message boards, not mosques


Robert Fisk

The Independent

“Isis has turned the internet into the most effective propaganda tool ever.”

Ever since the Pentagon started talking about Isis as apocalyptic, I’ve suspected that websites and blogs and YouTube are taking over from reality.

I’m even wondering whether “Isis” – or Islamic State or Isil, here we go again – isn’t more real on the internet than it is on the ground. Not, of course, for the Kurds of Kobani or the Yazidis or the beheaded victims of this weird caliphate. But isn’t it time we woke up to the fact that internet addiction in politics and war is even more dangerous than hard drugs?

Over and over, we have the evidence that it is not Isis that “radicalises” Muslims before they head off to Syria – and how I wish David Cameron would stop using that word – but the internet. The belief, the absolute conviction that the screen contains truth – that the “message” really is the ultimate verity – has still not been fully recognised for what it is; an extraordinary lapse in our critical consciousness that exposes us to the rawest of  emotions – both total love and total hatred – without the means to correct this imbalance. The “virtual” has dropped out of “virtual reality”.

At its most basic, you have only to read the viciousness of internet chatrooms. Major newspapers – hopelessly late – have only now started to realise that chatrooms are not a new technical version of “Letters to the Editor” but a dangerous forum for people to let loose their most-disturbing characteristics. Thus a major political shift in the Middle East, transferred to the internet, takes on cataclysmic proportions. Our leaders not only can be transfixed themselves – the chairman of the US House Committee on Homeland Security, for example, last week brandishing a printed version of Dabiq, the Isis online magazine – but can use the same means to terrify us.

Timeline: The emergence of Isis

Stripped of any critical faultline, we are cowed into silence by the “barbarity” of Isis, the “evil” of Isis which has – in the truly infantile words of the Australian Prime Minister – “declared war on the world”. The television news strip across the bottom of the screen now supplies a ripple of these expressions, leaving out grammar and, all too often, verbs. We have grown so used to the narrative whereby a Muslim is “radicalised” by a preacher at a mosque, and then sets off on jihad, that we do not realise that the laptop is playing this role.

In Lebanon, for example, there is some evidence that pictures on YouTube have just as much influence upon Muslims who suddenly decide to travel to Syria and Iraq as do Sunni preachers. Photographs of Sunni Muslim victims – or of the “execution” of their supposedly apostate enemies – have a powerful impact out of all proportion to words on their own.

(…) Online, ‘Dabiq’ (a website) – named after a Syrian town captured by the jihadis which will supposedly be the site of a future and apocalyptic (yes, that word again) battle against the Western crusaders – is a slick venture. But print it up and bind it – I have such a copy beside me as I write – and it appears very crude. There are photographs of mass executions which look more like pictures of atrocities on the Eastern Front in the Second World War than publicity for a new Muslim caliphate…

Continue this article at The Independent

READ MORE ISIS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire ISIS Files

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We are a North American and European-based, grass-roots, independent blog offering geopolitical news and media analysis, working with an array of volunteer contributors who write and help to analyse news and opinion from around the world.
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