The cognitive and linguistic implications of ISIS propaganda: proving the crime of direct and public incitement to genocide

Badar, Mohamed and Florijančič, Polona (2019) The cognitive and linguistic implications of ISIS propaganda: proving the crime of direct and public incitement to genocide. In: Propaganda and International Criminal Law: From Cognition to Criminality. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 1-58. ISBN 9781138335639 (In Press)

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The self-declared Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Da’esh) spread their propaganda far and wide through radio stations, television, social media, online forums, physical distribution of writings etc. When assessing whether this propaganda constitutes the crime of direct and public incitement to commit genocide, one must consider utterances which directly fulfil the necessary actus reus and mens rea of said crime, as well as the propaganda techniques used in the surrounding narrative which prepares the audience to become susceptible to carrying out such calls. This work will analyse key concepts and labels employed by ISIS by placing them in their linguistic, historical, religious and ideological contexts. By doing so it will convey the intended implications of the discourse on the part of the speaker as well as its likely perception on the part of the audience. It is important to note that in order to appeal to their audiences, ISIS rely heavily on culturally and religiously well-established Islamic concepts thus even when writing or speaking in other languages, they refer to such concepts in their original Arabic form. A clear understanding of the meanings behind the words uttered is further essential for a finding of the requisite mens rea in lieu of excessive reliance on a causal link with subsequent crimes committed for this purpose. This work will further analyse the cognitive implications of ISIS propaganda by looking at how they employ various media, imagery, music and sound effects in order to make their polarising messaging more effective.Building a case against ISIS and putting together evidences proving incitement to genocide is very timely particularly in light of the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Res. 2379 (2017) which established an investigative team to Promote Accountability for Da’esh/ISIL Crimes (UNITAD) and to ensure that perpetrators of those heinous crimes be brought to justice. Since Iraq has ratified the Genocide Convention on January 20, 1959, individuals sufficiently involved in ISIS media organs could be prosecuted for the crime of direct and public incitement to commit genocide before Iraqi courts.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This work was originally presented by Prof. Mohamed Badar at a conference on “The role of parliamentarians in addressing the threat of foreign terrorist fighters and associated challenges” co-organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Terrorism Prevention Branch (UNDOC/TPB), and the House of Representatives of Egypt, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, 26-28 Feb. 2019 Luxor, Egypt. It was also presented during a workshop on ‘Drafting the Bill on Digital Evidence to the benefit of Iraq’ as part of UNODC/TPB’s Global project on ‘Strengthening the legal regime against terrorism in Iraq after the liberation of Mosul (2018-19), 24-25 Feb. 2019 Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Uncontrolled Keywords: hate propaganda, incitement to genocide, isis/is/self-declared Islamic State, Cognitive Linguistics, jihādī-Salafism, Takfir
Subjects: M100 Law by area
M200 Law by Topic
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2019 13:15
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 12:46

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