||2017-09-23 19:53:52, 조회 : 795, 추천 : 188
| Jesus and the Jihadis|
Craig A. Evans and Jeremiah J. Johnston
Chapter 9 - Trending Terrorism #ISIS
Hello to another beautiful, beautiful day that has been given to us by our gracious heavenly Father! We continue our book, Jesus and the Jihadis, by the authors Craig A. Evans and Jeremiah J Johnston. We’re looking at the ninth chapter, Trending Terrorism #ISIS, with the sub-title, The Unprecedented ISIS Social Media Campaign to Lure Western Youth.
Terrorism and ISIS have become trending on all social media platforms. ISIS has gone viral and the West is trying to regain lost ground in the virtual battle for the people’s heart and mind. Even more remarkable than ISIS controlling a land area larger than the United Kingdom, is their digital footprint and influence, which has gone global. ISIS and terrorism has used the social media outlet in order to influence young Westerners to migrate to Iraq and Syria.
In 2015 the United States government initiated a process of hiring public relations marketing experts in order to combat an unprecedented amount of ISIS propaganda. ISIS produces and releases 90,000 messages every day through media. That is, on every available platform ISIS is present and forwarding its mission. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vine, Instagram, Snapchat, Skype, and even video games are used by the Islamic State to sell their utopia Islamic dream. The bad part is the fact that westerners are buying in to it.
Now, some of you guys may believe that we are overreacting. However, the government doesn’t think so and history doesn’t think so either. A single man managed to give an ad campaign that gave one nation the confidence to attempt world domination, promote a superior race while exterminating millions, and all while believing in lies. That man is famously known as Adolf Hitler. Hitler himself said, “the great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.” Only days into his new role as Chancellor of Germany, one of Hitler’s first acts as supreme leader was to establish the Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda. Joseph Goebbels was the mastermind who led the Nazi propaganda machine that used all forms of media of that day. Every aspect of German life was idealized, even romanticized, on an epic scale. Nothing was overlooked. German life was believed, according to the media of that time, to be superior to all else. German media spread the message that the world needed to live like them, like Nazi, and martyrdom was the central message. But what happened? After twelve years broadcasting the illusion of their superior race, Goebbels ultimately decided to have his six children poisoned to death by an SS doctor and then ordered an SS officer to shoot him and his wife to death on May 1, 1945.
Similarly, the media game is what ISIS is speaking. And it is fine if you do not speak Arabic. The “Anwar al-Awlaki Battalion” unit is comprised of only English-speaking jihadists within ISIS who are dedicated to attacking English-speaking countries. In 2014 over one hundred and fifty Americans attempted to join ISIS and nearly all of them utilized social media. James Comey, now former director of the FBI, called ISIS a “chaotic spider web” that continues to infiltrate Americans’ home through social media. This way of recruitment is so effective that, at the time of writing, the FBI have/had pending cases for ISIS supporters in all fifty states!
New America reported sixty-two individual cases involving residents of nineteen states who were either in the process of joining ISIS or were aiding them. The average age of those who tried to join were twenty-five, with the youngest being a fifteen-year-old female. Before these Holy Wars did not include women, but now twenty percent of Americans who tried to join ISIS were women. As we have seen, ISIS is a misogynistic group that rapes, enslaves, and brutalizes women, so it is disturbing as to why so many females are attracted to such a group.
Elton Simpson, originally from Illinois, and Nadir Soofi, a Texan, were roommates in Phoenix, Arizona, when they drove across two states to attempt an ISIS inspired mass shooting at a Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas. Elton pledged loyalty to ISIS tweeting, “The bro with me and myself have given bay’ah to Amirul Mu’mineen. May Allah accept us as mujahideen. #Texasattack” moments before shots fired. Elton worked at a dentist office. Nadir was described as a wonderful father to his eight-year-old son and once helped save a neighbor who had collapsed with a heart condition.
Americans who are dedicated to the Islamic State were significantly influenced by jihadists’ social media propaganda. Elton was communicating via Twitter with three ISIS supporters in the days preceding to his failed attack. Twitter DM, or “direct messaging,” was the medium that was used to carry out the plans for the attack. Law enforcement is now faced with a near-impossible task of attempting to monitor the huge junk of social media activity pledged to jihad. There has been some mixed success. Twitter surveillance has led the FBI to thirty-nine arrests with ISIS links in over a dozen states. In the aftermath of the Garland attack, ISIS claimed responsibility and then proclaimed they have seventy-one trained militant fighters based in fifteen different states ready to carry out jihad. With the privacy and autonomy of a tweet or direct message, jihad happens. And the world watches and the tweets trend.
Unlike many churches and other social organizations, the Islamic State has a job for everyone. No one is too old or weak or marginalized to be important in expanding the caliphate. The message is that there is a place for everyone. That message resonates with disconnected youth all over the world. We have over forty years of experiencing teaching in the university classroom and are often asked what surprises us about college students today. Without a doubt, we are saddened by the amount of baggage our university students carry with them to school. So many students are from broken homes. Many lack confidence. They have lost the security of belonging. The ISIS social media machine knows this and, therefore, their message is one of acceptance and belonging. No one is too far-gone to join ISIS. It hunts the outcasts of society. If you feel abandoned by your family, ISIS is happy to be your family.
The Islamic State is capitalizing on the broken homes of the West and broken promises of Hollywood. There are more ways, however, to connect and be connected without having to resort to joining ISIS. The gospel of Jesus Christ promises that the kingdom of God is coming to earth and has started through us. If you know Christ, then you are part of God’s kingdom. God has a plan for you, and no one is left out – all are welcome.
At the very center of Jesus’ proclamation is the kingdom of God. Good news to the poor, healing the brokenhearted, liberty to captives, freedom for all in Christ. Human beings are spiritual beings. We hunger for the spiritual. And only Jesus Christ can meet the spiritual need we all have and bring lasting peace and purpose to our lives. This is the message of Jesus. Listen to it for the message of jihad enslaves while the message of Christ liberates. That message has resonated, and is still trending, for the last 2000 years. And this concludes chapter 9, Trending Terrorism #ISIS.
1) Does social media play a large role in our lives? How?
2) How did we see Adolf Hitler use the media?
2) How might this influence be used by the Islamic State?