Rayat AL Sawad “The Black Flags”.. A new book explores the non-conventional aspects of terrorism

Date & time : Sunday, 21 October 2018


The Arab world has been shattered by a strong wave of terrorism in the wake of the so-called “Arab Spring” thanks to the opening up of all currents resulting from the state of weakness of many Arab countries, as well as the clear support of some regional and international forces of extremist organizations. Between intellectual, armed, and state terrorism, the Arab world faces the most serious challenges that push policymakers, scholars to rethink counterterrorism.

In his latest work, “Rayat Al Sawad ” (The Black Flags), the Saudi writer Amjad Almunif discusses a number of non-traditional aspects of the repercussions of the current wave of violence and terrorism in the Arab world, especially through the most serious terrorist group ISIS (Daesh) as an unconventional terrorism that transcends its borders and methods. The author examines the communication strategies which are the most powerful factors of ISIS, by which it penetrated the European societies.

Unlike the traditional media system, which suffers from insufficient awareness because of their lack of professionalism in performance, as well as their reliance on traditional strategies that went beyond time, the new strategies used by ISIS introduces a heroic image of the terrorists, albeit indirectly.

ISIS new media strategies are varied according to the target groups, languages, timing and methods. The author discussed several indicators of ISIS new media strategies as following:

  • The terrorist groups benefited from the revolution of technology which easily linked it with its followers via social media channels like Telegram application and others.
  • ISIS managed to attract a large numbers of European sympathizers in Europe.
  • By online games, adolescents were attracted to ISIS.
  • ISIS managed to portray an image of it model that became a De-facto and as an internationally influential power.

The author states that ISIS new strategies were generated from the dynamic media discourse that seeks to attract attention and employ all means to that end all time. The media message adopted by ISIS animated references using the latest technologies that mimic the developments of global cinema, in which the writer concludes that there is no possibility of an attack by military strategies alone, especially in light of the widening space Via (Internet) and market ideas where technology plays an important role in the delivery semantics of this picture, even if the owner of some tricks and visual effects in the picture.

It was obviously clear during the burning show of the Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kassabeh, in which the effects of the professional’s use of visual stimuli were evident. The show was characterized by a very high degree of technical quality. But the author insists that although the skill of the terrorist organization is characterized through its technical capabilities and communication strategies. So, the author focuses on the importance of relying on art and its role in confronting extremism and terrorism, especially through drama that conveys moderate ideas and fights extremism through creative works and targeted dramas.

Iran and ISIS are in Parallel

The danger of ISIS is not limited to bombing operations, in contrast, it includes a strategic threat aimed at rephrasing the strategic situation in the Middle East. Between Israel, Iran and Turkey, the traditional enemies of Arab national security, ISIS works for the interests of themin the midst of a network of friendly relations highlighting the Iranian-ISIS  front as a spearhead to destabilize and threaten the Gulf security.

The author traces the dimensions of the dubious relationship between ISIS and Tehran through the latter’s position from its actions. For example, the bombing of the Imam Ali Mosque in the eastern province of Qatif, on May 22, 2015 during Friday prayer, the author stated, was adopted by ISIS. Such attack coincided with speculation that Western reports about a Russian-Iranian desire to move the region’s conflicts into Saudi Arabia.

This coincides with Tehran’s efforts to create chaos in Arab countries. So, the author refutes the reluctance always advocating attacking Iranian interests in Iraq, despite allegations that it represents the Sunni Islam in exchange for the idols of the Shiites in Iran. Moreover, along with numerous evidence, through “Looking for the Beneficiary,” the author draws on the depth of the relationship between ISIS and Iran, which was confirmed through many subsequent events and developments.

Despite the claims of the Western propaganda machine, the author asserts the fact that such propaganda has been collapsed for a number of reasons monitored by the writer in the diversity of sources of information and pluralism and awareness of the journalist and professional who refuses to accept the traditional style of propaganda adopted by politicians and the public opinion and opinion. So, ISIS tries to encourage terrorism to create a model it monopolizes to be adopted by the Arab media and promote it.

It is necessary, as the author, to confront extremism with the logic of innovation and to overcome the same traditional ways in a framework confronting the challenges inherent in the developments of events. So, there is a need to search for a new mechanism to deal with these concepts in a differentiated framework, which requires the regimes in the Arab world in order to adopt what is generated by scientific research and overcome the reasons that pave the way for an environment incubator of extremism.

Indeed, Coexistence and fusion under one umbrella, and a comprehensive identity is very important accommodating all sects and cultures, which necessitates the need to enact clear and direct regulations that criminalize hatred and undermine all causes of extremism and extremism.

Despite the variety of topics that the book is full of, it focused on a central idea that despite the attempts of the uniqueness of ISIS between the form and content of its terrorist operations and its objectives, the regional forces attempts to destabilize the Arab world became clearer. But many indicators that were monitored by the author, reveals the failure of such efforts.

Finally, the book opens the horizons to the need for understanding more non-conventional aspects of terrorism, through a new methods, strategies at all levels. So, one should read this book as a guide to confront terrorism and extremism.

Book Information



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