Martyrdom Mythology in Iraq: How Jihadists Frame Suicide Terrorism in Videos and Biographies

  title={Martyrdom Mythology in Iraq: How Jihadists Frame Suicide Terrorism in Videos and Biographies},
  author={Mohammed M. Hafez},
  journal={Terrorism and Political Violence},
  pages={115 - 95}
  • M. Hafez
  • Published 1 January 2007
  • Political Science
  • Terrorism and Political Violence
The jihadists in Iraq strategically deploy emotional narratives to construct the myth of heroic martyrdom, demonize their intended targets, and appeal to potential recruits from around the Muslim world. These culturally astute jihadists know well the themes that resonate with the wider Muslim public, and have done an extraordinary job in harnessing three narratives to mobilize for martyrdom: humiliation of Muslims at the hands of foreigners, impotence of official Muslim governments in the face… 

Mediated Conflict: Shiite Heroes Combating ISIS in Iraq and Syria

This article analyzes a number of Shiite media productions in Iraq in order to investigate the significance of heroism and religious symbols during a time of heightened sectarian tension. Many of the

Gender, Martyrdom, and the Management of Stigmatized Identities among Devout Muslims in the U.S.

Martyrdom has a central and increasingly popular role in Islamic social movements, but remains undertheorized and empirically underexplored in sociological studies. In this chapter, I examine the

Violence and Political Myth: Radicalizing Believers in the Pages of Inspire Magazine

Violent Jihadist movements have increasingly produced online English language magazines in order to encourage young Muslims into terrorism. This article argues that sociological approaches to the

Shrouded: Islam, War, and Holy War in Southeast Asia

The relationship between Islam and war has been the focus of lively debates. While terrorism experts might find a holy war wherever they look, others deny the role of faith in motivating violence.

Poor, Polygamous, But Deeply Pious: Muslim Masculinities in Post-New Order Film Islami

Through events such as the attacks on 9/11 and its global reverberations, the fear of global Islamist terrorism, and the continued intellectual links with the seat of Islamic learning in the Middle

Humiliation and the Political Mobilization of Masculinity

Islamist rhetoric about the humiliation of Islam and American rhetoric about national humiliation have been energized by disparate events in recent years, from the photographs of American soldiers in

Constructing Cosmic War: Rhetorical Outbidding and Religious Violence

With the rise of religious violence in recent decades, a great amount of scholarly attention has focused on determining what role (if any) religion plays in these conflicts. Existing approaches,

Framing war: visual propaganda, the Islamic State, and the battle for east Mosul

Abstract This article explores how propaganda can be used to construct counter-factual visual narratives at times of war. Specifically, it examines how the Islamic State communicated its way through

Dream narratives of Muslims' martyrdom: Constant and changing roles past and present.

Islamic literature is replete with many thousands of accounts of dreams, testifying to the great importance that Muslim societies have attached to dreaming throughout their history. Dreams are

Neojihadism and Muslim–Christian Relations in the Mindanao Resistance Movement: A Study of Facebook Digital Narratives

Religion is surely not the most important factor in explaining the conflict in the Southern Philippines. Economic, political and criminal issues also contribute to explaining the violence in the



Suicide Terrorism in Iraq: A Preliminary Assessment of the Quantitative Data and Documentary Evidence

  • M. Hafez
  • Political Science, Psychology
  • 2006
This preliminary assessment of suicide terrorism in Iraq sheds light on why some groups in the insurgency employ suicide attacks although others do not. The unequal utilization of suicide bombings

Ibid.; Hamd al-Jaser, ‘‘Kuwaiti Jihadists in the Sunni Triangle,’

  • (Arabic) Al-Hayat, August
  • 2004

A Preliminary Assessment of the Quantitative Data and Documentary Evidence,’’ Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 29 (2006): 1–27

  • See also Mohammed M. Hafez, Suicide Bombers in Iraq: The Strategy and Ideology of Martyrdom.
  • 2006

Suicide Bombers Stream into Iraq,’

  • Sunday Times (London), May
  • 2005