Salafi-Jihadis in the United States: Using Social Media to Forge a Secluded Community

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Abstract

This analysis of Salafi-jihadi online posts by American posters shows that the seemingly unsystematic online discourse in fact focuses on two main topics: the doctrines of al-wala’wal-bara’ and takfir. In addition, it highlights the markers that distinguish Salafi-jihadi writers from Salafi-taqlidi ones. Further, the article explains how Salafi-jihadis utilize their online discussions to try to create and maintain a virtual community and a reallife enclave of like-minded individuals, committed to separating both ideologically and socially from their “impure” surroundings. It shows that the ultimate goal of many of the Salafi-jihadi posters is to ensure that followers of their creed do not integrate into their surrounding communities. Finally, the article shows that the online Salafi-jihadi discourse analyzed seeks to maintain a community of devoted Salafi-jihadis who are dedicated to the notion of jihad and willing to carry out jihad if and when the opportunity presents itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-121
Number of pages29
JournalThe Journal for Interdisciplinary Middle Eastern Studies
Volume9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

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