Study: Muslim extremists not looking for world domination
ASU researchers highlight one effort to counter a video by al Qaeda's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri as a better approach to fighting extremist rhetoric
July 10th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Study: Muslim extremists not looking for world domination

By Adam Levine

Muslim extremists are more concerned with defending against foreign intrusion than foisting Islam on the world, according to a new study of extremist texts. The study suggests that a Western approach of claiming extremists are seeking world domination is misdirected, and instead should seek to counteract claims of victimhood.

"Continued claims to the contrary, by both official and unofficial sources, only play into a 'clash of civilizations' narrative that benefits the extremist cause. These claims also undermine the credibility of Western voices, because the audience knows that extremist arguments are really about victimage and deliverance," write the researchers, Jeffry Halverson, R. Bennett Furlow and Steven Corman.

The analysis by Arizona State University's Center for Strategic Communication looked at how the Quran was used in 2,000 propoganda items from 1998 to 2011, though the majority were from post-2007, that emanated mostly from the Middle East and North Africa. Among the groups analyzed were al Qaeda and al Shabaab, as well as anonymous postings online.

One result that surprised the researchers, the "near absence" of citations from one of the most extreme passages, the "Verse of Swords," that encourages "all-out war against world domination."

"Widely regarded as the most militant or violent passage of the Quran, it is treated as a divine call for offensive warfare on a global scale," the researchers wrote. "It is also regarded as a verse which supersedes over 100 other verses of the Quran that counsel patience, tolerance and forgiveness."

The study concludes that extremists, at least based on how they quote from the Quran, do not reflect "an aggressive offensive foe seeking domination and conquest of unbelievers, as is commonly assumed. Instead they deal with themes of victimization, dishonor and retribution."

"The verses frequently utilized by extremists from this surah address subjects such as enduring hardships and the importance of fighting against the unjust unbelievers who oppress men, women and children," the researchers wrote about the most cited chapter (called a "surah").

The insights led the researchers to suggest alternative approaches to counteracting the extremist messages, rather than focusing on the fear factor. The Arizona group cites a recent effort by the State Department to counteract al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who said in a 2011 video that "there is no hope to remove the corrupt regimes in Muslim countries except by force. And there is no chance to bring change through peaceful action." The State Department Digital Outreach Team posted a video intercutting that video, which included Zawahiri daring someone to find a single example to prove Zawahiri wrong, with video of Arab Spring protesters in Egypt.

Halverson, Bennett and Corman also suggest undermining the "champion" image aspired to by extremists.

Extremists use a "deliverance narrative to position themselves as the champion that can deliver the community from evil," the researchers wrote. "However, as we have argued elsewhere, extremists do little that is champion-like. They have not unseated any apostate rulers, and their victims are overwhelmingly likely to be Muslims."

The study cites data from the West Point Combating Terrorism Center that estimated al Qaeda militants were 38 times more likely to kill a Muslim than a Westerner, based on data from 2006 to 2008.

Post by:
Filed under: Living With Terror • Terrorism
soundoff (313 Responses)
  1. fishetkgh572

    Hello. And Bye.

    May 23, 2021 at 12:00 am | Reply
  2. fishtwxry486

    Hello. And Bye.

    May 21, 2021 at 6:19 am | Reply
  3. Cookcek

    find Free Datind info writes published

    online dating site Dating spouse AdviceThe best is the shape of during this dating 21st century. you might be speak to your personals expect with touching in a home office. judaism dating is not really not the same as fast dating. The internet dating is also known as the internet dating entire body by which folks should certainly contact against each other on google. Due to components, They are sure to fix further development by employing perfect remedy. At online as well, additionally it is far essential for the desperate american singles who wish to start most of the dating site online dating in addition to desire one. uncover numbers of singles being confronted with difficulties when they are using dating summary to draw their specific perfect diamond necklace vision. presently, amounts of online dating channels in the market today could be helping you to find some good dating important factors. what you'll do, Quick you need an easy option.

    myths to a relationship Supermodels How as of yet a Supermodel search for The SecretsIn the 21st century, amounts of registered users are undoubtedly hoping certain prefer one around online dating services. latamdate review The very important area of the online dating site networking system offers a bit of dating recommendations that are very encouraging the single ladies to arrange a victorious dating along with their vision one.

    terrific everyone put on result MoreBeing mr subject put to rest guy is a, at this point gals really wish significantly a mischievous player, a " friend,a working male and adores venture and she has the following on the pudding.

    April 26, 2021 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  4. Mickelllvi

    boiling learning to speak spanish green

    there are various second learning a language programs available to anyone what individuals decides to recognise. oftentimes the program that is obtaining the most emphasis pertaining to all hunting for a learning to speak spanish program is going to be skyrocket process is planned that by Mauricio Evampieff.

    Mauricio is rolling out a speaking spanish platform that will enable website visitors to learn almost instantly in a flash and to enable presume them to self assured and comfortable seeking to when they communicating with conversing in people. Once one may proficient in how to speak spanish they will have a way to find out what is being had to talk about in the vicinity of all and if it is planning a trip to a continent which is where Spanish is an indigenous language, it follows that buying allowing you to communicate is going to be an invaluable capability to put.

    It is an undeniable fact that realizing a second vernacular is less difficult when it's possible to be told to check out genuinely being taught. Utilizing some audio tracks, The skyrocket Spanish workout permit one to learn speaking spanish considerably easier when compared to gaining knowledge through magazines. nonetheless students could use ledgers to the appropriate language at school there's much to generally be cited for how less of a challenge this method ought to study from.

    when we endeavor to learn spanish language they may find that they will be pronouncing the language in ways which are not best suited. almost any evening they are round of golf Hispanics they will be simply remedied and possibly even jeered to cons mispronouncing for sure text. this particular how to speak spanish system visitors will not have this issue because steps learning adequate diction out of all the words. this is exactly why one can learn speaking spanish right away along with explode Spanish. this diet regime is able to train person's eardrums in order that the person may easily discover ways to learn.

    each and every speaking spanish presenting nation has various variety they speak. In exactly as english thoughts maintain unique classifications in numerous economies speaking learn that one will product the same holds true when speaking how to speak spanish. The explode how to speak spanish workout allow one to learn right after. in this, One will have the ability to communicate clearly by working with a particular person through Puerto Rico, Colombia, south america, the country of spain, or any other united states of america that many affirms romance language as their native language.

    explode spanish tongue genuinely process useful assisting you to at home the personal learn at quickness. a lot more do you have to attend course or pay out lots of money for a private coach to make sure you learn romance language. anyone can use this method either for their own end or modern casino learning power tool for their kids. quite possibly the greatest perhaps the asiame review program is that it doesn't only have audio files, but it provides an online pdf programme, employing video, along with community forum that will enable one to communicating with other rocket the spanish language surfers.

    untold numbers of folks world wide are able to utter a word a second appropriate language yet nevertheless electrical power others who are looking at the company's ideas in spanish language businesses. There hasn't ever practised the art of a simpler and simpler spanish tongue words technique compared explode.

    March 29, 2021 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  5. Priscilla Wehrman

    Normally I don't read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, very great post.

    March 6, 2021 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  6. Vito Duxbury

    March 4, 2021 at 10:15 am | Reply
  7. ClarkClurn

    j9d3b hkb25 ef5q

    March 1, 2021 at 1:16 am | Reply
  8. Denver Shrewsbury

    January 28, 2021 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  9. Freeda Wascom

    This is the very best search system in the planet

    April 20, 2017 at 4:00 am | Reply
  10. Skorpio

    A pragmatic solution for Islamic violence is a MASSIVE CONVERSION OF MUSLIMS TO CHRISTIANITY or to any other religion except Islam. The best choice could be ANY of the Middle Eastern Arab CHRISTIAN churches which share the same language, culture and traditions as Muslims but NOT their satanic Islamic faith.

    October 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
    • Some guy


      January 28, 2014 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  11. Bookarchive

    Amazing things here. I am very satisfied to see your post. Thank you so much and I am having a look forward to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

    September 18, 2012 at 6:20 am | Reply
  12. Jason

    foolish, the very core of Islam is to, over time, allow for the people to convert, just as Mohammed didn't force his catured populations to convert, he knew over time there would be natural cultural assimilation with religion following. Its no different from Christianity, we all want people to believe in Jesus the same as the followers of Islam want people to believe in the tennants of Islam. No one is saying that everyone that believes in Islam is violent or trying to convert anyone but the belief is there that all should at least want to believe. Nice try Mr. Levine but you have the story very much incorrect, its religion and the goal of the religious leaders is to spread the word of their faith and gather more followers.

    August 10, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  13. Skorpio

    The main problem with Iran is its AYATOLLAH as well as with the rest of Muslim nations. All Muslim clerics are the main instigators of the violence, hatred, vengeance, resentment, terrorism and discrimination. These rats promote, justify and encourage millions of brainless Muslims to commit all kinds of atrocities around the world. Just by watching and listening to all the top world Muslim clerics in their own language because what they say in English is different, anyone can tell these bas-tards are lairs, deceivers, hatemongers, basically they are Satan's disciples.

    August 6, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • riki

      Islam is the only religion teaching their follower to kill,what if all religion is the same?

      February 10, 2013 at 7:04 am | Reply
  14. Frank

    Your right. Only liberals and the Obama Administration believe you. For you Americans out there that want to defend your feedom. Below is the definition of Taqyia. Its used to safeguard and proselytize ISLAM, to spread it and defend it.

    The word "Taqiyya" literally means: "Concealing, precaution, guarding.” It is employed in disguising one's beliefs, intentions, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions or strategies. In practical terms it is manifested as dissimulation, lying, deceiving, vexing and confounding with the intention of deflecting attention, foiling or pre-emptive blocking. It is currently employed in fending off and neutralising any criticism of Islam or Muslims.

    July 30, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  15. Anon5041

    Oh all the tears of the ignorant, uninformed so-called "Christians" (nothing more than petty non-Christian-haters if you ask me) in this comment section who think they know everything about Islam. So delicious. Anyone who knows the first thing about the history of the Middle East and the Muslim religion knows this article is absolutely true. It was true 25 years ago too when the CIA created al Qaeda to drive the Ruskies out of Afghanland.

    July 17, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      You have it wrong, Anon5041, we were supporting the Taliban, Al Qaeda began as a terrorist organization in Pakistan who was very anti-west and started to design attacks against wester targets, it was just happenstance that the Russians became their first test targets.

      August 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  16. Tom

    Who are these people trying to convince that islam and the muslims are not out to rule the world and rule it under sharia law??? !!! These loathsome liberals are following the same scripts in the quaran that instruct to decieve the non-believers. That is why you cannot trust or bellive this love and peace crap from them. Further what do these liberals say about the command to kill the non-believers and especially Jews wherever you may find them?? And the killing of Christians because they are Christians and others and the burning of Churches continues on worldwide day in and day out!!! And the sordid and horrid list goes on. For the life of me I do not understand why the liberals, of all beings, want to cozy up to the islam cult with all of the evilness it instructs and the desparagement of women it commands. Do they not know that wss the principal reascon the islam cult was founded to have total control over women and to desparage and use them as they see fit!!!!!! May the real God, the God of ABRAHAM help us all!!!!!!!

    July 15, 2012 at 12:16 am | Reply
1 2

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.