Home / Articles / Just Terror: The Islamic State’s Use of Strategic “Framing” to Recruit and Motivate
This article examines the “framing” strategies employed by the Islamic State in espousing the group’s salafist-takfiri doctrine, which includes the call for both defensive and offensive jihad. An analysis of the written documents, official statements and social media messaging issued by the Islamic State reveals three main framing strategies upon which the organization grounds its security claims. First, diagnostic frames are intended to highlight the threats that exist to its extreme vision of Islam. Second, prognostic frames offer prescriptions for meeting those threats. And, third, motivational frames are designed to mobilize active support for the Islamic State and its doctrine. This means that ultimate victory over the Islamic State requires that moderate Sunni Muslim religious and political elites offer both a credible counter-narrative that debunks the doctrinal vision of the Islamic State and an alternative doctrinal narrative that addresses the hopes, needs and concerns of young Muslims.