The ISIS’ Discourse from the Rise to the Collapse: Analysis of ISIS’ Discourse through Films ‘Flames of War I & II’

© Media Watch 10 (2) 278-293, 2019

ISSN 0976-0911 e-ISSN 2249-8818

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2019/v10i2/49633

The ISIS’ Discourse from the Rise to the Collapse: Analysis of ISIS’ Discourse through Films ‘Flames of War I & II’

Daleen Al Ibrahim & Yibin Shi

Wuhan University, China


The study examines the discourse of ISIS propaganda during its rise and dispersion periods, to conclude its ability to convince, when it is devoid of power, compared with its speech that was at the rising of the organization. The study’s methodology based mainly on Teun A. van Dijk’s and Norman Fairclough’s approaches to Critical Discourse Analysis. The researcher selected two long-films to be analyzed: Flames of War I (Flames of War: Fighting Has Just Begun) & Flames of War II (Flames of War until the Final Hour). The study found that there are differences in ISIS’ discourse during the periods of the rise to the collapse. Whereas its first film carried messages to America and the global coalition in the initiative of psychological warfare, the second one carried messages to its supporters and fighters to be patient and keep away from discouragement after the defeat. The study also concluded that the best way to combat the Islamic State group is through stripping it of the technological power and expertness alike, as the battle now becomes a battle of ideologies and not a battle of weapons.

Keywords: Islamic State, terrorism, ISIS’ discourse, critical discourse analysis, ISIS’ films, Flames of War


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Daleen Al Ibrahim is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Journalism and Communication, Wuhan University, China. Her research interests include terrorism in the Middle East and Arab regions, Social aspects of communication technology, and digital media technology effects.

Yibin Shi (Ph.D. Wuhan University, China, 2002) is Professor in Department of Broadcasting and Television, and also the Director of Mew Media and Social Development Research Center in School of Journalism and Mass communication, Wuhan University, China. His research interests include communication theory, terrorism studies, government policy, Internet use, media and democracy, and new media and society.