Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



The threat of the Islamic State is realised both in its attacks and its discourse. To illustrate the role of linguistic threats, the present study investigates the ISIS online propaganda magazine by combining Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics (Romero-Trillo 2008Baker et al. 2008). Following the two groups described by van Dijk (2003), which are represented by the in-group (ISIS) and the out-group (against ISIS), we propose a third element: the translocal group (i.e., the people in between). The results show the substantial presence of linguistic strategies enhanced by Dangerous Speech (Benesch 2013) to create a high segregation between the groups. Also, the analysis shows the inextricable relationship between conflict and dangerous language and the need to investigate this link further, with special reference to the polarisation of the groups and to the subsequent escalation of violence in discourse.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Ahmed, Akbar
    2015 “Why are European Muslims Joining ISIS?” Huffington Post. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/akbar-ahmed/why-are-european-muslims-_b_6175334.html
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Awan, Imran
    2017 “Cyber-extremism: Isis and the Power of Social Media”. Social Science and Public Policy54: 138–149.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Baker, Paul, Costas Gabrielatos, Majid KhosraviNik, Michal Krzyzanowski, Tony McEnery, and Ruth Wodak
    2008 “A Useful Methodological Synergy? Combining Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics to Examine Discourses of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK Press.” Discourse and Society19 (3): 273–306. 10.1177/0957926508088962
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926508088962 [Google Scholar]
  4. Bass, Loretta
    2014 “What Motivates European Youth to Join ISIS?” Syria Comment. www.joshualandis.com/blog/push-factors-helping-isil-recruitment-loretta-bass/
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bhatia, Aditi
    2009 “The Discourses of Terrorism.” Journal of Pragmatics41 (2): 279–289. 10.1016/j.pragma.2008.05.016
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2008.05.016 [Google Scholar]
  6. Benesch, Susan
    2013 Dangerous Speech: A Proposal to Prevent Group Violence. The Dangerous Speech Project. https://dangerousspeech.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Dangerous-Speech-Guidelines-2013.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Benesch, Susan, Cathy Buerger, Toni Glavinic, and Sean Manion
    2018 Dangerous Speech: A Practical Guide. The Dangerous Speech Project. https://dangerousspeech.org/guide/
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Cap, Piotr
    2013Proximization: The Pragmatics of Symbolic Distance Crossing. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/pbns.232
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.232 [Google Scholar]
  9. Cockburn, Patrick
    2015The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution. London/New York: Verso.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Council of Europe
    Council of Europe 2018 “Hate Speech: Freedom of Expression.” Report. https://www.coe.int/en/web/freedom-expression/hate-speech
  11. Cronick, Karen
    2002 “The Discourse of President George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden: A Rhetorical Analysis and Hermeneutic Interpretation”. Forum: Qualitative Social Research3 (3): 1–18.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Gambhir, Harleen
    2014 “Dabiq: the strategic messaging of the Islamic State”. Institute for the Study of War. www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Dabiq%20Backgrounder_Harleen%20Final.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Georges, Amaryllis Maria
    2016 “ISIS Rhetoric for the Creation of the Ummah.” InPolitical Discourse in Emergent, Fragile, and Failed Democracies, ed. byDaniel Ochieng Orwenjo, Omondi Oketch, and Asiru Hameed Tunde, 178–198. Hershey, Penn.: IGI Global. 10.4018/978‑1‑5225‑0081‑0.ch010
    https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-5225-0081-0.ch010 [Google Scholar]
  14. Gelber, Katherine
    2018 Why ‘hate speech’ and ‘hate preachers’ are distinct phenomena. The London School of Economics and Political Science. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/why-hate-speech-and-hate-preachers-are-distinct-phenomena/
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Giro, Mario
    2015Noi Terroristi: Storie vere dal nordafrica a Charlie Hebdo (We the terrorists: real stories from North Africa to Charlie Hebdo). Milan: Angelo Guerini SpA.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Graham, John
    2015 “Who Joins ISIS and Why?” The Huffington Post. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-graham/who-joins-isis-and-why_b_8881810.html
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Halliday, Michael A. K.
    1976 “Anti-languages”. American Anthropologist78 (3): 570–584. 10.1525/aa.1976.78.3.02a00050
    https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.1976.78.3.02a00050 [Google Scholar]
  18. Hanoush, Feras
    2016 “Why Dabiq?” Atlantic Council. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/syriasource/why-dabiq/
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Ingram, Haroro J.
    2016 “An analysis of Islamic State’s Dabiq magazine.” Australian Journal of Political Science51(3): 458–477. 10.1080/10361146.2016.1174188
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10361146.2016.1174188 [Google Scholar]
  20. Jones, Steven, M. Lynne Murphy, Carita Paradis, and Caroline Willners
    2012Antonyms in English: Construals, Constructions and Canonicity. New York: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139032384
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139032384 [Google Scholar]
  21. Kecskes, Istvan and Jesús Romero-Trillo
    (eds) 2013Research Trends in Intercultural Pragmatics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9781614513735
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9781614513735 [Google Scholar]
  22. Makri, Zakaria
    2005Le Tajwîd, règles de la lecture coranique (The Tajwîd, rules for Koranic reading). Lyon: Tawahid.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Martín-Arroyo, Javier
    2017El Cordobés, la voz del ISIS que se marchó a Siria con su madre malagueña (The Cordovan: the voice of ISIS who left for Syria with his mother from Málaga). El País. https://politica.elpais.com/politica/2017/08/24/actualidad/1503596107_530963.html
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Oddo, John
    2011 “War Legitimation Discourse: Representing ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ in four US Presidential Addresses.” Discourse & Society22 (3): 287–314. 10.1177/0957926510395442
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926510395442 [Google Scholar]
  25. Oktar, Lütfiye
    2001 “The Ideological Organization of Representational Processes in the Presentation of Us and Them.” Discourse & Society12 (3): 314–346. 10.1177/0957926501012003003
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926501012003003 [Google Scholar]
  26. Orpin, Debbie
    2005 “Corpus Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis.” International Journal of Corpus Linguistics10 (1): 37–61. 10.1075/ijcl.10.1.03orp
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.10.1.03orp [Google Scholar]
  27. Paul, David
    2015 “Is ISIS a Religious Group? Of course it is.” The Huffington Post. www.huffingtonpost.com/david-paul/is-isis-a-religious-group_b_6730968.html
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Rodicio, Ángela
    2016Las Novias de la Yihad (The Girlfriends of the Jihad). Barcelona: Espasa Libros S.L.U.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Romero-Trillo, Jesús
    (ed) 2008Pragmatics and Corpus Linguistics: A Mutualistic Entente. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110199024
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110199024 [Google Scholar]
  30. 2012 “The Identity Narratives.” InThe Slippery Slope to Genocide: Reducing Identity Conflicts and Preventing Mass Murder, ed. byMark Anstey, Paul Meerts, and I. William Zartman, 72–84. New York: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791743.003.0004
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791743.003.0004 [Google Scholar]
  31. Romero-Trillo, Jesús, and Safa Attia
    2016 “Framing the Ideological Outcomes of the Tunisian Revolution through the Eyes of the Arab and Western Media.” Łódź Papers in Pragmatics12: 177–213. 10.1515/lpp‑2016‑0011
    https://doi.org/10.1515/lpp-2016-0011 [Google Scholar]
  32. Romero-Trillo, Jesús, and Caroline Cheshire
    2014 “The Construction and Disarticulation of National Identities through Language vis-à-vis the Scottish Referendum of Independence.” Łódź Papers in Pragmatics10 (1): 41–66. 10.1515/lpp‑2014‑0003
    https://doi.org/10.1515/lpp-2014-0003 [Google Scholar]
  33. Salazar, Philippe-Joseph
    2017Words are Weapons: Inside ISIS’s Rhetoric of Terror. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Sanchez, Ray, Time Lister, Mark Bixler, Sean O’Key, Michael Hogenmiller, and Mohammed Tawfeeq
    2018 “ISIS Goes Global: 143 Attacks in 29 Countries have Killed nearly 2043 People.” CNN. edition.cnn.com/2015/12/17/world/mapping-isis-attacks-around-the-world/
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Torresi, Guillermina, and Quico Sallés
    2017 “Moussa Oukabir Sería el Autor Material del Atentado” (“Moussa Oukabir. The Alleged Perpetrator of the Terrorist Attack”). La Vanguardia. www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20170818/43619337980/atentado-barcelona-hermano-moussa-oukabir-driss-oukabir-terrorista.html
    [Google Scholar]
  36. van Dijk, Teun A.
    2003 “Ideology and Discourse: A Multidisciplinary Introduction.” Unpublished manuscript, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona.
  37. 2006a “Discourse and Manipulation.” Discourse and Society17 (2): 359–383. 10.1177/0957926506060250
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926506060250 [Google Scholar]
  38. 2006b “Ideology and Discourse Analysis.” Journal of Political Ideologies11 (2): 115–140. 10.1080/13569310600687908
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13569310600687908 [Google Scholar]
  39. Vegani, Matteo, and Ana-Maria Bliuc
    2015 “The Evolution of the ISIS’ Language: A Quantitative Analysis of the Language of the First Year of Dabiq Magazine.” Sicurezza, Terrorismo e Società2: 7–20.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Votel, Joseph L., Christina Bembenek, Charles Hnas, Jeffery Mouton, and Amanda Spencer
    2017 “Virtual Caliphate: Defeating ISIL on the Physical Battlefield is not Enough.” Center for a New American Security. https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/virtual-caliphate
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Wignell, Peter, Sabine Tan, Kay L. O’Halloran, and Rebecca Lange
    2017 “A Mixed Methods Empirical Examination of Changes in Emphasis and Style in the Extremist Magazines Dabiq and Rumiyah.” Perspectives on Terrorism11(2): 2–20.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Wodak, Ruth
    2001 “The Discourse-historical Approach.” InMethods of Critical Discourse Analysis, ed. byRuth Wodak and Michael Meyer. 63–94. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Wright, Robin, J. M. Berger, William Braniff, Cole Bunzel, Daniel Byman, Jennifer Cafarella, Harleen Gambhir, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Hassan Hassan, Charles Lister, William McCants, Garrett Nada, Jacob Olidort, Alexander Thruston, Clinton Watts, Frederic Wehrey, Craig Whitesid, Graeme Wood, Aaron Y. Zelin, and Katherine Zimmerman
    2017 “The Jihadi Threat: ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Beyond.” United States Institute of Peace report. https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/The-Jihadi-Threat-ISIS-Al-Qaeda-and-Beyond.pdf

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): conflict; Dabiq; Dangerous Speech; ISIS; propaganda; translocal group
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error