Research master student at University of Amsterdam. BA Thesis: Leadership, Disbelief and Remorse: a Path toward a Community. A research on how the Islamic State defines its religious and political boundaries in their online magazine Dabiq. Supervisor: Dr. Richard van Leeuwen.
In this thesis the online magazine Dabiq, written by Islamic State (IS), is the subject of analysis. Through an analysis of discourse and imagery several Islamic notions, such as imamah, kufr and tawba, are discussed regarding the content of the magazine, after which their relation to mechanisms of in- and exclusion are examined. I argue that the characteristics of an ‘imagined community’ and the ‘nation-state’ as defined by Benedict Anderson, show remarkable similarities to the demarcation of the ‘Islamic State’ by the authors of Dabiq. By using Chantal Mouffe’s notion of ‘political identity’ I show that IS legitimizes its actions through a theology based on an interpretation of religious sources such as the Quran and hadith, and that this is not solely constructing a religious identity, but also a political identity. In other words, although in their magazine the Islamic State presents and constitutes itself as a religious state contrary to the ‘Western nation state’, this presentation and construction has a strong political element similar to that of the nation-state.