Islamist imagery

From a guide to interpreting Jihadi imagery:
Hell B
The motif of jahanam, which means “hell” in Arabic, is often used in jihadi propaganda to discredit enemies and to emphasize the notions of good (Islam) and evil (enemies of Islam). The concept of Hell in Islam is similar to that in Christianity and Judaism. It is a place of eternal suffering and fire for the wicked, the tyrannical, and the unjust.

In one of the examples below, the concept of hell is used to boast about the deaths of what are represented as two American soldiers. The text of the image reads the same in both Arabic and English, literally: “They went to Hell.” The notion of hell and the gruesome pictures serves as propaganda against the Coalition Forces, and they are an attempt to boast of jihadi victories. It also serves to bolster the resolve and reinforce the religious righteousness of the anti-occupational jihadi insurgency. By labeling dead Coalition soldiers as people who are destined for Hell, the jihadi cause (i.e. those who brought about the death of these soldiers) is presented as the righteous side of the conflict.
From the Islamic Imagery Project -- which includes sections on nature, geography, people, and "warfare and the afterlife." There are some odd examples in there, and they shouldn't say "Islamic" when they mean "Islamist," but it's an interesting project.
Comment

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.