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‘The kafir’s blood is halal for you’: The Doctrine of Jihād in Dabiq and Rumiyah

Issue: Vol 33 No. 3 (2020) Special Issue on Religion and Violence

Journal: Journal for the Academic Study of Religion

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/jasr.42945


The Islamic State movement (IS, formerly ISIS) is widely denounced by both Muslims and non-Muslims as ‘un-Islamic’, for, among other deeds, attacking fellow Muslims, inciting international terrorism, and taking female captives as sex slaves—all in the name of jihād. IS’s propaganda magazines Dabiq (15 issues) and Rumiyah (13 issues), published between July 2014 and September 2017, sought to justify and explain the movement’s ideology and actions, presenting its credentials as an almost uniquely authentic expression of current Sunnī Islam. Drawing on these magazines, this article constructs a systematic overview of IS’s jihād doctrine, showing its indebtedness to both traditional sources, the Qurʾān, sunna and fiqh, and to more recent Salafī Jihādī thought. IS aims to revive the genuine Islam of the Prophet and the first generations of Muslims, rejecting the modernist view of military jihād as purely defensive. While clearly Islamic and heavily indebted to traditional sources, IS’s jihād doctrine is anachronistic, apocalyptic, selective and sectarian.

Author: Christopher J. van der Krogt

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