D5.1 Country Report | June 2021

Authors: Rasha Al-Maqableh, Anas Al-Sobeh and Aya Akkawi, Glasgow Caledonian University

This report aims at detecting and analysing the cultural drivers of radicalization in Jordan as being mainstreamed through media objects (digital platforms and social media). We take ISIS as our case study for two main reasons. First, ISIS has become a new phenomenon in the world of terrorist propaganda and media production. Second, it is responsible for triggering potential radicalized behaviors among Jordanians, who experience injustice, grievance, alienation, and polarization. Despite its military capabilities and control, ISIS heavily depends on using the media to project its self-image, promote its cause and agenda, and recruit youth from all over the globe. The report exposes the impact of the religious and political discourse spread by ISIS on the Jordanian receiving audience. We analyze two YouTube videos that act as cultural drivers of radicalization and extremism in Jordan. The first and more extreme video is the execution video that features the immolation of the Jordanian Pilot Lt. Moa’th Al-Kasasbeh, advocating ISIS violence and power. The second video features the Karak events which were carried out by Jordanian men influenced by ISIS discourse disseminated through digital platforms. The report also features the measures taken by locals and government to encounter the attacks. The content of both videos will be discussed thoroughly and this will be accompanied by an analysis of the reception of the messages conveyed in the videos by commentators.