"Now Is the Time to Wake Up":
Islamic State's Narratives of Political Awareness
Published in Terrorism and Political Violence
Advanced online copy
The most significant and prolific recruiters for the Islamic State were English-speaking supporters from several democratic countries--including Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Yet, exactly how these foreign fighters were able to recruit so effectively remains a critical and under researched area.
Al-Dayel provides the first-ever contextual case study on the Islamic State’s top recruiter: Australian citizen and convert Neil Christopher Prakash, known as “Abu Khaled Al-Cambodi”. Al-Dayel breaks down the frequent framing of foreign fighters as irrational religious zealots and examines the narratives used in Al-Cambodi's popular recruitment video. She evidences how Al-Cambodi draws upon personal experiences to promote his audience to "wake up" and challenge authority by encouraging violent acts of terror and migrating to the Islamic State. Overall, this study contributes to our understanding of citizen-state relations in the recruitment dynamics of non-state actors that project and boast transnational support.
This is the danger in the Islamic State recruitment efforts, as with any contemporary extremist organisation that projects a diverse pool of support. The Islamic State has the ability to represent a rationalisation of political conversion and rebellion due to an analysis of choices, rather than only religious adherence to defend the Sunni Muslim in-group in a form of identity politics.