Jihadi PR

The Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra is an Al Qaeda associate operating inside Syria. The group was designated by the United Nations and the United States in December 2012 and Australia in June 2013 as a terrorist organisation. The group is generally described as being made up of Sunni, Islamic Jihadis with its goal being to overthrow the Assad government and to create a Pan-Islamic state under sharia law and aims to reinstate the Islamic Caliphate.

The crimes perpetrated by this group have been documented since their inception. When it comes to peace, stability and general human rights such as freedom of religion – these people are the worst of the worst. And that’s why it beggars belief that the Guardian recently published an article with the following headline;

“How Syria’s mould-breaking al-Nusra Front is winning hearts and minds”

And a sub headline that reads;

“The main jihadi group is organised, centralised and marshalling its resources shrewdly. No wonder the ’emir of gas’ is impressed”

UPDATE 1: The Guardian headline has now been changed. A quick google search of the original headline reveals that other news sites and blogs have cached the original text. See here for reference. 

Despite the cheery headlines the article itself is far from being an outright display of affection for the hardline terrorist group – but one can’t help notice certain segments of the article which act to promote the group and its strategy.

The commander talked about the services al-Nusra is providing to Shadadi’s residents. First, there is food: 225 sacks of wheat, baked into bread and delivered to the people every day through special teams in each neighbourhood. Then there is free electricity and water, which run all day throughout the town. There is also al-Nusra healthcare, provided from a small clinic that treats all comers, regardless of whether they have sworn allegiance to the emirate or not. Finally, there is order and the promise of swift justice, delivered according to sharia law by a handful of newly appointed judges.

The headline is far more disturbing than the article itself. The author gives a good account of what the situation is on the ground but at no point does the positive, PR like headline seem warranted. Many people may read the headline alone and make their own assumptions. Since when did liberal, progressive newspapers give this kind of platform to Islamic fundamentalism?

UPDATE 2: Recently, the news organisation EAWorldView (which many claim holds a bias in favor of the rebels) jumped on the original headline and article to push a PRO Jabhat al-Nusra article. Link here.

 

Screen grab of original headline cached by other media sources: 

heartsandminds

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This entry was posted in Syria.

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