Kvindespecifik jihadpropaganda - Subjektspositioner, motiveringsnarrativer og mobiliseringspotentiale: En undersøgelse af diskursive praksisser, materialitet og følelser i dansk online jihadi-salafisme.

Translated title of the contribution: Female-specific jihad propaganda: Positions, motivation narratives and mobilization potential: A study of discursive practices, materialism and emotions in Danish online jihadi-Salafism

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis


This dissertation concerns the ways in which Danish jihadi-Salafi organisations call on women to take part in jihad on their official profiles on social media (SoMe). More specifically, the dissertation looks at the various subject positions, which these organisations discursively assign women; how they seek to motivate women to take part in jihad and at the femalespecific jihad propaganda’s potential to mobilise. The dissertation is based on an open-source study of textual and audio uploads posted by three Danish jihadi-Salafi organizations on their sixteen official social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube –925 uploads in total. All textual and audio materials were uploaded by the jihadi-Salafi organizations themselves, not by followers or members. Data include all female-specific jihad uploads posted by the organizations from the creation of their social media accounts to the end of 2015. And data thus covers a time period of five years. This time period is particularly interesting in relation to online jihadi narratives because online anti-radicalization initiatives at that time were less developed than they are today. More specifically, Danish anti radicalization initiatives had not yet begun to force take-downs of online material from social media in ‘the fight against online radicalization’. Thus, online censure on social media platforms was almost non-existent and Danish jihadi-Salafists could speak almost freely online. Large parts of the materials collected for the dissertation no longer exist on social media today. The dissertation theoretically built on a diffractive reading of social constructionism and new materialism and uses language-, affect- and gender theory. It finds that the Danish jihadi-Salafi organisations assign women three different conceptual positions within jihad: ‘mother’, ‘martyr wife’ and ‘mujahida’, i.e. a female fighter. Analysing the motivation narratives behind the role of the mujahida, the dissertation moreover finds that the jihadi-Salafi organisations encourage women to partake in armed struggle by referring to classical doctrines of defensive jihad as well as charismatic women warriors from the time of the Prophet Muhammad. However, the female-specific motivation narratives are as contemporary and empowering as they are regressive and founded in classical sources such as the Quran, ahadith and Sīra. The motivation narratives show strong push-back against Western feminism and counter-narrate Western views of Muslim women as oppressed, passive victims of male-dominated ideologies. Instead they (de-)construct ‘the Muslim woman’ in motivation narratives in which jihadi-Salafism is an important source not only of authenticity but also of strong self-identity and (em)power(ment). The dissertation in the end find that the most dominant emotions within the Danish online propaganda are anger, pain, hope, shame and (sisterly) love and argues that the social construction of these emotion has an effect on the propagandas potential to mobilise. It more specifically argues that the Danish female-specific jihad propaganda is not just a manifest on jihad but also an emotion manual with guidelines for how to respond in the encounter with specific emotions.
Translated title of the contributionFemale-specific jihad propaganda: Positions, motivation narratives and mobilization potential: A study of discursive practices, materialism and emotions in Danish online jihadi-Salafism
Original languageDanish
Place of PublicationRoskilde
PublisherRoskilde Universitet
Number of pages212
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2020


  • Denmark, Jihad, jihadi-Salafism, propaganda, social media, gender, women.

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