04:02 GMT26 January 2021
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    Over half of all the ISIL propaganda was focused on depicting civilian life in Islamic State-held territories, The spectre of ultraviolence was ever-present, but the preponderant focus on the ‘caliphate’ utopia demonstrates the priorities of the group’s media strategists, according to a new study of ISIL-attributed media reports.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Islamic State (ISIL) militant group has changed its propaganda narrative to make the idea of statehood and not gruesome beheading scenes its key selling point, a new study of ISIL-attributed media reports has found.

    A 30-day review of 1,146 propaganda "events," circulated by ISIL between July 17 and August 15, 2015, was published Tuesday by Quilliam, a UK-based think-tank that documents the "virtual caliphate."

    "Over half of all the propaganda was focused on depicting civilian life in Islamic State-held territories. The spectre of ultraviolence was ever-present, but the preponderant focus on the ‘caliphate’ utopia demonstrates the priorities of the group’s media strategists," according to the report.

    Meticulous portrayals of seemingly every aspect of social life in the "caliphate" – from treatises on wearing the hijab to reports on camel-breeding and the implementation of the strict version of Islamic law espoused by ISIL – is aimed at cultivating a comprehensive image of a pristine Islamic utopia, the study indicated.

    "Islamic State still markets itself with brutality. However, the intended audiences for its ultraviolence are decidedly more regional than they have been in days gone by… It seems that fostering international infamy is now secondary to intimidating its population, in order to discourage rebellion," the report continued.

    The ISIL movement gained notoriety over the past year for its horrific videos of the beheading and torturing of Syrian army officers, non-Sunni civilians, foreign journalists and aid workers in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Most recently, it has refocused on destroying ancient temples and artifacts in Syria’s Roman-era city of Palmyra, claiming that the 2,000-year-old monuments promote idolatry.

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    Daesh, propaganda, report, Iraq, Syria
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