A new ISIS magazine invokes recent hot-button elements of the culture war and talking points arising from debate on issues including on sex education, LGBT acceptance and the teaching of evolution as the group argues that “democracy and all that emanates from it is retarded and perverse” and attempts to woo recruits to their extremism.
The first article in the sixth issue of English-language Voice of Khurasan, distributed online by ISIS Khorasan, reflects recent efforts by terror groups to utilize political and cultural strife in western countries. In August, al-Qaeda formally invited parties such as “the raiders of the Congress” in the United States to take advantage of English-language online manuals that have taught Islamist extremists to construct explosive devices and select prime targets. The group stated that an “impending civil war” can better destroy the country as they simultaneously urged Protestants to assassinate President Biden for being a “provocative” Catholic in the Oval Office.
The Voice of Khurasan article decries a litany of social and educational issues that have received increasing media attention as ISIS declared that democracy has yielded “putrid fruits” and led to an environment in which “the family structure has been destroyed.”
“Homosexuality is a trend among people with the legalisation of gay marriages and the teaching of it in schools across Europe,” the magazines states. “Even the subject matter of gender is today confused with over 100 variants between the male and female.”
Echoing the QAnon belief that a cabal of pedophiles is rooted in Hollywood and the government, the ISIS magazine adds that “paedophiles walk the streets and are active throughout these democracies in positions of fame and power.”
The article takes digs at the judicial and economic systems of democracies but stays focused on social issues, such as lamenting that within committed relationships “partners freely mix with people of the opposite gender usually resulting in them fornicating, ending up in further breakdown of relationships and the transmission of diseases.”
“The television, computer games and music have destroyed the minds of the youth, draining their brains from the ability to think and reflect upon life and its greater goals, grooming them to become the next generation of sheep that are ignorant of the facts and follow without to question,” the article continues.
ISIS has frequently spoken out against voting rights, including releasing a guide against voting just before the 2016 U.S. presidential election that particularly targeted Muslims participating in the electoral system. “The people are given a sense of participation in the government by ticking a box on a piece of paper every four or five years, thinking that they have chosen their leadership when in fact their decision are influenced by the media who are paid off by the political parties to support and favour their campaign,” this latest ISIS-K magazine said.
“These democracies teach children, as young as six, about sex and sexually transmitted diseases as part of their curriculum, together with drug abuse in order to prevent the new generation from being influenced by the widespread ills of their societies,” the ISIS article continues. “There is a culture of free mixing in the educational institutions where they are encouraged to learn, try and test sexual activities between themselves. Homosexuality is taught as something that is normal and part of the genetic makeup and that we should be tolerant of people of such tendencies. The education is secular taught from the angle of atheism using insane and refuted ideas, such as evolution, to try and fill the void.”
“Do you really want to live in a society that has no bounds allowing and tolerating all possible views and practices?” the terror group says in the article’s conclusion. “Why then do we find that democracy is hailed as being the enlightened and superior way of life? Are people blind to the reality of the lifestyle that these nations produce?”
This article is followed with one decrying the media, claiming that the terror group is being adversely affected by “many lies, distortions and character assassinations,” news that is withheld (“the mass twitter suspension is the perfect example of it”), and media organizations casting doubt on the factualness of terrorist groups’ self-reporting.
“Sometimes they will use certain terms or information in order to provoke the curiosity of the people and incite them to enquire and investigate a story which is completely false in the first place, i.e., the announcement of the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but the natural curiosity of the people will help to spread and exaggerate the propaganda for them,” the magazine said, further slamming media for speaking about jihadists “in a mocking and belittling way, calling them names, belittling their beliefs, their efforts and claims.”
Asserting that this “psychological weapon” is “just as lethal” as conventional methods and is intended to “shake the confidence” of jihadists and supporters while making them feel like “they are wasting their time,” the article adds, “It is about time that we realized that our brothers need our help. And that help is not always by money or bodies, sometimes it is by our tongues and words.”
The fifth issues of Voice of Khurasan declared that disseminating disinformation is a “duty” of jihadists in order to deceive and ultimately divide their foes and should be considered “part of the war policy.” Deploying different types of weaponry is critical for “demonstrating strength,” ISIS argued, as is “spreading rumors to strike fear into the heart of the enemy.”
In their third issue, ISIS-K declared that a concerted focus on “social media warfare” is critical to advance on the ideological battlefield but also in order to counter the pull of “enchanting” social media influencers.
Voice of Khurasan was first published in February, with a 37-page inaugural issue. The page counts have varied since then, with the fourth issue just 10 pages long and the current issue up to 24 pages.
In that first issue, the group declared that theirs is the “most important province” of ISIS after Iraq and Syria. The magazine furthered the long-running ISIS narrative that the loss of the group’s claimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria is “temporary,” adding that “although we lost the Khilafah territory and thousands of Mujahideen were martyred in a period of 5 years, there is no problem.”