This short note depicts how religious narratives of jihadi groups such as Islamic State (IS) are embedded in political and social claims and interpretations. They attempt to increase the feeling of persecution among Muslims, legitimise the use of physical violence in European societies, and therefore prove that there is no alternative but to join jihadi movements.
IS propaganda frequently referred to its desire to attack and conquer the city of Rome, perceived and defined as the hearth and capital of Europe, even if Italy appears as relatively immune to intense jihadi activities, including homegrown jihadism. Jihadi propaganda in Italian is much less prevalent than propaganda in English or French. This could be explained by the perception of Rome as an external land to conquer in order to establish a claim included in several readings. IS propaganda is based upon a quoted excerpt of Sahih Muslim 2900, Book 54, Hadith 50, ‘The book of tribulations and portents of the last hour’, reported by Uqba Ibn Nafi, a military commander during the Rashidun Caliphate that was instrumental in expanding Islam in North Africa and Persia. This quote is displayed as the introduction of one of the most frequently transmitted pdf documents online.