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Jihad TV: Terrorism and Mass Media cover photo

Jihad TV: Terrorism and Mass Media 2006


Distributed by Films Media Group, PO Box 2053, Princeton, New Jersey 08543-2053; 800-257-5126
Produced by Paul Eedle
Director n/a
DVD, color, 88 min.

Jr. High - Adult
Middle Eastern Studies, Islam, Media Studies, Terrorism

Date Entered: 03/14/2008

Reviewed by Christopher Lewis, American University Library, American University

If you’ve ever seen an al-Qaeda video you may have wondered what effect these celebrations of extreme violence have on people in the Islamic world. This program looks into the sources and influence of Jihadist videos and examines the broader scope of electronic media in the Middle East. It posits that the latter is just as influential in fostering Jihad.

The simplicity of creating and distributing these videos is also illustrated with a quick overview on how to transfer a camera phone video to Windows Movie maker for basic editing. A perpetrator can then use an Internet café to set up an anonymous email account, post the file at an online file hosting service, email a link to jihadist forums and be out the door in minutes.

Experts question how wide and serious the audience is for these videos but it’s undeniable that they are influencing mainstream Arabic media. Some music videos have begun adopting the jihadist production style and imagery. The networks, such as Al-Arabiya and al-Jazeera, try to avoid sensationalism but it’s not uncommon to have pundits openly advocating Jihad. Hizbollah’s station, al-Manar, makes stars of the mothers of men killed in battle. The belief that the CIA was behind 9/11 is generally accepted in the popular media. There are video games where the objective is to kill US soldiers and Syria TV provides children’s programming about the Iraq War complete with graphic footage. The conclusion drawn is that the black market hit-and-run videos are probably unnecessary since the legitimacy of resistance and Jihad is reinforced in most media sources in the region.

The production and structure of this program is professional. It delivers a fair amount of information and communicates its thesis well. It’s recommended for both academic and public libraries for general interest audiences and programs in Media Studies, peace and conflict resolution, and Middle Eastern regional study.