Poetry used as powerful tool to recruit violent jihadis, says Oxford academic

Poetry has proved a powerful recruitment tool for jihadists, according to a new study urging greater focus on the power of verse among Arab communities.

“The power of poetry to move Arab listeners and readers emotionally, to infiltrate the psyche and to create an aura of tradition, authenticity and legitimacy around the ideologies it enshrines make it a perfect weapon for militant jihadist causes,” says Elisabeth Kendall, a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford.

In her new study, Yemen’s al-Qaeda and Poetry as a Weapon of Jihad, Dr Kendall argues that it is the Qu’ran that keeps poetry alive, particularly in tribal areas where the oral tradition is still strong.

  • andycanuck

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Let’s go out and
    kill all the Jews!

    • Now that’s talent!

      • andycanuck

        I intend trying out for the Allah Got Talent TV show. I’ve gotta real Jew-stopper ending I’m working on.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      Reminds me of my favourite Sinatra song, Jew York Jew York.
      ‘Start killing the Jews, I’m cleaving today…’

  • terrence

    “particularly in tribal areas where the oral tradition is still strong.” What she means to say “in tribal areas where illiteracy is still strong”

  • Norman_In_New_York

    The appeal here is not verse, but the feeling of release from all moral restraints so that joiners can commit the most vile atrocities and feel respectable about it.

    • El Martyachi

      That seems great yet surely there’s a downside.

  • Maurice Miner

    Bring on Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz! The Vogons could probably assist by building super-highways all over the MENA. All over.

    Of course, if that failed, we could employ the Azgoths of Kria. As said by the Master (Douglas Adams):

    “Vogon poetry is of course the third worst in the Universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem “Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning” four of his audience members died of internal haemorrhaging, and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos is reported to have been “disappointed” by the poem’s reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his twelve-book epic entitled “My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles” when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save life and civilization, leaped straight up through his neck and throttled his brain.”

  • Cat-astrophe

    Like, what ISN’T a “powerful tool to recruit violent jihadi’s”

  • eMan14

    There was a Jihadi from Nantucket
    who looked for a head to chop it
    a Jew not to be found
    nor child or hound
    he settled for the goat and F… it.