New CSC White Paper: How Islamist Extremists Quote the Qur’an

by Steven R. Corman

The CSC has released a new white paper, entitled How Islamist Extremists Quote the Qur’an. The study is based on of over 1500 verse citations from over 2000 items of extremist propaganda collected as part of our extremist narrative project. The quotes are overwhelmingly about enduring hardships and maintaining faith and hope in the face of attacks by enemies of Islam.

The results are surprising considering conventional wisdom in many quarters in the West, which holds that Islamists are bent on world domination and imposition of their religion by force.  In fact, the study found that the so-called Verse of the Sword (9:5) that says “fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them” was used only three times in the texts studied.

The paper concludes with recommendations for counter-messaging.  Download the white paper here.

2 Responses to “New CSC White Paper: How Islamist Extremists Quote the Qur’an”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. wayne zimmerman says:

    We should have sympathy for these killers? We misunderstand them? They don’t want to dominate the world?
    They don’t want to eliminate Christianity and Judiasm?


    • editor says:

      Mr. Zimmerman, thanks for your comment. But I’m afraid you have misunderstood the paper. If you actually read it, you will see that nowhere do we say anyone should have sympathy for the Islamist extremist groups. You will also see that we never take a position on what the extremists actually want to do. We study what they say, in this paper through their use of Quran quotes.

      When studied objectively, their “sales pitch” to other Muslims is: “You should support us because you are under attack and we will help save you.” It is not: “You should support us because we are all commanded to take over the world.”

      Of course this could be a smoke screen. They may really want to take over the world–they have even said so on some occasions. But that is not even close to being their main sales pitch to Muslims. Strategic communication in the West (and among Muslims who oppose the extremists) should focus on their main sales pitch, and this is the point of our paper.