Global Development Institute Blog

The first issue of Dabiq appeared in July 2014, the week after the Islamic State (ad-Dawlah al-Islamiyah – or simply ad-Dawlah to its citizens (Weiss and Hassan, 2015: xi)) captured Syria’s largest oilfield, with the announcement it had re-established the khilafah with the intention of returning Muslims’ ‘dignity, might, rights, and leadership’ (page 7). Since then, 14 more editions have followed in Spanish, German, Russian as well as English, constituting a corpus of 942 pages and over 400,000 words. A number of analyses of its content have now appeared. Some commentators, such as Celine Marie Novenario (2016), have, for instance, compared Dabiq to other militant magazines, while Brandon Colas (forthcoming) and Haroro Ingram (forthcoming) have considered respectively how it fosters its various potential audiences and a sense of in-group identity. While its “religious” content has generally been noted in these (as well as in the burgeoning literature on ad-Dawlah generally (Alexander and Alexander 2015; Gerges (2016); Stern and Berger (2015) etc.)), there are currently no studies seeking to understand Dabiq’s particular approach to Islamic exegeses and how this might connect with wider debates over the relationship between faith and violence. I seek to address this by focusing on three areas of Dabiq’s content (1) its reading of the Qur’an (2) its use of classical scholarship and (3) its engagement with contemporary readings of Islam.

You can read Professor Jacoby’s latest journal article, Theorizing Fascism: Cases, Comparison and Consensus, now