# Five
- 2015

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ISIS From the dark fiction of Hollywood

Universidad de Damasco / Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Received: 15/07/2015
Accepted: 4/11/2015


Does the word “Medieval” describe a group that is competing with the world’s best high-tech producers of images as Hollywood? In times of globalization, images are playing a relevant role in shaping both opinions and identities. What we witness today of what so called ISIS, is part of our modern world. Hollywood has been generating a new stereotype of the "Orient" and the "Muslims" for decades, and it seems to have reached a live version of its own stereotype. The images of ISIS have a lot in common with the ones of Hollywood: Image quality and propagandistic techniques in one hand. The adoption of a stereotype as a representative image on the other hand.

The collaboration Hollywood-Pentagon and/or Hollywood-Washington has its roots since early times of Hollywood film industry. In many critical moments in history, this collaboration could reshape the public opinion in the EEUU. This propaganda has reached its drackest side with Zero Dark Thirty 2012 movie. Today’s world’s worst enemy “ISIS” is a consequence of the worst decisions taken in our times. It represents the dark image of the modern world that, for the first time, we are seeing out of the screens of Hollywood’s blockbuster.

Keywords: Image, ISIS, Hollywood, stereotype, propaganda, reality, fiction.

A “Radical Islam” in the times of globalization

...For the present, however, the wall-to-wall nonsense about terrorism can inflict grave damage.
Edward. W. Said

ISIS videos show such brutality that they seem not to belong to our time. It’s logical! Who would want to be identified with this barbarism today?

It is true that ISIS claims to restore an older version of Islam as its ideological goal (proclamation of a caliphate as a religious leader of a Muslim state and the application of Sharia as law etc.), an idea that takes us back to a past (medieval) time but, perhaps, as (Gray, 2014a) stated, “The modern world isn’t evolving in any single direction. Liberal democracy is only one of several possible destinations. With its delusional ambitions (which, if we are to believe recent statements, include reconquering Spain) ISIS illustrates a darker aspect of the modern world - the practice of using terror and violence in an attempt to achieve impossible goals.”

The speech of Radical Islam is invading new spaces today that do not necessarily belong to the middle ages, but to our current time.

The use of social networks and (Western) propaganda methods is present in the production of images published by ISIS. And although it has settled in our consciousness that ISIS represents an orthodox trend of Islam in which the image is prohibited, it is not true, because has the image not been the most effective tool used by the group to make its presence known?

These images seem to lead to two conflicting environments; on the one hand there is an adaptation, or rather, an incarnation of a certain stereotype-image, and on the other hand, an eagerness to globalize this self-image.

The proliferation of images in spite of iconoclasm [1]

What we have seen about the destruction by ISIS, of archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq (most recently the Temple of Bel in the Syrian city of Palmyra) leads to a rethink of “iconoclasm” and now we frame it in relation to a radical Islamist group in the visual culture of the XXI century.

Jonas Staal, in his article Empire and Its Double. The Many Pavilions of the Islamic State describes the phenomenon of the Islamic State like a “dark body double of Empire.” [2] —Besides dealing with the destruction of antiquities in the museum of Mosul by ISIS and how their images have invoked the looting and destruction of Iraq’s cultural heritage caused by the 2003 invasion by the US and UK under the banner of "Coalition of the Willing," Staal analyses images of the hacking of websites and media, and he concludes that the square of "anti-image" (which the Islamic State’s hackers have used in their attacks on the eleven French network channels of TV5 Monde) is an image in itself: it is the image of the black flag of ISIS and, at the same time, it represents the annulment of other images.

I agree in my analysis with Staal’s, from its inception until today, ISIS has been a great producer of images, even in their attempts to demolish and erase them. Ironically, every attempt of iconoclasm by ISIS has created a proliferation of images. However, after the video of the destruction in the museum by members of ISIS, there were several reports that the original pieces had been moved to a safe place in Baghdad by the government before the fall of the city of Mosul to the forces of Islamic State. What ISIS has destroyed would be nothing but facsimiles. Other reports have suggested that the Islamic State destroyed copies and sold the originals on black markets abroad.

In this sense, Staal also underlines " The paradox of the Islamic State’s iconoclastic attempt to rewind history to its own year zero, dating to the birth of its prophet,” and “… that instead of erasing images, it is actively forcing the international community to remember."(Staal, 2015) As for the destruction of monuments, statues or buildings, recording the act itself establishes as a norm the obligation to document such acts of destruction in images. The paradox of this attempt in iconoclasm, in fact, demonstrates that it is not about religious ideology against idolatry, but to build a new-image as the sole and ultimate objective. ISIS is building its own monumental image into historical memory, and to achieve its goal it is essential to destroy the image of the other [3].

Eye Candy and Idolatry

ISIS has created its own propagandistic way to seduce Western youth and to get them to join its ranks. The use of charismatic jihadists to promote its image is one of these strategies. Many teenagers have been attracted by the idols that ISIS has created, such as the famous figure of ’Jihadi John’, a British jihadist known for his constant appearance in the videos of executions of several journalists. According to experts, one of those videos, entitled The Unbelievers Despise Through It (2014), recorded in the Syrian city of Palmyra, took a minimum of 6 hours to film and had a budget of approximately $200,000. A possible use of a body double that played the role of Jihadi John in the recording was also mentioned [4].

For the majority, —the figure represents a savage criminal, but for radicalized young people, he represents a hero and an idol worthy of worship. Some testimonies speak of the adoration and the attraction they felt on seeing those images on their computer screens [5]. I wonder whether this is not somehow the idolatry that Hans Belting (2012,P.83-85) spoke about in his text Idolatry today. Belting uses the concept of iconomania as Günther Anders used it, using a very clear example of the first generation of North American television, whose viewers developed personal relationships with the new idols as if their feelings were reciprocated by the faces on the screen. They loved the images as if they were men of flesh and blood. The TV star is already an image when it is in the media, which is why we can use the term idol. In the same way, ISIS creates stars on the North American model, strong men, attractive, possible martyrs, and somehow heroic.

A Western vocabulary

Professionalism in most of the visual material generated by ISIS is impeccable. And that is what made many of us doubt its reality. Of course part of the denial is the incredible brutality of the events depicted. It is a combination between a savage, crude and barbaric act and a series of high-definition movies, well made and produced: which we are used to seeing in Hollywood films. There are several ways to see the productions of ISIS and its relation to Hollywood, by the techniques used, camera, editing, sound effects, colour, depth and so on. Some videos and images are very close in this sense to Hollywood but others are not. The reason is that there are different filmmakers behind every production, although many of them are professionals with deep knowledge, others are mere amateurs. ISIS jihadists are numerous and some record videos and post them directly on their websites and blogs. We will concentrate on the official production centres of visual publicity of ISIS.

ISIS now has several major communication centres: Ajnad, Al-Furqan, Al-I’tisam, Al-Hayat, Makatib al-Velayat, Al-Bayan Radio, Dabiq Magazine and media offices in each of its provinces.

In an article entitled The ISIS Propaganda war: a hi-tech media jihad, Steve Rose explains how ISIS has adopted this technique. To do so he goes to one of Hollywood’s productions in the early forties. A series of seven documentary films entitled, Why We Fight (1942 to 1945), carried out by the director Frank Capra in a commission to show the US effort in World War II. Capra had seen the Nazi propaganda film, Triumph of the Will (1935) by Leni Riefenstahl and described it as ’’ a psychological weapon aimed at destroying the will to resist. " Capra’s solution was to turn the weapons of the enemies towards them. And to do so he made his seven films reusing footage from Triumph of the Will and other propaganda films to show what the US faced. "Let their own films kill them," Capra said.

Images of gold

On August 29, 2015, Al-Hayat, one of the seven communication centres of ISIS, revealed the new currency of the Islamic State in a long video entitled The Rise of the Khilafah and the Return of the Gold Dinar. The narrator who speaks with an American accent, along with subtitles in Arabic, which demonstrates that it is specifically designed as a recruiting tool for Western audiences. For nearly an hour, it samples plans for coining new currencies of gold, silver and copper in areas occupied by ISIS. After considering capitalism as "a satanic system", it goes on to condemn the payment of interest as the most insidious instrument of the US economy. The video uses high quality production: shot in HD and sophisticated graphics and logos were included. Images of first generation format, originals of neoliberal quality, as Hito Steyerl (2009a) describes it. In the framework of the HD, the smallest details are more defined and the edges of the foreground are well marked from background. This highlights the fact that if HD video is used, more definition is obtained, and videos look much more realistic: “Obviously, a high-resolution image looks more brilliant and impressive, more mimetic and magic, more scary and seductive than a poor one. It is more rich, so to speak.” (Steyerl, 2009b) Attractive, seductive and compelling images for a potential jihadist; frightening, threatening and provocative for a certain enemy.

The Rise of the Khilafah and the Return of the Gold Dinar sounds like the title of one of the most popular films of Hollywood: The Lord of the Rings and the Return of the King (2003). Even the typography and the graphics of the title are similar. The Lord Of The Rings is another movie about the final fight against evil, to save humanity and the world. It is full of apocalyptic references, the chosen ones to start the journey, small, weak but honest and pure, a false king as a metaphor of the Antichrist and other true and awaited, warriors and heroic fighters as well as spiritual guides. The legend of the Apocalypse is similar in the three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The difference is based on some details such as the question of the chosen ones. Of course, for every religion its followers are God’s chosen to start the final battle and save humanity from the beasts of the devil.

The ISIS film begins with a romantic-historical narrative about the old days, when Islam reached its golden zenith. Then came the collapse of the Islamic state because of the forces of evil, the Crusaders, who led mankind into a darkness nowadays represented by banks and the value of the dollar bill. That would explain why humanity must return to use gold as a currency. Throughout the film scenes of battles occur. Of course jihadists are its heroes. The closing of the film is made up of images that belong to the current Islamic State: showing people happy with the new currency, children with smiles, bright, saturated colours, supermarkets filled with products, then the focus returns to the jihadists as a final take, to say why they fight… Why We Fight.

In the same manner as Capra’s documentary, ISIS reused footage from several Hollywood movies, documentaries and some opinions of American characters like Ron Paul and Mike Maloney. The editing shifts between scenes from Hollywood films, such as Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Saving Private Ryan (1998) etc. and others of jihadists firing, as if they were fighting against each other, and the cut between the two scenes is an explosion throughout the screen and ends with a fade to black. Then the light comes back again with a scene of jihadists on horseback holding the flag of ISIS. So, Capra’s words are literally accomplished: "Let their own films kill them." It is an hour-long montage where American heroes die again and again in their own movies.

The Middle East in a new suit

Washington and Hollywood spring from the same DNA
Jack Valenti

After the Second World War, the Arab oil embargo, the emergence of the Islamic Republic after the Iranian revolution, the Iran hostage crisis and of course the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the image of the “Orient” and of “Islam” in particular began to take on new dimensions in the West and especially in the US. The old European image of the romantic, enchanting, mysterious Orient vanished in the past; its reign was over.

Two images of the “Orient” in two different decades
It took a lot of political, media and even academic effort to create the new stylized image of Islam [6]. Many dualisms were generated: Islam / Middle East, Islam / radicalism, Middle East / Arabs, Arabs / terrorists and so on. So it was impossible to think of one of the terms without going unconsciously or directly to another; or make intersections between them, as in a body that cannot be separated. Now “stories about the Middle East are often accompanied by a picture of a mosque or large crowds praying.”(Karabell, 1995). Hollywood, as part of the US visual power industry, played a significant role in manufacturing this image [7]. A multitude of scenes have contributed to solidify a stereotype about Islam, Muslims and / or Arabs:

There is now for example, a new wave of large-scale feature films whose primary purpose is to demonize and dehumanize Muslims in order to then show an intrepid Westerner, usually American hero killing them off. Delta Force (1985) began the trend, but it was carried forward in the Indiana Jones saga (Said, 1997, p. 43)

It would be impossible to give an account of all Hollywood films devoted to the subject in this essay, but if we review some scenes we will find a huge number of images representing the same stereotype: bearded men with dark skin and black hair covering their heads and sometimes part of their faces wearing a dark fabric (or a keffiyeh), sparkling eyes and furious looks, armed and dangerous beings, bloodthirsty barbarians, irrational minds who just want to hurt the innocent. Women in burkas probably covered in black, which in many cases may turn out to be terrorists. This Hollywood representation of absolute evil has been repeated for decades. Since the Second World War, different enemies have emerged: first were the Nazis, the Soviet Union and the Japanese then throughout the Cold War with the Communists up until the rise of terror represented by Islam. The culture of the fight against absolute evil does not end with fiction and action films; it is also present in political speeches. George W. Bush had made it clear when he stated, "Either you’re with us, or against us" [8] in his famous speech after the 9/11 attacks.

The discourse of the divine struggle, the struggle against injustice, the fight against evil, is one of the main ideological discourses that ISIS, or any radical religious group, uses as part of its propagandistic agenda. Thus, any act of barbarism is justified. You’re either with us or against us; you are one of the good guys or evil ones, with God or with the devil.

Embodied image

…Reality emerges within the spectacle, and the spectacle is real.
Guy Debord

Edward Said spoke some time ago, about the European image of the “Orient”:

The Orient was orientalized not only because it was discovered to be "Oriental" in all those ways considered common place by an average nineteenth- century European, but also because it could be- that is submitted to being- made Oriental (1995, p. 49).

Today, with the new Hollywood image of the “Orient”, we can project the same idea. ISIS adopts as its own, the stereotype of absolute evil, terror, barbarism and what has been called the " medieval (Muslim) Orient" created by Hollywood.

Before the images of the Islamic State and despite its uniqueness, we experience recognition, a sort of violent déjà vu. While it is true that the adaptation of Western visual methods by ISIS is sufficient cause for this familiarity, the adaptation of a stereotype is something that goes beyond a propaganda war. It seems more a source of imaginative inspiration.

Let us take Rules of Engagement (2000), a Hollywood film directed by William Friedkin and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson. The film hinges on Yemen and addresses the issue of the fictional trial of the US colonel (Terry Childers) after giving the order to shoot and kill a large number of civilians outside the US embassy, including children and women. The film ends with Childers convicted of a misdemeanour charge, disturbing public order, given that some members of the crowd were really armed and they opened fire on the US Marines. Children who at first appeared to be victims were in reality enemies who received orders from an Islamist terrorist to kill American soldiers.

The final scene of the movie shows Yemeni children shooting at American soldiers.

Once again a scene from Hollywood comes true!

On July 2015 ISIS released a video showing the killing of 25 Syrian soldiers shot by what appear to be minors in the Roman theatre of Palmyra in central Syria, a scene of child Islamists massacring soldiers. The video was recorded with more than one camera with multiple angles and multiple scenes in which the entire ceremony of murder is shown. It starts with a journey from their cells to the Roman theatre, accompanied by sound effects. This of course requires planning of both pre and postproduction. The whole atmosphere of the video is designed and planned as a spectacle. On the amphitheatre stage, children in costume that mimic military uniform show discipline in their linear formation. In front of them, the convicted soldiers, kneeling, awaiting the order to shoot. When instructed, the children all fire at once, without hesitation, as if they had practiced many times before taking the stage and facing the public who had come to the Roman amphitheatre that day. A ceremony of fiction has became reality a “Panic-stricken production of the real and of the referential, parallel to and greater than the panic of material production” as Jean Baudrillard intuited long ago (1977, p.19)

Extra weight of cameras:

In the mid-80s, when many Americans were expressing doubts about the military after the Vietnam War, the Pentagon and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer collaborated on a production to “resuscitate” the image of the US military. Top Gun (1986), starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis, was a resounding success, generated $ 344 million at the box office and raised again the image of the Army and United States Air Force. "According to the Navy, the recruitment of youth in the naval aviation increased by 500 per cent after the release of Top Gun." Thanks to this success, Paramount was for years the producer of choice for the military:

When Top Gun was released, not only did the Navy set up recruitment tables at theatres playing the movie, but polls soon showed rising confidence in the military. (Sirota, 2011a)

The Hollywood / Pentagon collaboration is constant. Before and after Top Gun there is a long list of films showing the synergies between the two sectors. Millions of dollars are needed to produce scenes that require the use of advanced armoured vehicles, warplanes and weapons. Paramount executive Jeffrey A. Doleman, for payment of a debt of several million dollars owed to the Navy, offered the Department of Defense (DOD) their own advertising space with the launch of two blockbuster movies at the box office: The Hunt for Red October (1990) and Flight of the Intruder (1991). These advertising scenes require the participation of some military officers trained to use weapons and vehicles [9]. The participation of the Pentagon came to interfere with the scripts and change some scenes completely. "Time magazine reported that Goose’s death was changed from a midair collision to an ejection scene, because “the Navy complained that too many pilots were crashing.” [10]

After the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of suicides among US soldiers had increased and the American public came to doubt the decision of their leaders. Again the Hollywood / Pentagon alliance imposed a solution:

In June, the Army negotiated a first-of-its-kind sponsorship deal with the producers of X-Men: First Class, backing it up with ads telling potential recruits that they could live out superhero fantasies on real-life battlefields. (Sirota, 2011b)

There is an advert in which the X-Men are interspersed with images of soldiers in military uniform made for the Army Strong marketing campaign of that year. In a flash, the image of the soldier becomes the virtual image of the super hero. The ad closes with the phrase "there is strong and then there is army strong". An invitation to the young to join the army, because that way they can go from being simple "normal people" to becoming "superheroes" with extraordinary powers:

"…An ideological fantasy, (...) An attempt to achieve impossible goals. "(Gray, 2014b)

In 2004, the scandal of the images of Abu Ghraib prison led to the opening of investigations into the programme of systematic torture used by the CIA. A few years later the media started publishing details of the locations of the famous Black Sites located around the world, forcing George W. Bush in 2006 to admit its existence, after years of constant denials:

When the photos of Abu Ghraib were first released in the US, conservative television pundits argued that it would be un- American to show them.” (…) “It was un-American to show these photos and un-American to glean information from them as to how the war was being conducted. (Butler, 2010, p. 66)

On May 1st 2011 the death of Osama Bin Laden was announced, the symbol of terror and the nightmare of the Americans and the world. The official story told about operation Neptune Spear is very ambiguous. Images of the corpse were never unveiled nor footage of the operation and DNA tests of the terrorist were not confirmed. All we have seen is the image of the White House Situation Room. An image that shows the leaders of the US with all eyes directed towards the same point, which we the viewers cannot see. A veil on the most important historic moment of the war on terror.

When fictionalized reality emerges, this time in Zero Dark Thirty (2012), the film takes the conclusion of the necessity and effectiveness of the methods of torture (which the CIA had used) in order to locate Bin Laden and thereby reach the most significant achievement in the history of the war on terror: declaring the death of public enemy number one. The barbarism and state violence is justified by the noble objective! The movie has been criticized by many forcing producers to note:

It is a fictionalized account, not a documentary." [11], and Bigelow to respond in a letter to the L.A Times: "Those of us who work in the arts know that depiction is not endorsement. If it was, no artist would be able to paint inhumane practices, no author could write about them, and no filmmaker could delve into the thorny subjects of our time. (2013).

Following the structure and the main characters of the movie Žižek (2013a) evidences Bigelow’s intent to normalize torture:

Without a shadow of a doubt, she is on the side of the normalization of torture… The most obscene defense of the film is the claim that Bigelow rejects cheap moralism and soberly presents the reality of the anti-terrorist struggle, raising difficult questions and thus compelling us to think.

Some critics have accused Bigelow, in a certain way, of attempting to whiten the dark side of the Bush administration. Zero Dark Thirty is like other propaganda movies that Hollywood has produced throughout its history, but with a further step towards immorality:

Torture saves lives? Maybe, but for sure it loses souls – and its most obscene justification is to claim that a true hero is ready to forsake his or her soul to save the lives of his or her countrymen. The normalisation of torture in Zero Dark Thirty is a sign of the moral vacuum we are gradually approaching. If there is any doubt about this, try to imagine a major Hollywood film depicting torture in a similar way 20 years ago. It is unthinkable. (Žižek, 2013b)

In the majority of the videos generated by ISIS, victims (who are waiting to be sentenced) have the same orange uniform worn by those imprisoned in Abu Ghraib and other CIA Black Sites. And they are imprisoned in the same cages that we have seen in Bigelow’s movie (cages more appropriate for animals).

The shift we have witnessed in the representative image of the Middle East during decades, through the screen of Hollywood, is in parallel with changes in US political tendencies (of both white house and Pentagon). All political enemies of the US have always been enemies of the American heroes in Hollywood screens. And the collaboration between the two had a huge effect in changing public opinion.

ISIS has opposition from many sectors within the Middle East, not only Shiite militias but also Sunni and Kurdish fighters and even the group Al Qaeda, and of course “the people” of Iraq and Syria. Thus we need to understand ISIS from modern history, the last wars against terrorism and the invasions of countries in the name of democracy. All this together with the plane image of black and white, which has been the image of the world for a long time:

It is there that we must question everything, and particularly question the representations we are being offered by governments and corporations as they are clearly constructions, displays, mise-en-scenes deliberately created to give us an image of the world according to their political or financial interests (Jaar, 2015).

ISIS understands itself through the image that politicians and Hollywood have generated in recent decades about Islam, Muslims, Arabs and Afghans, that is, as enemies. It is the result of finding an enemy through the images on the screen. The formation of opinions and the creation of an identity through HD image and movie fiction is a tool that can have consequences. Hollywood has managed to shape this identity within the US. But for the first time, it seems that a real enemy is using its own weapons. The perfect enemy, dark as a fiction.


A. Otero, Carlos. Boehm, Gottfried. Belting, Hans. Assmann, Jan. Mondzain, Marie-José. Mitchell, W.J.T. Esposito, Roberto. Hobbes, Thomas. (2012), Iconoclastia: La Ambivalencia de la Mirada, Madrid, LaOficina.

Bigelow, Kathryn (2013), “Kathryn Bigelow addresses ’Zero Dark Thirty’ torture criticism” Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan/15/entertainment/la-et-mn-0116-bigelow-zero-dark-thirty-20130116 [Consulted: 10.04.2015]

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Klindo, Mile Y Phillips, Richard (2005), “Military interference in American film production”. World socialist website. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2005/03/holl-m14.html [Consulted: 10.04.2015]

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Sirota, David, (2011), “25 years later, how ‘Top Gun’ made America love war”. The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/25-years-later-remembering-how-top-gun-changed-americas-feelings-about-war/2011/08/15/gIQAU6qJgJ_story_1.html (Consulted: 09.04.2015)

Staal, John. (2015), “Empire and Its Double: The Many Pavilions of the Islamic State” e-flux. http://supercommunity.e-flux.com/texts/empire-and-its-double-the-many-pavilions-of-the-islamic-state/ (Consulted: 11.06.2015)

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Terry, John. (2015) “Why ISIS Isn’t Medieval. It is actually viciously modern”. Salte. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2015/02/ISIS_isn_t_medieval_its_revisionist_history_only_claims_to_be_rooted_in.html [Consulted: 12.05.2015]

Žižek, Slavoj (2013), “Zero Dark Thirty: Hollywood’s gift to American power” The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/25/zero-dark-thirty-normalises-torture-unjustifiable (Consulted: 22.04.2015)


[1“In today’s terms we understand iconoclasm to be the destruction of images in general although formerly the image in question would need to possess specific characteristics, namely religious. For this reason the term icon was originally used”. A. Otero, Carlos (2012. Pág.12)

[2This idea of a double is linked to that of the clone by W.J.T. Mitchell (2008) in his essay Cloning Terror, “both, although apparently separated by distance have an intimate relationship with each other, they act as a single biological entity.”
Also, Ruggiero, V. (2003) noted that “Terrorists can only become terrorists when they are modelled on, formed and even cloned by those with whom they interact.”

[3It is undeniable “the visual, symbolic efficiency of images of statues battered, disfigured, torn down or cast aside. The collapse o a monument seems to be predestined and symbolizes the metaphorical fall of the regime that had erected it”. Gamboni, D. (1997)

[4Hall, John, “ISIS mass beheading video took up to six HOURS to film and cost $200,000: Forensic analysis of Syrian soldier murders reveals clues that could help nail Jihadi John”. MailOnline
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2865745/Has-EXACT-location-infamous-ISIS-beheading-video-pinpointed-Forensic-analysis-filmed-Syrian-soldier-murders-breaks-filmed-long-took-cost-make.html (consulted: 12.04.2015)

[5BBC Newsnight “Attractive jihadists can lure UK girls to extremism”
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31704408 (consulted: 01.05.2015)

[6E.W Said’s third and last book Covering Islam, 1981, deals with the role of the media, academics and other experts who are dedicated to analysing Islam and Muslims. Said questions the objectivity of the mass media, and challenges the relationship between the media, knowledge and power in the West. In another study entitled, Real Bad Arabs: How Hollywood vilifies a People (the book published in 2001, the documentary 2006), Jack Shaheen analyses films and scenes from Hollywood which include Muslims or/and Arabs and how these have created a stereotype of the Arab as villain.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko_N4BcaIPY (consulted: 11.10.2013)

[7The subject of stereotyping and demonization of Muslims and Arabs is not confined only to Hollywood. Recently, the TV series Homeland employed two graffiti artists, Hiba and Amin, to paint the sets of what would be a supposed Syrian refugee camp. Instead of following the phrases layed out in the script, the two artists decided to write their own messages criticizing the series with: “Homeland is Racist”, “Homeland is a joke but no one is laughing”.

[8CNN. News (2011). “Bush says it is time for action”
(Consulted: 02.02.2013)

[9The stunt pilot Art Scholl dies in a plane crash on set. The extra weight of the camera caused the plane to become locked as it spun out of control plunging the pilot to his death.
Jones, Jack. (1985), “Famed Stunt Pilot Art Scholl Dies as Plane Plunges Into Sea” Los Angeles Times.

[10Sirota, David. (2011).

[11Human Rights Watch. “US: Zero Dark Thirty and the Truth About Torture”
(Consulted: 24.04.2015)