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Mobilisation and violence in the new media ecology: the Dua Khalil Aswad and Camilia Shehata cases

Al-Lami, Mina, Hoskins, Andrew and O'Loughlin, Ben (2012) Mobilisation and violence in the new media ecology: the Dua Khalil Aswad and Camilia Shehata cases. Critical Studies on Terrorism, 5 (2). pp. 237-256. ISSN 1753-9161

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Abstract

This article examines two cases in which political groups sought to harness the new media ecology to mobilise and justify acts of violence to public audiences and to supporters. In each case, a woman's suffering is presented and instrumentalised. However, the new media ecology offers an increasingly irregular economy of media modulation: digital footage may emerge today, in a year or never, and it may emerge anywhere to anyone. The cases analysed here allow for reflection on the tension between contingency and intentionality as that irregular economy brings uncertainty for the political actors involved. Dua Khalil Aswad, an Iraqi teenager of the Yazidi faith, was stoned to death by a Yazidi mob consisting of tens of men, mostly her relatives. One Yazidi uploaded a film of the killing. This led to violent reprisals against the Yazidis. Camilia Shehata is a young Coptic Egyptian who, after allegedly converting to Islam, was returned to her church with the help of Egyptian security forces and kept in hiding despite public protests. Extremists in Iraq and Egypt seized on the Shehata case to justify violence against Christians. In both instances, the irregular emergence of digital content and its remediation through these media ecologies enabled distributed agency in ways that empowered and confounded states, terrorists and citizens.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rter20
Additional Information: © 2012 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for the Study of Human Rights
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2012 15:54
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/45557/

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