•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Martyrdom has an undeniable rhetorical dimension, and part of a martyr’s voice is the manner of his or her death. However, martyrdom does not stand alone. It is contextualized and constructed by the voice of ideologues. This project looks at the spoken and written rhetoric of Ayman Al-Zawahiri, leader of al-Qaeda, and seeks to understand his descriptions, attributions, and stories about martyrs and martyrdom. An analysis of 93 statements by Zawahiri was performed to identify his overarching martyr narrative and archetype. Major findings include a taxonomy of martyr attributes and a narrative trajectory of martyrdom. While pro-USA rhetoric constructs al-Qaeda’s martyrs as radical terrorists, Zawahiri tells a tale of stalwart, pious, and simple men.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.