Media Narratives of Women Impacted by ISIS' Terror: Passive Victims "And/Or" Active Agents of Terror

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yur, damla
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Mount Saint Vincent University
The environments of war and terror has a direct effect on gender roles and their representation. ISIS, as a global Salafi jihadist movement, is just one of the groups who force their morality upon women’s bodies with specific rules. I am one of the journalists who listened to women’s experiences of ISIS terror, and through my work I have told the stories of Avesta and Murad, two women who have fought ISIS terror physically, mentally and emotionally. This thesis examines media narratives of women impacted by ISIS terror from three different media angles. It utilizes a feminist-informed Arts-Based Research Method including narrative and visual analyses. The first media perspective is from my own published news articles to explain my narrative about the terrorist organization and women. The second view comes from ISIS’ narratives about women from their own magazine, Dabiq. The last narrative examines comes from published international media content about women as ‘heroines’. The main research question in this thesis is ‘what narratives does the media tell about women impacted by ISIS’ terror? and all narratives are analyzed through visual and textual materials from these selected news articles with this question. These three media approaches (my own perspective, ISIS’ perspective and selected international news perspective) construct narratives of ‘heroes/heroines’, ‘villains’, ‘victims’ and ‘helpers’ under ISIS terror. This thesis highlights multiple narratives that exist about women impacted by ISIS’ terror, including my personal narrative as a female reporter.
ISIS, media narratives, terrorism