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Media, Religion and ISIS

            Within the last ten years, the overlap between media and religion has had a major impact on the perspective and opinions that people possess. Because media has become such a vital party of everyday life for many cultures, the influence that its message holds can be highly influential. Media has no boundaries, and as a result, everyone can be heard. This includes the millions of other individuals from a different culture that may or may not share similar perspectives. Recently, within the Muslim culture, social media has played a major role in the exploitation of a highly toxic terrorist group known as ISIS. ISIS's use of social media, such as Twitter, has given them the ability to verbally attack millions of other people and cultures. That being said, what role are we playing in spreading the word of ISIS, and how has this one terrorist group affected the reputation of the entire Muslim state?.
             Media gives us the opportunity to hear someone else's opinion halfway across the world where as before, we would have been naive to the beliefs and current events of other nations. This is a much more powerful resource than expected because even without realizing it, our perspective and opinions are inevitably challenged. Not to say that media always has a negative impact on religion, however religious beliefs are personal and vary from culture to culture. As a result, it is easy for a group, such as Isis, to manipulate others perspectives through social media. Berger, who authored a recent Brookings paper on ISIS's use of Twitter, explained how ISIS retooled traditional al-Qaida propaganda to incorporate sleek, modern technologies and narrative storytelling emphasizing victory (Anderson, p.7). They are aware of the power that social media has on their target audience. They use drastic measures to exploit themselves in an attempt to seek the world's attention. According to an article written by Jacob Siegel, "The group's military power was enhanced by its reputation for brutality, spread by its own media efforts, which weakened its enemies resistance and led some to flee from battle.

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