The horse and rider motif is common in jihadi visual propaganda. The rider emphasizes the element of human agency in jihad, and is a way to enhance the traditional symbol of a horse and flesh out notions of aggression and the call to jihad. The horse is an important symbol in both pre-Islamic Arabia and Islamic culture. Traditionally, horses have been ascribed with positive qualities of chivalry, bravery in battle and victory, as evidenced in pre-Islamic poetry, the Qur’an, hadiths (prophetic traditions or reports) and other genres of literature. For example, the beginning of the Qur’anic sura 100 talks about “running horses” that appear as galloping through the world toward the final goal, namely, Judgment Day. Horses are also symbolic of the first generation of Muslims and that generation’s successful military campaigns, and are thus often employed to evoke Salafi religious sentiments with regard to the military victories of Muhammad and his companions, including jihadist sentiments. The latter are spelled out in the slogan: “al-jihad tariquka lil-khulud” (“jihad is your way to eternity”). The slogan evokes Qur’anic verses 9:19-22, in which those who engage in jihad are promised eternal afterlife.

More Information
Dominant Colors Red/Pink
Secondary Colors White, Black
Language Arabic
Isolated Phrases / Mottoes / Slogans al-jihad tariquka lil-khulud
Image Number 0049
Geopolitical Symbols Non-country Flag
Geopolitical Analysis plain black banner
People Operative / Warrior (=mujahid), Man / Men, Horse Rider
Religious Symbols Black / White / Green Banners
Fauna Horse

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive updates from CTC.

Sign up