Here, fighters on foot and horseback appear against a typical Afghan landscape. The caption reads: “al-ghuraba’—nasr aw shahada” (“the foreign fighters—victory or martyrdom”), highlighting the important role of foreign fighters in the struggle against Western actors in Afghanistan. The images of fighters riding horses facilitate association to pre-Islamic Arabia and Islamic culture, as the horse is an important symbol and feature in both. Traditionally, horses have been ascribed with positive qualities of chivalry, bravery in battle and victory, as evidenced in pre-Islamic poetry, 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 specific Salafi religious sentiments with regard to the military victories of Muhammad and his companions.  The other components in the image–including the yellow background, the green and red hues on the ground, the mountainous landscape and the horizon–all symbolize natural elements associated with God’s power and creation, thereby referencing the mighty powers of God and his ability to render Muslim fighters victorious.

More Information
Group Name Islamic Media Center (IMC)
Group Type Jihadist Group
Dominant Colors Yellow, Brown
Secondary Colors green
Language Arabic
Isolated Phrases / Mottoes / Slogans al-ghuraba' - nasr aw shahada
Image Number 0078
Weapons Firearms, Automatic / Assault Rifle, AK47
Air Analysis Sun
Air Celestial Bodies, Clouds / Fog, Sky
Liquid Sea / Lake
Geopolitical Symbols Slogan
People Operative / Warrior (=mujahid), Man / Men, Horse Rider
Fauna Horse
Topography Mountain, Horizon, Man-made Structure / Landmark
Topography Analysis Bunker

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