Jihadi propaganda frequently utilizes important political events or violent struggles occurring within Islamic communities to mobilize recruits and support. These images draw attention to events that have helped to shape the current jihadi movement, and they allow the propagandists to reinterpret the events through their own ideological and cultural framework. A key example of this is the way in which jihadi groups present past and contemporary defeats as examples of violent oppression and injustice inflicted upon the Muslim world, and hence as justification for jihadi activism.
The caption here reads “al-faluja badr 3” (“Faluja is Badr III”), referencing the battle of Badr of 624 A.D., when the Prophet and his nascent Muslim community faced off with the Meccans. With what is considered the helping hand of God, the small Muslim army defeated the numerically superior Meccan force. The reference to this battle suggests to the viewer that the Americans are analogous to the Meccans, while the insurgents are analogous to Muhammad and the faithful. The image also contains visual references to protests around Iraq following the November 2008 incident in which Muntadir al-Zaydi threw his shoe at former President George Bush. For instance, a man is seen waving both of his shoes at an American military vehicle. Furthermore, the images on the far left appear to be pictures taken of Sadr City the day after the al-Zaydi incident, when thousands of marchers called for an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and demonstrators burned American flags and waved shoes in a show of support for al-Zaydi.