Jihadi visual propaganda uses images of the globe or planet earth to globalize specific issues and conflicts, as well as to articulate the global aims of domestic groups. This image clearly aims to reflect the global nature of the jihadi struggle. The writing in the middle of the image “muntada al-safinat” references the webforum where the image was found.
Another common feature in jihadi images is bright white writing against a dark background. The white conjures up notions of death, grief and mourning, as it is the color of shrouds. These ideas are reinforced by the image of the fighter in the background. Only the figure’s eyes are visible because he is wearing the traditional Arab headgear, or kafiyya, which is especially popular in the Levant.
A black banner bearing the text of the shahada (Islamic testimony of faith holding that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger) is superimposed on the globe. According to hadith (prophetic tradition or report), the black flag was the battle flag of the Prophet Muhammad and it was carried into battle by many of his companions.
The image of the black flag has been used as a symbol of religious revolt and engagement in battle (i.e., jihad). In the contemporary Islamist movement, the black flag is used to evoke notions of jihad and of reestablishing the Islamic Caliphate.