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Similarities between Jihad and Porn

You don’t often hear the words ‘pornography’ and ‘jihadism’ mentioned in the same sentence, but a recent article in The Atlantic, building on research by the historian Michael Burleigh, brilliantly ties them together. Here are the highlights:

-Jihadist martyrdom videos and porn both share similar structures culminating in a ‘money shot’. In jihad, this often takes the form of a bomb explosion; in porn, it’s manifested by an explosion of semen.

-Both are primal, obscene and gratuitous.

-Both are easily accessible.

-Jihad and porn videos both adopt a mix of feature and gonzo style presentations. Features are films with narratives–not just showing why people are blowing themselves up or having sex, but what motivated them to get there. Gonzo, rather, is pure blowing or sex, without any concern for why.

-Both jihad and porn videos are tailored to a mass audience with a limited attention span.

-Both have increasingly high production values.

-And…leading jihadists such as Osama bin Laden are apparently no strangers to porn.

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