So the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) scored another gory “cinematic hit” last week when it broadcast footage of its murder of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh. But the broadcasting of this video also engendered in us some strange, uncomfortable feelings: that the other recently filmed executions carried out by the group—being “mere” beheadings—were much more merciful than the tragic, abhorrent fate the group doled out to the Jordanian pilot. These disturbing thoughts show us how truly successful ISIS has been in shaking us up, and, sadly, in capturing our attention and focusing it on the group’s own larger narrative. Unfortunately, many on the Internet will find in these unprecedented and slickly produced visual odes to violence something that will draw them to the screen, even if only in condemnation.
To broadcast or not to broadcast?
A decision not to watch or broadcast ISIS’ videos and those like them is a practical oneDiana Moukalled