Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Communication Studies

Department or School/College

Department of Communication Studies

Committee Co-chair

Steven Schwarze, Sara Hayden

Commitee Members

Richard Drake


ideograph, jihad, osama bin laden, terrorism


University of Montana


On August 23rd, 1996 The Declaration of Jihad was released by Osama bin Laden urging the Muslim community to heed to the call to jihad. The longest of bin Laden’s early messages, the Declaration of Jihad outlines a call to jihad against America for their continued presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Using Michael Calvin McGee’s “ideograph” (1980), I argue in this thesis that bin Laden’s usage of fulfills the characteristics of an ideograph through the employment of cluster words and narratives. I illustrate my argument through a textual analysis of The Declaration of Jihad where I identify the various narratives and cluster words throughout the declaration. I argue that bin Laden’s usage of these rhetorical methods contribute to a reframing of . Osama bin Laden’s reframing of fulfills his ideology of radical Islam and consequently makes the appeal to his audience to embrace the duty of . I conclude by discussing the theoretical implications of this thesis to the theory of ideograph, the appeal to audiences and advances for future research.

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© Copyright 2011 Faye Lingarajan