The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
On December 9, 2022, the pro-Islamic State (ISIS) At-Taqwa Media Foundation released a poster titled "The Arenas of the Summits," depicting an armed ISIS fighter aiming his weapon in the air against the backdrop of the FIFA World Cup symbol. Quoting from "The Ink of the Pen on the Ruling Regarding Soccer Players," a 2016 book published by ISIS' Office of Research and Studies, the poster's text accuses Jews and Christians of using sports such as soccer to distract young Muslims from more important issues, and calls for them to resist these schemes and wage jihad.
The poster's text reads:
"O youths of Islam! The Jews and nation of the Cross have bewitched you with the round [ball] and distracted you from your momentous tasks, so wake up from your slumber – may Allah have mercy on you – and attack them like one man. Do not leave a single one of them to creep into your ranks. Beware of their apostate collaborators' attacks on your religion and morals. Attack the crusaders and Jews and their collaborators. Cut their necks and kick their heads through the battlefields – for those are the arenas of the summits – rather than surrendering your heads to be played with in the soccer arenas."
On November 24, at the start of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, ISIS published an editorial in its official weekly, Al-Naba', describing the tournament as "the filth, lust, and disgrace cup" and urging Muslims to fulfill the last will and testament of the Prophet Muhammad by forcibly ousting "polytheists" from the Arabian Peninsula, noting that the Quran mandates jihad to "behead the unbelievers." Several pro-ISIS media groups have released posters and videos about the FIFA World Cup, similarly denouncing sports as a distraction from religion and declaring that real manliness is found through jihad.
 December 9, 2022.
 See MEMRI JTTM Report: During FIFA World Cup In Qatar, Islamic State Weekly Urges Muslims To Behead 'Unbelievers,' Rid Arabian Peninsula Of 'Polytheists', November 27, 2022.
 See MEMRI JTTM Reports: Pro-ISIS Poster: FIFA World Cup Is A Tool Used By 'Infidels' To Distract Muslims From Jihad, November 28, 2022; WARNING: GRAPHIC - Posters By Pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Media Group Illustrate ISIS Call For Jihad On Backdrop Of FIFA Qatar Tournament With Beheading Image, November 29, 2022; and Pro-ISIS Video Mocks FIFA World Cup: Real Men Act In The Arenas Of Jihad, Not Soccer, November 30, 2022.
The full text of this post is available to subscribers.
Please login or register to request subscription information from MEMRI