Online discussion forums allow for the creation of virtual shrines and halls of remembrance by Islamist nationalist, secular nationalist, and transnational Salafī jihadī movements for their martyrs. Photographs of young men and women adorn threads which often include biographical information about the martyrs or links to official or unofficial biographies produced by the movements to which they belonged or by their family and friends who are participants in the forums. These threads enable the images and stories of the martyrs to be broadcast to an audience much wider than that in their own localities and places of residence. The commemoration of martyrs online has been transformed into a type of cyber-ritual, which includes participants leaving messages of praise and expressions of happiness that the martyr, they believe, “achieved” entrance into Heaven for their bravery while at the same time noting with sadness their death. The creation of such virtual “sacred spaces” and “cyber-rituals” is part of a growing trend in the online expression of religious, and in this case religio-political, belief.
By visiting these virtual shrines and halls of remembrance, members and supporters of these movements are able to perpetuate the continuous, and potentially global, remembrance of the lives and ultimate sacrifices of their martyrs, who in turn attain a “virtual” persona online. In these virtual spaces, a kind of pluralism in commemoration exists, with martyred senior leaders and martyrs from the rank-and-file existing in equilibrium, as these spaces enable friends and family of the rank-and-file members to publicize “their” martyr as widely as is done with senior leaders. Martyrdom artwork is no longer exclusive to physical environments, such as