Tag Archives: isis

Middle Eastern States Shed Crocodile Tears Over Orlando


In the few hours after Omar Mateen shot dead 50 innocent people at Pulse in Orlando a week ago, dozens of politicians and heads of states around the world rushed to condemn the grotesque hate crime.

The “condemnations” trickling in from the Middle East were particularly interesting and unique when placed in the context of these countries’  track records on LGBT rights and their mistreatment of homosexuals (Russia could potentially be added to this list, too, but for the sake of this post, we’re focusing on the Middle East).

To illustrate the stark contrast between the condemnations and the countries’ respective policies on homosexuality, Florence of Arabia has put together the below listicle featuring Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. (Please do send in more if I’ve missed any.)

[To jump straight to the listicle, click here.]

The contrast is quite humorous and hypocritical, but on a more serious level, it reaffirms just how rampant state-sponsored homophobia is in the region. It’s worth noting that the condemnations were similarly worded and omitted any mention of the attacks occurring at a gay club or targeting homosexuals. 

The condemnations are inherently problematic in that the states are essentially players that enable or fuel the sort of hatred which motivated the very crime they appear to have condemned.

Scholar and writer Samar Habib in this piece for the Washington Post argues that the condemnations are a “start,” whilst acknowledging they are somewhat troublesome. Continue reading

ISIS Fighter Furious at Non-Muslim Millennials for Appropriating Beard Culture


From hipsters in Williamsburg to millennials in Bethnal Green, ‘big, bushy beards’ have morphed from an ISIS subculture style to a mainstream Western fashion trend.* Daoud Mahmoud of Raqqa, Syria, says he can no longer remain silent. Florence of Arabia reports.

In a series of furious Tweets on Friday, 22-year-old ISIS militant Daoud Mahmoud blasted Western millennials and hipsters for their “appropriation” of the caliphate’s beard culture, saying it was becoming “increasingly intolerable.”

Tweeting from his shelled-out flat in Raqqa, Daoud gave a brief history of ISIS beard culture, saying facial hair is a core tenet of the terrorist group’s deep-seated spirituality — so much so, men who don’t sport a suitably bushy beard are instantaneously slaughtered.

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Islamophobe of the Week: Luton Nursery School


There are so many random acts of Islamophobia these days that it’s impossible to keep track.

This week we have an unidentified employee (or unidentified employees) at an unidentified nursery school in Luton who called the mother of a pupil in for questioning after her toddler son drew a picture of his father with a knife chopping a cucumber. You read right. A cucumber.

The staff in question apparently misheard the boy when he said cucumber, thinking he meant to say “cooker bomb” instead, and suggested the child may need to be admitted into a de-radicalisation programme.

Hmm.

Cucumber Continue reading

ISIS Fighter Struggles With New Year Diet, Still Trying To Cut Down On Carbs


Posting on Instagram from his shelled-out studio flat in Raqqah, ISIS militant Daoud Mahmoud announced plans January 1st for a low-carb diet, appending the hashtag “#NewYearNewMe.”

One month on, the jihadist tweeted, “@TheRealAbuBakralBaghdadi re: diet, still strugglin, prtty sure imprilist gregrian calndr is haram but got2 cut down somehow lol x fyi @BasharAlAssad” Continue reading

‘ISIS is Literally the Worst’: UberPooling With Millennials in NYC


UberPool is now available in London after successfully launching in New York.

I have mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand, who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to save some £s (precisely 25% of a full ride) on costly London transport? Particularly for those long-haul rides from.. well… Brixton to Farringdon.

On the other, part of the reason I appreciate Uber is that you get to avoid interacting with, or being exposed to, strangers. Specifically talkative, inebriated strangers who are feeling especially friendly. When you aren’t. Continue reading

FLOW CHART: How to Respond to a Terrorist Attack


By Zahra Hankir and ND*

There are so many terrorist (or kind-of-terrorist-) attacks out there these days, that it’s hard to keep track.

While we understand terrorism is certainly no laughing matter, we thought we’d put together a flow chart  to help you figure out how to respond to such attacks during these dark times.

Are you a Facebook user? A moderate Muslim? A western media organisation? Vladimir Putin? Or even David Cameron?

Florence of Arabia has got you covered.

(Click on the image to enlarge).

terrorism


* ND is a London-based ultimate frisbee player, flow-chart expert and journalist. She’s also a White Westerner. 

Are you a Terrorist Sympathizer?


David Cameron on Wednesday had the audacity to call me and my friends “terrorist sympathisers,” before adding injury to insult by using my hard-earned tax money to bomb an already war-torn country that’s already being bombed by numerous other countries.

Aside from far more serious issues, this begs the question of how one should define a “terrorist sympathiser.”

Florence of Arabia teamed up Prof. Andrew Will-Share, a London-based mixologist, to do the heavy-lifting for you here.

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CNN Insinuates France’s Muslims Should Apologise for the Paris Attacks


Tense times. Social media overload. Everyone’s outraged; everyone’s mourning; everyone’s got something to say. It’s almost impossible to keep up with global media coverage of the political aftermath of the Paris (and Beirut) attacks, let alone take into account how ridiculous, off-point, or bigoted some of it has been.

Cue the below interview aired on CNN, conducted by anchors John Vause and Isha Sesay, with the spokesman of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France, Yasser Louati. Topic: How is the Muslim community of France responding to the Paris attacks?

I’ve included the video above, and its transcript below (which I hastily typed out whilst on the Amtrak) as well as some Twitter responses — including Louati’s. Continue reading

On Paris, Beirut and ISIS


*Filed under Letters to Florence*

Some unique takes on the Paris attacks from Aida Alami, a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times and Foreign Policy, and Bashir Saade, a professor of politics at the University of Edinburgh. (Note from Nov. 24: I’ve also added a third account from journalist and PhD candidate Sobhiya Najjar.)

While Alami offers a personal account of reporting from the scene in Paris — and the thoughts that crossed her mind at the time — Saade takes a step back to make some sense of the political implications of the attacks in both France and Lebanon.

Najjar’s piece centres on the cognitive dissonance she felt as her concern wavered from Paris to Beirut and from Beirut to Paris.

With many thanks to all three contributors. Continue reading

Flat Whites and Fatwas: Moderate British Muslims Take on ISIS at Starbucks

Starbucks. East London. Tuesday evening. Killing time. Decide to find a quiet spot to catch up on ISIS-related news of the day. The dimly lit lower-ground floor is  packed save a corner table that’s adjacent to a group of bearded (not hipster-bearded, if you get what I mean) professionals. At least eight. They’re partaking in an intense discussion.

I overhear the words Muslim, Gaza and Guantanamo. Without thinking twice, I head to the vacant spot.

I realize I’m uncomfortably close to their table. They notice me for a split second before returning to their discussion. To leave now would be suspect, I figure. So I take my jacket off and make myself comfortable.

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