Civilization is disintegrating across wide swathes of the earth, but on their potential eve of destruction, people do as they always will at such grave and fearful times – they make really silly movies about it. Or mocking songs and art.
In the case of the ISIS plague across Iraq and Syria, this is doubly ironic, as the group immediately outlawed art, history, Christian studies and many other subjects while demanding children attend school anyway – possibly so they know where find new sex slaves and human shields.
Tired of the old “rape, murder and pillage” routine and bored with merely shredding free expression, ISIS is being honest. Baring their true nature.
While al-Qaida, al-Shabab and the Taliban felt the need for a little good PR, ISIS drops all pretense. Those others would never openly admit that “human rights” are reserved for creatures with guns, beards and penises – and only a small subset of those.
This is even more than some Muslims can take, and a small percentage of them are beginning to speak up.
Lebanese musicians in 2013 formed what is becoming a very popular group, “The Great Departed.” One song, “Madad Baghdadi,” openly mocks ISIS commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the master who “rules by God’s rules.” They warn he “will lead God’s servants to an abyss like no other” gathering at least a few laughs in a Beirut club where they perform regularly.
Lebanese anti-ISIS singing sensation “The Great Departed” Photo:DailyStar.lb
Khaled Soubeih, founder and composer of the band, revealed he was shocked to hear ISIS “talk about God’s mercy” and to continue killing people. Soubeih, formally a journalist, believes humor is the best way to fight back.
As long as al-Baghdadi exists, they will never run short on satirical inspiration. He is a veritable muse for comedians as well as their nightmares. One song extends even to farm animals, mocking al-Baghdadi’s purported edict that the udders of cows be covered: “I swear to God, if I were a cow, I would be wearing a bra.”
“The Great Departed” spreads contempt to other power-maddened Islamic leaders also, such as Egypt’s Morsi. Their 2013 song “Don’ti Mixi” is a metaphorical critique for things that don’t mix well. It’s a curious blend of English with Egyptian accents and catchy like all their traditionally flavored tunes.
Most members of The Great Departed were formerly classical musicians who decided they must deal with current topics. Arabic classical music is about love and issues in life that seem sadly irrelevant at the moment.
“This is not really contemporary. … We cannot be living in this situation and talk about flowers,” vocalist Naim al-Asmar explained in an interview with Daily Star from Lebanon.
It takes courage and defiance to do this in Lebanon, when the enemy is literally next door, waiting. Lebanon is also a major part of the “Levant” previously claimed by ISIS/ISIL. They were offered a taste of Allah’s “mercy” this August when ISIS ventured over their border taking soldiers and police hostage.
Nonetheless, the following video is an example of Lebanese TV satire on suicide bombers:
Another social phenomena there is ISIS flag burning, akin to our ice-bucket challenge or flash mobs and sent abroad via Twitter and Facebook. But ISIS is watching even this, reacting to a Facebook posting of boys burning a paper rendition of the ISIS flag.
“The Islamic State is coming” and “Christians must go” were recently painted across churches in Tripoli. This in reaction to the grave “crime” of paper-flag desecration, which occurred near there. No proper fear or awe of ISIS – that’s what comedy can do.
Laughter is terribly threatening to psychopaths. It reminds them they are not gods and that they are ridiculous to millions. Mockery and derision are proof they can never entirely control the human spirit but only kill and die. Even dogs can be trained to pull a trigger but are generally much more likeable and in better control of their actions.
Attention to The Great Departed comes with a crest of mocking media attacks in Lebanon and across the world. The Voice of America, interviewing the band, mentions the rush of online cartoons, videos and television shows depicting the militants as “inept, bloodthirsty fighters using the guise of Islam to justify crimes.”
While humor is helping Lebanese and other Middle Easterners cope with threats and fear, militant Islamists prove once again immune to real humor. They simply don’t have it, don’t like it and won’t tolerate it. Oh, they can gloat and titter over mangled corpses, but that is only a sign of their diseased souls.
Last month Palestinian militants burned crosses at Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp (provided to them by the Lebanese) in protest of a television show they insist “insulted Islam and the Prophet.”
An episode of “Bas Mat Watan” (“When the Country is Dead”) mocked ISIS’ fear and loathing of cow udders – it’s true – as well as the masculinity of ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.
Why those Palestinians objected to this says a great deal about their loyalty as well as the little KKK touch (burning cross).
Palestinians elsewhere created a short “spoof” of ISIS that has victims meekly and comically submitting to the terrorists. It also pointedly asks why ISIS is attacking everyone but Israel.
Satirical television show the “State of Myths” proves Iraq is not totally overrun by ISIS yet. Last month the Christian Post reported on the state TV series that “directly mocks Islamic State militants and acts as an anti-ISIS propaganda tool.” The creators, although frightened and under siege, hope it will more keep people from joining the invaders.
Understandably, most participants remain anonymous in the siege, but they are all cultural warriors. Actor Taha Alwan was motivated to risk everything after the loss of two of his children to violence.
“For me, it’s personal,” Alwan told the Washington Post. “It might be dangerous, but we need to send a message of how ugly these people are.”
Sadly the series doesn’t limit its attacks to al-Baghdadi but throws stones at Israel, America, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, whom they believe crafted their disaster. Israel plotting with Qatar and the Saudis? Of course it’s always the Jews – and the CIA.
Original trailers for the show explained the existence of al-Baghdadi this way: egg-hatched spawn of Satan and a Jewish princess (complete with crown). It’s a ridiculous, ham-handed attempt at satire that they are promising to “fix” – now that the U.S. is materially helping Iraqis. At least they are laughing – sort of. The promo scene ends with al-Baghdadi shooting everyone there.
#ISISMovies is a hashtag used to spoof popular film titles with faux posters or previews of the ISIS/ISIL terrorists.
About these, Libyan-American writer Hend Amry tweeted, “Belittlement is your enemy’s greatest fear.”
Popular hashtags at #ISISmovies are:
- “How to Kill a Mocking Kurd”
- “Beheading Private Ryan”
- “Four Beheadings and a Funeral”
- “Dude, Where’s My Throat”
- “Girls Just Want to Have Fundamentalism”
- “Gone with the Head”
A hot topic in the Twitterverse is the expensive Western watch al-Baghdadi revealed in a wardrobe malfunction. Social media users ragged “Caliph Ibrahim” for his Bulgari, Rolex or Omega Seafarer – all which seem to be a weakness for Islamist terrorists.
His supporters rush to deny all, insisting the mass murderer would never stoop to such a terrible thing. According to a CNN report, they claim he was wearing a “true Islamic watch” from Saudi Arabia, with prayer times across the world. How reassuring.
Some commentators are bewailing that these humorous efforts may be “insulting to Islam.” As long as Islam is waged in its current form against the people of Iraq, Nigeria and elsewhere, they will just have to grow a very thick skin. It’s not going to stop.
SOURCES: english.alarabiya.net / Daily Star Lebanon – India Stoughton / Voice of America News / www.jadaliyya.com / www.lebanonwire.com / www.ibtimes.com / Agence France Presse / Twitter.com / New York Daily News / Countercurrentnews.com / New York Times.