Arabs Fight ISIS With Satire

Sameera Ehteram
The ISIS may invoke fear and horror for people around the world, but some Arabs have a tickling take on the terrorists.

Fatigued with news of the atrocities committed in the name of religion by the terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria, ISIS, some Arabs have taken up an unlikely but certainly lethal weapon against them- satire.

To make light of a horrifying situation, they portray terrorists belonging to ISIS as as bumbling clowns.

An example is this video of a Palestinian parody of ISIS:

The video shows the militants’ ridiculous criteria of who gets to be labeled as infidel and killed. In the parody, militants are seen  fighting amongst themselves over who would kill a Christian captive and gain blessings. The victim, who is engaged in finding a solution to this standoff dies of a heart attack leaving the religious zealots without a chance of getting “blessed for killing an infidel.”

The video is peppered with hilarious dialogue evoking puns. "Back in the day, before I became an ISISsy, I used to spend time with the gals on Al-Jumayza Street.”

The skit also shows them favoring an English speaking Jew and letting him live highlighting how the ISIS believes in killing ‘wayward Muslims’ rather than use their might against the so-called enemy of Islam, Israel.

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In another skit they show a taxi driver picks up a terrorist who rejects listening to the radio because it didn't exist in the earliest days of Islam, a knock on ISIS’s orthodox interpretation of Islam’s holy book, the Koran. The driver offers to switch on the air conditioning, but that too is rejected because it epitomizes modern living. The terrorist finally criticizes him for answering a mobile phone.

Tired of this line of reasoning, the driver asks, "Were there taxi cabs in the earliest days?"

"No, 1,000 times no!" the passenger answers. The driver responds by kicking out the terrorist and telling him to wait for a camel instead.

Its more than just parodies, there are caricatures making fun of the ISIS.  The skits portray the terrorists who are fearsome in real life as blundering militants dropping weapons, making silly mistakes, making fun of their own beliefs and harming their own people in the process of destroying the ‘enemy.’

The ISIS has spread across large parts of Syria and Iraq, declaring their own self-styled caliphate. They are known to celebrate and cheer their ‘achievements’ through Internet videos.

It may seem like nothing but the use of satire to criticize the group and its claims of representing Islam is in fact brilliant.

It may not be a direct confrontation, but it’s the next best thing- certainly better than many majority Muslim countries that have so far done little more than paying lip service against the atrocities committed by the terrorists in the name of Islam.

Read More: Are Muslim Countries Doing Enough To Combat Extremism?

An Example of Arab Humor: Saudi Men Parody That First Kiss Video With Hilarious Results

The facts that Muslims hate the ISIS as much as the rest of the world is not a secret but using humor as their weapon is simply a brilliant strategy.

 "These people are not a true representation of Islam and so by mocking them, it is a way to show that we are against them," says Nabil Assaf a producer of one such show. "Of course it's a sensitive issue, but this is one way to reject extremism and make it so the people are not afraid."

"We are all against these terrorist organizations," feels Alaa al-Majedi of the state-run al-Iraqiya channel. "Comedy is one way to raise awareness."