George Orwell does a lot of turning over in his grave.

And he just did it again.

In a 27-page memorandum, [Laith] Alebbini’s lawyers called what he did a “thought crime.


His lawyers explain that he just didn’t understand what he was reading. Stuff like this.

The clear difference between Muslims and the corrupt and deviant Jews and Christians is that Muslims are not ashamed of abiding by the rules sent down from their Lord regarding war and enforcement of divine law. So if it were the Muslims, instead of the Crusaders, who had fought the Japanese and Vietnamese or invaded the lands of the Native Americans, there would have been no regrets in killing and enslaving those therein. And since those mujahidin would have done so bound by the Law, they would have been thorough and without some “politically correct’ need to apologize years later. The Japanese, for example, would have been forcefully converted to Islam from their pagan ways—and if they stubbornly declined, perhaps another nuke would change their mind. The Vietnamese would likewise be offered Islam or beds of napalm. As for the Native Americans—after the slaughter of their men, those who favor small-pox to surrendering to their Lord—then the Muslims would have taken their surviving women and children as slaves, raising the children as model Muslims and impregnating their women to produce a new generation of mujahidin. As for the treacherous Jews of Europe and elsewhere —those who would betray their covenant —then their post-pubescent males would face a slaughter that would make the Holocaust sound like a bedtime story, as their women would be made to serve their husbands’ and their fathers’ killers.

[Quoted here.]

For International Women’s Day…

here she is, a child immediately buried under a burqa, relieved of her clitoris, vagina, and existence, raped at eight years of age by a man she was married off to, snuffed out in an honor killing.

Since 1990, the estimated number of girls and women in the US who have undergone or are at risk of [FGM] has more than tripled.

Internationalist Ecstasy

A 2015 New Yorker review of jihadi poetry reminds us of crucial elements of ISIS ideology as the world begins to respond to thousands of applications for national repatriation from the defeated. Here’s the heart of the matter:

At the center of jihadist politics is a rejection of the nation-state. The map of much of the modern Middle East, established by Britain and France at the end of the First World War, is an enduring source of bitterness. One of ISIS’s most striking videos shows jihadis destroying the border crossing between Iraq and Syria, a line established by the infamous Sykes-Picot agreement, in 1916. Other videos feature the burning of passports and national I.D.s. The “holy warriors” find a home only in failed states such as Afghanistan—or, now, eastern Syria—so the poetry of jihad promulgates a new political geography. This geography rejects the boundaries set by foreign powers and is, instead, organized around sites of militancy and Muslim suffering. … These moments of internationalist ecstasy are common in jihadi verse. 

If suffering and ecstasy seem to you at odds, you haven’t been paying attention. It pleases Allah and emotionally transports you for you to burn up inside a three-layer cloth coffin (and your three year old daughter! Look at the footage coming out of Baghouz.), for your husbands to be martyred, and for your children to be reared as martyrs-to-be. (Meet Umm.) Radical Muslims weren’t the first to discover masochism-unto-death-as-religion but they’ve certainly taken the concept and run with it. What they call the ecstasy of internationalism the rest of us would call the curse of statelessness; but it’s important to take suicide bombers at their word.

In March, 2014, the kingdom of Bahrain declared that all subjects fighting in Syria had two weeks to return home or be stripped of their citizenship. Turki al-Bin‘ali, a prominent ISIS ideologue and a former Bahraini subject, responded with “A Denunciation of Nationality,” a short poem that thumbs its nose at the royals and ridicules the very idea of the nation-state. “Tell them we put their nationality under our heel, just like their royal decrees,” he writes. For the jihadis, new frontiers beckon: “Do you really think we would return, when we are here in Syria, land of epic battles and the outposts of war?” … Having renounced their nationalities, the militants must invent an identity of their own. 

To ISIS women in particular has gone the task of promulgating and enforcing this ideology:

ISIS has made a point of putting women on the front lines of the propaganda war. It has also created a female morality police, a shadowy group called the al-Khansa’ Brigades, who insure proper deportment in ISIS-held towns. Although media accounts of ISIS’s female recruits typically cast them as naïfs signing up for sexual slavery, it is a fact that no other Islamist militant group has been as successful in attracting women.

In the most recent issue of Dabiq, ISIS’s English-language magazine, a female writer encourages women to emigrate to “the lands of the Islamic State” even if it means travelling without a male companion, a shocking breach of traditional Islamic law. This may be a cynical ploy—a lure for runaways. But it is in keeping with the jihadists’ attack on parental authority and its emphasis on individual empowerment, including the power of female believers to renounce families they do not view as authentically Muslim.

Having been crushed, militants now toss empowerment, internationalism, and family/nation-state renunciation aside with the same ease they tossed decapitated heads into baskets. (It’s the rare jihadi woman who displays Dorothée Maquere’s sense of principle: “I don’t want to return to France because the French state used its arms to kill my children and my husband and I know if I return I’ll be put in prison.” As queen bee nihilist – her husband famously killed over a hundred Parisians – Maquere will presumably live out her life in the camp, lording it over lesser nihilists.) They present themselves at our borders as gullible patriots and daddy’s girls — girls for whom daddy now bankrupts the family as he litigates to get Baby back in the pink bedroom they’ve been keeping for her.

Were they playing at their bloody sport? Apparently so, or they’d be packing their bags for New ISIS, Libya.

It might all have been Outward Bound with mucho procreative bouncy bouncy for the caliphate for them; but for us their game is and remains an existential threat. For again the real name of the game, as Hosham Dawod argues, gazing at the ruins of a mosque ISIS destroyed, is world destruction, nihilism sans frontieres: ISIS is “a model of cultural and civilizational nihilism.” Olivier Roy elaborates:

Though Isis proclaims its mission to restore the caliphate, its nihilism makes it impossible to reach a political solution, engage in any form of negotiation, or achieve any stable society within recognised borders.

… The systematic association with death is one of the keys to understanding today’s radicalisation: the nihilist dimension is central. What seduces and fascinates is the idea of pure revolt. Violence is not a means. It is an end in itself. [‘(I)nstead of fighting imperial “crusaders,” the group spent most of its time killing other Muslims and local minority communities …’] [(Isis is) not like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, or even Al Qaeda under bin Laden, but akin to “the realization of a dystopian alternate reality in which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million.”]

… [T]hose who volunteer to die – the disturbed, the vulnerable, the rebel without a cause – have little to do with the movement,but are prepared to declare allegiance to Isis so that their suicidal acts become part of a global narrative.

… [L]iving in an Islamic society does not interest jihadis: they do not go to the Middle East to live, but to die. That is the paradox: these young radicals are not utopians, they are nihilists. [As in, you know, what the hell… When you run out of other people to kill…]

It is a huge fantasy, like all millenarian ideologies.

 … Isis’s pretension to establish a global caliphate is a delusion – that is why it draws in violent youngsters who have delusions of grandeur.


Look at these

hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only

and marvel at the nihilism they have achieved, and that many of them will go on achieving, wherever they move or are moved in their placeless world.

‘The government informed Muthana more than three years ago that she is not a citizen and canceled her erroneously issued passport… Muthana — who was at the time a member of ISIS — failed to act timely in response to that notification, [and] remained in a war zone through hostilities for a period of years. Plaintiff should not now be permitted to turn Muthana’s own delay and acquiescence — not to mention her decision to join a foreign terrorist organization in Syria — into an emergency requiring special solicitude for granting her a speedy hearing and speedy relief.’

This is from the government’s response to Hoda Muthana’s father’s lawsuit.


It’s kind of funny picturing her telling her husband Hey I need to try to renew my passport…


Judge denies her request to expedite her case. So no meatloaf with the folks this Sunday.

I know lawyers have to say all sorts of dumb shit on behalf of their clients, but..

… does it have to be this dumb?

Charles Swift, Muthana’s lawyer … [said the withdrawal of her citizenship is] “incredibly terrifying. .. If they can do this to Hoda, they can do it to anyone.

Yes! Beware! For any of us could fall in love with these men and their cause:

Research centres such as the one I lead at King’s College London (the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation) archived millions of pieces of output from foreign fighters who cheered attacks in the West. When one occurred, they agitated for more. They celebrated the beheadings of Western hostages such as the American journalist James Foley. His death followed months of agonising torture, which included beatings and waterboarding. Foreign fighters mocked and belittled the sexual slavery of Yazidi women, the detention of their children, and murder of their menfolk.

Hoda Is Us!

People are saying the damnedest things about the ISettes, those sexy thangs…

who, as the debate on rematriation and repatriation rages, go by so many different names…

One otherwise sophisticated writer makes the kind of weird atavistic argument about both male and female ISIS you’d expect from Mussolini.

[Their] indelible marks of national origin tell us that the foreign fighters are, in the end, products of our own societies, and no more capable of being disowned than any other villains we produce, either for domestic mayhem or for export. They are Japanese and American and British. We inflicted them on the world. They are our responsibility, and we have to punish them …

Two problems here: The writer seems to have missed the last eighty years of thought about nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and postmodernism, and settled back comfortably into the most reactionary notions of … well, add ‘German’ to his curiously selective list of countries of origin and see how that feels…

And second – even if we could agree with the absurd proposition that breathing this or that air uncontrollably infuses one with originary territorial belonging, nothing in this position precludes disownership. Parents disown children; nations disown citizens. All those ISIS self-inductees who as their first revolutionary gesture burnt their passports disowned their countries. It’s hardly common, but it happens and isn’t that shattering a scandal. It merely means that free people realize they retain the right to expel others or to expel themselves from familial or political collectivities.

As Christian Barry and Luara Ferracioli write:

[Those] who have engaged in [certain extreme] forms of political violence … have themselves strongly communicated their disassociation from [any particular political] community through their actions. And if they are prepared to carry out such acts of serious political violence then they have no grounds for complaints if the community chooses to banish them. They have already, in effect, self-excluded.


Come back! All will eventually be forgiven. is neither a rational nor dignified stance for a self-respecting country to take in regard to people who act assiduously to destroy not only it but the entire world. To hold that cultists who regard every manifestation of culture as a Semtex site should be acknowledged as our own is bizarre. If the legal and moral act of disownership means anything, it means we disown these people. And keep in mind that provisions for appeal exist: “U.S. law provides [Hoda] Muthana a mechanism to challenge the secretary of state’s conclusion that she is not a citizen, even from outside the United States.”

I think best practice would be our establishing, with other countries, in-place international tribunals to try these people, whose crimes after all are against humanity, not particular countries. As to where they’d serve their sentences: Some people argue that international prisons radicalize their prisoners yet more; but when we house these people in our own prisons, we make ourselves vulnerable to radicalization. “Even if convicted, they would threaten to radicalise others in prison.” “Convicted IS fighters will occupy a laudatory position within the prison estate, particularly among those convicted for domestic terrorism offences. They will also have an opportunity to use their experiences to radicalise those from the general inmate population and to educate them in any firearms or explosives proficiencies they may have acquired.”

And as to where these people would go once they served their sentence: I’m sure some version of ISIS will still be in place for them to join up with; or, if they want to assume citizenship of a country, they can make a case for their rehabilitation and therefore possibly be able to return to their erstwhile home country; or they can apply for citizenship elsewhere. (Hello, Macedonia!)




Let the cat fights begin!

France: It’s a secular republic. And they’re not kidding.

UD‘s admiration for France’s vigilance on behalf of laïcité grows. An event rigged up at a local water park to admit only women wearing burkinis was cancelled due to popular anger.

And remember the incident at the opera.

The French really mean it, kiddies.

Bride of Isistein

Start here, mes petites:

In October 2017, the [Islamic State’s] newspaper called on women to prepare for battle; by early last year, the group was openly praising its female fighters in a video that showed a woman wielding an AK-47…

The women once married to Islamic State militants who are now seeking to return to the West may claim to have simply been housewives, but from the beginnings of the group, some women were more radical than their husbands…

[T]he move to allow female combatants is born out of desperation. The group has lost essentially all its territory. Most of its male fighters have been killed, wounded or arrested…

Civilians in Iraq are certainly aware of the new face of the Islamic State. According to a survey a colleague and I conducted in Mosul in December, 85 percent of 400 respondents said that in the past, Islamic State women were as radical as men and 80 percent agreed or strongly agreed that they played an important role in the group; 82 percent said they agreed or strongly agreed that Islamic State women will be dangerous for Mosul in the future.


Now let’s hear from fans of the repatriation of these women.

It’s not just the use of phrases like ISIS bride and ISIS widow rather than ISIS member, ISIS fighter, ISIS propagandist, etc. As two-X chromosome fanatics begin knocking on the doors of Western democracies to be let back in now that their massacre-Americans broadcasts have been suspended, we’re being treated to full bore sexism on their behalf. ‘Researchers [say] the “tendency to ascribe rational motivations to men and emotional motivations to women” [persist], even though there [is] no evidence that the drivers of radicalisation differ by gender.’ 

When she was a 15-year-old the police were aware that she was being brainwashed and groomed by Isis, in the same way that people are sexually groomed. [Not her fault. Impossible that a young woman could examine a murderous ideology and decide she liked it. Our fault! Put the police in refugee camps!] When she went to Syria she married a man twice her age [Um. That would be thirtyish. Problem?… Age of consent? That’d be 16 for England and … for ISIS? 16 months?] within a few days of arriving there. [I certainly hope England has mandatory cultural competence classes. Who are you to say that the function of women is not immediately to begin making fighters for a cause?] It’s sexual exploitation as well as [ideological grooming]. [Yes, babe, lay it on. And wait – there’s more.]

The police, [school and] Tower Hamlets were aware she was being groomed and they did not tell her parents. That’s a shocking level of incompetence. [We’re all at fault. Shockingly. Only her parents and her mosque are not at fault by this reckoning.] The police gave her a letter to say they wanted to interview her; it was found in the schoolbag after she was gone. [Wonder why she ignored it? Oh right – her groomers made it impossible for her to understand its contents. And look how pathetic the police were! Instead of hauling her in and deprograming her, they wrote her a civil letter. Shocking incompetence.]

She has said things that have been surprising. I was a police officer for 30 years and every time I had to move a dead body, it shocked and fazed me. The idea that a 19-year-old is not fazed seems bizarre to me. We need to look at what she has been through. [So very traumatized! And such a convenient way of looking at things: The kind of people who can witness suffering and death coldly are not cold people; they are fragile, wounded, damaged people. If this woman said to you ‘You’re a wimp because suffering and death faze you; I’m a revolutionary, and they don’t faze me,’ you’d shake your head and weep yet more for the poor dear. But it would be better if you took a look at the BBC interview in which she said videos of beheadings that she watched well before she went to Syria inspired her to go.]”. [Details of this woman’s morbid nihilsm here.]


[Former UK national counterterrorism coordinator for protect and prepare] said there “must be consequences” for joining Isis.

“People are trying to say she was a groomed child but … she planned it herself, nobody dragged her onto that plane, no one kidnapped her and put her there,” he added.

“She went with the clear intention to join Isis and if it hadn’t ended up the way it had, she probably would have stayed there.”

… “Now she doesn’t like where she has ended up and she wants to come back – we can’t have that.”

… “[Terri Nicholson, a former Metropolitan Police counterterrorism officer, said that if ISIS members like Shamima Begum do] return it’s a distraction at a time when security and intelligence agencies are at full tilt”…

“Police have prevented 18 terror attacks since March 2017. If we’re able to prevent more people from escalating those figures then that’s what we should be doing.”


And therefore what to do with jihadis like this one?

UD likes Belgium’s idea of “an ad hoc international jurisdiction.”


UPDATE: Macer Gifford, a British man who went to Syria to fight against ISIS:

She was fifteen [when she joined ISIS]. When I was fifteen I knew rape, murder, and kidnapping were wrong. There’s no indication that she has any remorse or that she’s any less dangerous.

Bravo, England.

ISIS girl doesn’t find chopping off everyone’s head or burning everyone alive shocking, but she does find shocking England revoking her citizenship. Maybe she’ll have better luck in Holland, hubby’s home.

“[L]ecturers and professors are neither capable of nor tasked with evaluating the facial expressions and gestures of the students.”

Burqa backers sure do twist themselves up into pretzels defending the garment. As another German university bans full facial veiling in classrooms, a Green Party politician assures us that teaching has nothing to do with seeing the people you’re teaching.

Israel: Borne back ceaselessly into the past …

by primitive cults overwhelming the state and making life impossible for normal people. This blog has for years tracked the Iranization (everyone compares emergent ultraorthodox Israel to Iran, so I’ll do it too) of Israel, as it shows itself unwilling to intervene in its future majority’s caveman dreams.

I mean, they’re all over the world… caveman dreams… but they’re usually somewhat constrained by official agents of civilization. Not in Israel.

“…also did postgraduate studies at George Washington University.”

Nail-biting events in Venezuela currently being led by a guy who spent time in UD‘s Foggy Bottom. Very exciting. Very scary.

Crowd scenes.

This blog’s Venezuela posts.

New York’s government has much to answer for here.

It has allowed – continues to allow – an insular, ignorant sect, whose members are taught to fear and ignore anyone and anything outside the sect, to thrive within its borders. It has done this because these people represent a monolithic voting bloc.

Now political cynicism has led directly to New York’s largest measles outbreak.

Fascinating Football Fascism

From a link to an article a reader, John, sent me about how fatal violence outside and racist violence inside Italian soccer stadiums mirrors “darker developments in a broader segment of the Italian and indeed the European body politic,” UD was easily able to jump to other similarly appalled analyses of the increasingly unworkable business of putting on a football match in many of the world’s countries (scroll down). Africa, North Africa, South America, the Middle East — ain’t only Europe where the world’s most corruptly run game is also the most violent.  Football, “a sport with a deeply tribal nature and a large captive audience full of disenfranchised working-class males, and thus in many ways the perfect arena for the unscrupulous populist and his macho, nativist fantasies,” has an important “function in the rise of global far-right populism.”

Global football thugs are in some intriguing ways the haredim of Europe:

Their potential for violence is … so strong that pacifying them has been a matter of public order. 

Punishment is as half-hearted as Israel’s efforts to deal with its mobs of violent tribal male ultras – the ultra orthodox – and for the same reason. Violent-Corrupt-People-Is-Us. Absurd moves like making players compete in empty stadiums (there are more and more of these Beckettian theatrics across the globe), allowing only one team’s fans to attend (The Sound of One Side Clapping), or identifying ringleaders and denying them admission to games (guaranteeing violence on the streets — exactly where a nation’s women and children are cowering in an effort to get out of range of fascist gangs) accomplish nothing. Leaders like Victor Urban want it that way. Even as tribes become smaller and smaller (“[S]tadium attendances [in Italy] plummet every year as people decide it’s better to watch games on TV rather than amid the violence and hatred of the terraces. In Serie A, stadiums are less than 60% full…”) their political and social violence, often stoked by governments, intensifies.

Next Page »

Latest UD posts at IHE