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Youssef Rakha on ISIS, Hollywood, Islam

Monday, May 25th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — stumbling across a new writer, and taking both note and notes ]
.

I recently came across the Egyptian writer Youssef Rakha. He asked me to “add him to my network” on LinkedIn, I checked his profile out and discovered he was a highly respected novelist, we exchanged a few words, his novel The Book of the Sultan’s Seal arrived from Amazon today, and sometime in the last 48 hours I ran across his LA Review of Books article, ISIS, Hollywood, Islam — which contained the phrase:

striking how similar al-Hayat Media Center’s logo is to Al Jazeera’s

Al-Hayat is the outfit that publishes the Islamic State megazine, Dabiq.

**

So I did a due-diligence DoubleQuote:

SPEC DQ logos al jazeera al hayat

And as far as one who does not read Arabic can see, I see.

Two questions arising: correlation or causation? imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

**

Also of particular interest in Youssef Rakha’s LARB piece, this fierce horror-film-critique of the IS film, A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross — the one with the beheading of Coptic Christians by the sea:

I noted that the video is so cinematic it comes across as make-believe. I noted that the Copts were historically against the Crusades. I noted that the ISIS fighters in the film are too herculean to be Middle Eastern, that their victims are the blue-collar breadwinners of indigent families in underdeveloped provinces of my country, guilty of nothing more than the religion of their birth. I noted that they ended up dying where they had gone to — economically — survive.

But I have given you a sip and a taste — read the whole thingthe man can think! the man can write!

Jabhat al-Nusra and IS: same hadith, same message

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — just a curiosity ]
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SPEC DQ same hadith JN IS

The hadith quoted in the upper panel is from p. 11 of the new issue of Dabiq, the magazine of the Islamic State.

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi captions the hadith in the lower panel:

“When a son of Adam dies, his deeds are cut off except for three things: ongoing charity, knowledge from which one can obtain benefit, or the supplication of a righteous son for him.” [hadith on the authority of Abu Huraira]

His post attributes it, along with many other examples, to Jabhat al-Nusra.

**

Sources:

  • Islamic State, Dabiq issue 9, p 11
  • Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, Archive of Jabhat al-Nusra Billboards and Murals
  • Groundhog Day in Nietzsche and Hadith

    Friday, May 22nd, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — food for thought, not an endorsement of film, philosopher or hadith ]
    .

    This pair of quotes came together in my recent reading:

    SPEC DQ format

    DoubleQuote!!

    **

    Sources:

  • Ferdinando Buscema, Use playing cards to remind yourself that you are going to die
  • Sahih Bukhari, Jihad in the Hadith
  • Ramadi

    Saturday, May 16th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — is there an OODA loop specific to the respective tempi of adaptation? ]
    .

    Here, I suspect — as an admitted novice — is the crux of the news from Ramadi:

    SPEC DQ Ramadi

    **

    Sources:

  • Pat Lang, Sic Semper Tyrannis
  • Martin Dempsey, Small Wars Journal
  • The two paths of the Islamic State

    Friday, May 15th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — guide books for the perplexed ]
    .

    In his latest audiotape, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi offers two paths to those willing to follow him:

    So there is no excuse for any Muslim who is capable of performing hijrah to the Islamic State, or capable of carrying a weapon where he is, for Allah (the Blessed and Exalted) has commanded him with hijrah and jih?d, and has made fighting obligatory upon him.

    And we call upon every Muslim in every place to perform hijrah to the Islamic State or fight in his land wherever that may be.

    Conveniently, there are two guidboos available in the Black Flags series, each of which deals with one of those paths:

    SPEC DQ 2 books IS

    **

    My own recommendations would be somewhat different:

  • do no harm
  • on the whole avoid anyplace mentioned in Robert Young Pelton‘s The World’s Most Dangerous Places, and
  • find joy in the fleeting moment
  • **

    SPEC DQ double pelton


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