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AQ branding, ISIS cool for school

[ by Charles Cameron — AQ & Friends have adopted another of our technologies against us — this time it’s branding — what’s next — gamification? ]

Aymenn J Al-Tamimi tweeted to alert us to the ISIS school bag today, with the comment:

Yes, folks, it’s real: Islamic State of Iraq & ash-Sham school bag for kids going to ISIS schools in #Syria.

This in turn reminded me of the Al-Qaida version of an Adidas logo. — I don’t recall who pointed us to the logo image, but Joshua Hammer talks the same design in A New Turn in Tunisia?— published in the NYRB this July:

Yassin wore a black T-shirt emblazoned with jihadist imagery: on the front, a map of Syria with a Kalashnikov- carrying fighter from the Jabhat al-Nusra, the radical Islamic rebel group in Syria that has recruited many fighters from Tunisia; on the back, a portrait of Osama bin Laden accompanied by the legend “Jihad Is Not a Crime.” A picture of the World Trade Center, with a jet about to strike, adorned his shoulder. It suggested the Adidas logo, but instead of “Adidas,” it read “alqaïda.” “The police threw me in jail for wearing my T-shirt, and held me for four days,” he told me, grinning. “But they had to let me go, because there is no law against defending my views.” What were those views? “Al-Qaeda represents Islam, and al-Qaeda defends Islam,” he replied. Despite the incendiary messages on his T-shirt, Yassin insisted that he had entered a pacifist phase. “I’m doing dawaa, making people aware of their religious obligations,” he told me. “I’m not killing people.”

Do they buy these things at Target (TGT)?

One Response to “AQ branding, ISIS cool for school”

  1. Charles Cameron Says:

    Thanks to my co-blogger friend Lynn C Rees, who pointed me to Steve Coll’s Pritzker Military Library podcast dated October 23, 2008, in which Coll says at 47.43:

    What is al-Qaeda but a brand? And the bin Ladens, in many ways, were brand-marketers in Saudi Arabia. Osama worked as a junior executive in the company before he turned himself over to the experience of jihad, and he worked as a brand manager…

    That’s pretty clear, eh? Coll’s larger point is that Bin Laden was a businessman, it runs in the family…

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