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Friday, July 20, 2018

Calling uncle

Islamic State unleashes a wave of electronic clerics to handle the cadre’s personal problems

By: Editorial | Published: December 10, 2016 12:17:05 am

How charming it is to see Islamic State betray a sign of humanity. It appears that they, too, need their agony aunts. Of course, being patriarchal in the manner of their fathers, they must have agony uncles instead. And the movement’s radio service Al-Bayan is happy to serve them up. In the interest of public safety, uncles must be clerics. Obviously, because the questions they face are highly technical, not the sort of thing that agony aunts usually field, which pertain to various human relations issues outside holy matrimony. The soldiers of Islamic State are focused on domestic affairs. They want to know, for instance, whether their women should be exposed to the extremely violent propaganda videos generated by the movement.

The answer should be obvious: No one at all, including women, should be exposed to those infamous videos. Their makers should spend the rest of their lives in contemplation of the purgatory which, if God exists, certainly awaits them. But the agony uncles can rest easy. Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have just shared their hashes of terrorist posts, and very soon the internet is going to be scrubbed clean of those decapitation videos.

Wait, that’s precisely it: Islamic State is not in search of agony uncles; it actually wants net nannies. They need a piece of software, and they’ve got some clerics instead. And speaking of decapitation, hasn’t that been the organisation’s universal specific? How strange of them not to consider it in this moral crisis, when they fear the effects of videos on their women. Headless humans definitely do not watch videos. They just can’t. But then, more decapitations would produce more Islamic State videos, deepening the crisis and the need for nannies. Why slide into this spiral of violence, when the internet is cleaning house already?

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