In a week filled with bizarre stories, this has to take the cake.
A group called the Middle East Media Research Institute released a report Friday which revealed that although thousands of Westerners have left their homelands to fight with the Islamic State, life under a radical caliphate isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. After analyzing social media posts from Westerners who have joined ISIS, the Institute found that many of them are grumbling about the lack of comfort this sick terrorist group is providing them.
“ISIS champions its state as the only place in which Muslims can fully adhere to their faith and enjoy sharia-compliant Islamic life,” MEMRI reports. “…However, sometimes ISIS members have been overly candid in their postings; when this happens, others often quickly step in and ask that the dissenting post be removed. Such grumblings provide glimpses into Western ISIS members’ discontent with life in the Islamic State.”
Among the things Western ISIS members are missing? Good beauty salons, lightning-fast internet, and reliable cell phone service.
“There are salons but, trust me, you’re better off getting a sister here to do your hair/make-up etc., for two reasons,” said one female Westerner when a newbie asked where she could get some pampering. “The style here isn’t really that nice and their makeup most of the time goes toward the clowny look.”
Others on social media were found complaining about the selection of local shampoos (“no good at all…”), the java (“The coffee here is beyond wretched”), and the food (“they used to force me to eat something called ‘bacha’…urgh so disgusting”)
Not all of the complaints were so silly. A Swedish female terrorist came to the Islamic State with some apparent misconceptions about how they treat women. In August, she wrote, “Seriously, I am getting so tired of many men muhajirin now. I feel harassed so often now. Women can’t do this or that. What is the point?”
That there is a certain humor in the situation is undeniable. These people volunteered to join a group responsible for some of the most brutal slayings we’ve ever witnessed. And upon arriving, they aren’t disillusioned by the cause or by the sudden realization that they are surrounded by murderers, they are put off by the lack of quality coffee. They want their DSL connections. They want to be treated like the proud, independent feminists they are.
In another way, though, this is a stark reminder that ISIS is not comprised of cave-dwellers and barely-literate psychopaths. It’s a reminder that we are not going to defeat this enemy by providing jobs to the region. These Westerners are complaining because they are missing the only things that meant anything to them: empty pleasures like Starbucks and iPhones. Now think about how many people you know whose lives are just as empty, and it may explain why ISIS’s message is so seductive.