Out of a perverse sense of curiosity, out of loyalty to the absurd, in reverence of bad taste, but mostly just as a result of old fashioned boredom, I have spent much of my weekend trying to apply for membership to Islamic State. I felt a need to put the endless news reports to the test, the media has repeatedly informed us that joining these maniacs should be a relatively straight forward task, and that it could be done online. It was Friday night, I had the time and a sick enough sense of humor to give this thing a shot, so I did.
Less than 5 minutes into my search for employment, I learned that Islamic State had recently produced an expensive and slick English language video designed at recruiting young British Muslims. The video entitled ‘Let’s go Jihad’, which at face value appears a somewhat whimsical title for what should ultimately represent quite a serious life decision. Although disappointed by the name of the video I decided that it would be only reasonable to watch it, after all I had come this far, and damn it I needed to learn more about my potential employer. How else could I be expected to feel comfortable making any long term commitments, because I had questions by jingo. Was there dental cover included in the health plan? What were the hours? Holidays? Pensions? Were they prepared to help with my relocation expenses? The practicalities of Jihad seemed endless, so putting my logistical concerns to one side I settled down and watched watched the following video:
The video opens with what sounds like a deaf man blowing on a piece of tissue paper over a comb. Although these guys clearly demonstrated no appreciation for music, I decided that this was a luxury I could live without, afterall I gave up listening to music sometime back in the 1990’s, (a traumatic incident involving a dwarf, a rabbit and a head full of acid.) Not the most catchy of openings but I was willing to go further. Next I was requested to supplicate myself, while I admit that I haven’t been doing a lot of supplicating recently I didn’t consider it beyond my range. I felt that I was still in with a shot.
The third line, of what could never be described as a catchy tune, aroused my suspicions when it called for the ‘Nasheed to bomb the Kuffar for real’. Some rapid googling and I realized this wasn’t good. They appeared to be calling for any and every non-muslim to be bombed. While my knowledge of the Quran is limited, I find it hard to believe these could have been the words of Muhammad. For one I’m not sure bombing had been adopted as a military tactic back then. It was starting to look like ISIS were not an equal opportunity employer after all, and that this whole muslim, non-muslim thing might cause a problem. If this was the case I had no intention on letting these bastards off the hook that easily, I was still going to apply and then they could turn me down to my face. Anyway I still had to see if it was as easy as the media had said it was.
Now in my life I’ve been both lucky and unlucky enough to have been able to meet some of societies most psychologically unique people, but it was only now that I started to appreciate that ISIS recruits a rare breed of maniac. People responding positively to ‘Let’s go Jihad’ are beyond my comprehension, most videos that promote things use enticement. I expected beaches, a bevy of beauties in burqas, minarets and mosques. Instead the video uses sheer, raw violence to make its appeal. Machine gunning men bound in ditches would appear to even the least sane person to be profoundly inappropriate. With that said is it any more immoral than dropping a laser guided bomb on a family who’ve just sat down for dinner? It’s hard to find any morality or sense in the senselessness of war.The content of the video surpasses disturbing and it’s hard to imagine the mind that such a video could appeal to, but what is just as disturbing is the level of professionalism in its production, and the destructive power they appear to have at their disposal.
I had initially understood ISIS to be a crackpot bunch of terrorist lunatics, with extremist religious views. A group that would die out once their own people had realised that they do not want to live under such a harsh regime. The truth is that ISIS have existed since 2000, they are well supported, well funded and well trained for such an outfit. They are extremely well armed having routed large sections of the Iraqi Army, they have seized great quantities of U.S made weaponry including heavy artillery, as well as Russian made tanks. They far exceed my understanding of a terrorist group. But perhaps their greatest weapon and threat is their appeal to young Muslims around the world. Muslims that have grown up watching western coalitions invade muslim countries, who have watched Israel use excessive force against the Palestinians. Children who have grown up with this as the status quo are perhaps easier to convince that somewhere there is a Jihad out there for them to fight.
Still I needed to put the media’s claims to the test and make contact with someone in charge of recruitment at ISIS, therefore I googled “ISIS Recruitment Form”, and surprisingly I was successful.
Rather cleverly their website poses as being for educational purposes and even supported by the British Council. As a further smoke screen to foil intelligence services you will notice a woman not wearing a burqa. I appreciated their savvy. Regretfully the link to their application form was broken, but they were forward thinking enough to provide the following contact details.
We are always happy to discuss things with potential or returning employees. If you have any questions, please feel free to email our Recruitment team or give us a call.
ISIS Education and Travel
259 Greenwich High Road
London SE10 8NB
So the media were right after all, contacting the recruitment wing of ISIS was a doddle.
As I get older it appears to me that civilization (if that is even the right word to describe it any more) is caught up in a perpetual cycle of violence. Groups of people are forever provoking and responding to provocation, and unless a group of fanatics who uphold the values of common sense take the radical action of not reacting, then I’m afraid this suffering and senseless destruction will be the demise of us all.