As militants of the Islamic State group continue their brutal offensive in Syria and Iraq, some have taken to a whole different front line to attack the radicals: social media.
In recent weeks, dozens of humorous campaigns ridiculing the extremist militants have emerged on Twitter and Facebook. While some blast such humor as insensitive and inappropriate, others defend satire as a way to push back at the Islamic State’s intimidation tactics.
“Sometimes, you have to mock, to belittle. Because sometimes, belittlement is your enemy’s greatest fear,” Libyan-American writer Hend Amry wrote on Twitter.
Amry was responding to critics of a #ISISMovies, a hashtag that briefly took off in mid-August riffing off popular film titles to mock the Islamic State militants.
Girls just want to have fundamentalism #ISISmovies
— Amro Ali (@_amroali) August 16, 2014
— Hassan Hassan (@hxhassan) August 16, 2014
Just finished shooting for the new edition of jihadi vogue what do u think? pic.twitter.com/gn9LJ0F3zy
— Abu Wahēeb (@abuwaheeb_ISIS) July 14, 2014
And when the group’s mysterious leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made a rare public appearance in Mosul in July, social media users rushed to mock the expensive-looking watch that had slipped out from under the self-styled Caliph’s robe.
— Luay لؤي الخطيب (@AL_Khatteeb) July 13, 2014
In Lebanon, where IS also staged incursions in recent months, one news site published an Onion-style article joking the militants postponed its invasion because of Lebanon’s complex political system. “We do not yet understand the Logic of Lebanon,” a fake ISIS spokesman is quoted saying in the NOW News parody. “I mean… Who the f*** do we overthrow around here?”
Meanwhile, Palestinian satire TV show Watan ala Watar produced a segment in June mocking the Islamic State fighters as ridiculous hypocrites. The clip also takes aim at the group’s regional politics, suggesting they are harming the whole region except for Israel.