OMAR HUSSEIN’S INSIGHT ON ISIS
–Omar Hussein is one of at least 700 Britons thought to join the Islamic State. He’s become an active voice in social media propaganda for the group, has called for terror attacks, has threatened UK in interviews with the BBC, and defended beheadings and other Islamic State atrocities.
But he recently posted a rant critical of Arabs and his Syrian hosts under his pseudonym, Abu Saeed al Britani.
Omar Hussein gives a laundry list of complaints, broad stereotypes and misinformation. Syrians are “childish” and are known for “stealing shoes”, nicking food and using other people’s phone chargers, he says, and also accuses them of being messy and lazy. ‘During my time in Syria, I have only met a handful of Syrians who are strict on keeping the kitchen clean, may Allāh make more such brothers. he wrote. ‘
Omar Hussain insists that he doesn’t mean to “ridicule” Syrian culture, but concludes by advising would-be jihadis to join “European battalions” and calling the habits of Syrians and Arabs “bothersome.”
Charlie Winter, senior researcher at the anti-extremism Quilliam Foundation think tank, says the post exposes the divide between the foreign fighters who have travelled to Syria and the local population.
“Foreign fighters do enjoy a different level of lifestyle. They are given better lodging, more money, better food, and this is something you consistently hear from defectors,” Winter says. “It’s very different from the Islamic State’s official line, which is that everyone receives the same health care and benefits and everyone is equal.”
“Clearly he looks down on Syrian locals as inferior supporters of Islamic state,” he says. “In my opinion, he’s shooting himself in the foot and shooting foreign fighters in the foot.”
Winter says that foreign IS fighters are sometimes seen complaining on Twitter about “madani” – civilian locals – and people who have escaped from IS-held territory in Syria and Iraq have routinely described the inequality between foreigners and the newcomers. But rarely have foreign fighters been so vocal, at such length, about their disdain for the locals.
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