A British jihadist who fled the United Kingdom has penned a jaunty travel guide to the so-called Islamic State, in a bid to “provide an alternative narrative to life under the Caliphate,” he writes, the latest bit of propaganda from the terror groups that mixes horror with holiday tips.
The English-language e-book—titled “A Brief Guide to the Islamic State” (2015) and dated May 16—gushes over the food, weather, and people of the Caliphate in phrasings that could have come straight out of a local chamber of commerce visitor’s guide from the 1950s. “If you thought you would be living on stale bread and septic water then erase that culinary fib from your mind,” writes Abu Rumaysah al-Britani, the author.
He goes on to list the “succulent” shawarma, the “juicy” shish kebab and “satisfying” falafel sandwich. And don’t forget to wash it all down with “fruity cocktails.”
“Use your imagination to create your own unique blends,” he writes. “You can even spoil yourself by adding milk, sugar and crushed ice.”
Coffee lovers need not worry, he writes. The Caliphate—what ISIS calls the territory under its control—serves “some of the best lattes and cappuccinos around.”
No word on whether this feast would be prepared by enslaved Yazidi girls captured after witnessing the butchering of their fathers, brothers, and sons.
Al-Britani was arrested in Britain in September 2014 as part of a roundup of men—including noted ISIS supporter Anjem Choudry—accused of supporting terrorism. He skipped bail after less than a day and made his way to Syria where he taunted British security services and tweeted pictures of himself holding an AK-47 and holding his newborn son. It appears he’s now turned his talents to travel writing.
When he was in Britain, al-Britani often appeared on news shows and told Channel 4 News, “I would love to live under the Islamic State, I'd love to live under the Shariah, and I hope that one day Britain gets to live under the Shariah as well.”
In the meantime, however, his bizarre travelogue says the Caliphate is “dead serious” about building a state, including roads and other transport system. He recommends public transportation in the conquered territories or perhaps a Chinese motorbike: “Very widespread, more so than cars, and are a great option if you are on a budget.” Take note, backpackers.
He goes on to say the Islamic State will invest in trains, ships and airplanes. “But everything is on the table: zeppelins, hovercrafts, trams, microlites, cable cars or perhaps a new creation invented by some witty entrepreneur.”
He also praises the technology of ISIS, and takes pains to note that the Caliphate is not anti-technology, despite attempting to emulate a warped vision of 7th century morality.
Perhaps the most revealing passages, however, are those dealing with the people under ISIS’s control. Although al-Britani praises the “diversity” of the Caliphate, he also dismisses the idea of peaceful co-existence.
I cannot see a Baltimore riot springing up here anytime soon and that is a dead cert, not because those in charge will deal with matters with an iron first, but because there is no blur between right and wrong. What I mean by this is that citizens are not hypocritically led to believe that all cultures can coexist, and then have this belief torn apart by the bigoted reality on the ground. Everyone is judged with the right law (which is Islam), and told what is the truth (which is Islam), and the dangers and impracticalities of multiculturalism are well and truly nipped in the bud.
The curriculum in the Caliphate sounds suitably retrograde, but described in typically gushing tones. “There are no classes promoting homosexuality, evolution, music, drama, interfaith and the rest the rubbish taught in non-Muslim schools,” writes al-Britani. “Your child’s delicate mind is well and truly protected in the Caliphate.”
He must be loving life where cigarette smoking is forbidden, and punished with beatings and sometimes executions. Where women are told their only role is in the kitchen and the bedroom, where religious minorities are killed or enslaved, and where prisoners of war are burned alive and foreigners beheaded.
ISIS has been on a roll, despite a weekend raid by the U.S. Army’s Delta Force that killed Abu Sayyaf, a mid-level financial operative in eastern Syria, and the loss of Tikrit some weeks ago. The terror group seized Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s sprawling Anbar Province, on Sunday, leaving U.S. war plans in tatters.
Indeed, al-Britani seems to reference this, blasting away his peppy travel advice and giving away the group’s true bloodthirsty nature with his final words. ISIS would conquer Baghdad and Damascus, he writes, but these cities “are just appetisers.”
“When we descend on the streets of London, Paris and Washington the taste will be far bitterer, because not only will we spill your blood, but we will also demolish your statues, erase your history and, most painfully, convert your children who will then go on to champion our name and curse their forefathers.”