The Faces Of ISIS Facebook: Australian Boy and English Rapper Pose With Severed Heads on Islamic State Social Media

article-2723659-20794D3A00000578-930_634x487article-2723659-2080250B00000578-342_634x478We recently discussed the homicidal hunk from ISIS who is all the rage with Muslim women looking for a husband to watch martyred. The extremist Sunni movement has been reaching out to Westerners to join their self-declared caliphate and thousands have reportedly responded. Now even more disturbing pictures have been posted with a father from Australia having his seven-year-old son holding up a severed head in celebration and a former British rapper (right) doing the same. Beheadings are viewed by ISIS as a traditional Islamic form of execution and a type of macabre celebration of their view of Islam. Severed heads feature prominently on ISIS (or Islamic State) social media postings.

article-2722969-20795E8C00000578-60_634x509o-KHALED-SHARROUF-570The image of the young boy is particularly shocking for most people even after being deadened by weeks of atrocities and murders by ISIS forces. Sharrouf (left and right) claims that this is his son who has joined him in the wonderful caliphate created by the Islamic State. Sharrouf is wanted on terrorism charges in Australia and escaped to the Middle East on his brother’s passport. He posted the picture with the caption: “That’s my boy.”

article-2723659-20795EA500000578-500_306x657He of course also posed with the severed head — a signature moment for any Islamic State fanatic and apparently a father-son bonding moment. He followed the grisly pics with a prayer that Allah “grant us martyrdom.”

As a father of four who yesterday prevented my nine-year-old daughter from watching Batman as too violent, I cannot imagine the twisted religious view that prompts a father to teach a child to mock and devalue a human life in this fashion. But then again beheading are not viewed in our house as the ultimate expression of religious values.

A friend of Sharrouf defended the picture and told the Telegraph that “This is what every sensible Muslim wants, to bring their children up in a caliphate . . . I don’t see what the big concern is getting children to hold up severed heads.” In the meantime, pro-Islamic State flyers and supporters have appeared in England. These are people who see these images and rejoiced in them as the culmination of their true faith.

article-2723659-208033C900000578-647_306x423article-2723659-2080534B00000578-159_634x502Much like the once secularized law student turned homicidal religious fanatic, British rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 23, shows how quickly an individual can become radicalized in these Islamic extremist circles. Before he was modeling with severed heads of non-believers and traitors, he was trying to establish himself in the record industry. Then roughly a year all, he walked out of his family’s wealthy home in Maida Vale, west London, to join ISIS and “leav[e] everything for the sake of Allah.” His new persona posted pictures laughing with severed heads and the caption “Chillin’ with my homie or what’s left of him.” He went from a rapper on the “grime” music scene to extremist after encountering Anjem Choudary — a hateful and extremist Muslim speaker. Now Bary displays heads with captions like “It’s beautiful when you see Allah’s laws implemented.”

These pictures truly capture the insurmountable gulf between these Islamic fanatics and the rest of humanity, including most Muslims. They revel in the blood and killings of non-believers and seem liberated from basic human values by their religion. Their clerics seem to tap into not just pre-existing rage but a desire for murder and torture. The sense of euphoria in these images speaks to an almost narcotic effect of unrestrained violent rage. What is interesting is that this is not some weekend frolic of homicidal joy but a constant state of serving Allah by severing heads.

The world has truly gone mad.

81 thoughts on “The Faces Of ISIS Facebook: Australian Boy and English Rapper Pose With Severed Heads on Islamic State Social Media”

  1. Squeaky and Karen S.: two of the most prejudiced individuals I have come across in recent times. Disgusting.

  2. I have a question I’ve asked on the “Texas Rick Perry” thread that no one seems to want to attempt to answer. Perhaps someone here can explain why withholding IRS tax credits for the “non-state” ACA exchange enrollees or the individual mandate are not coercion but Perry’s actions are?

  3. John Oliver,

    Analysis of energy policy isn’t neglected. It’s a central theme. I’m not a policy pro, but like many JDs, my BA is poli sci. The political economy of energy is emphasized in the field.

    I want us off of fossil fuels and more so, free from foreign fossil fuels, but energy – especially petroleum – is not a luxury or vice, like smoking. It’s a staple for modern civilization as much as water and food is for your body. When it comes to energy consumption, there is very little leeway. It’s every aspect of modern life.

  4. Eric,
    Then we can agree many of our choices yesterday are what drive our choices today. When my father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer he chose not to quit smoking. His attitude was he wasn’t going to make his diagnosis worse and quitting wasn’t going to make him less terminal.

    I bring that up because while we need to fight the cancer, we are not diagnosed terminal. We need to analyze our foreign AND domestic policies and make strategic choices for our long-term health.

  5. Karen S,

    We have troops in Japan, too.

    8 years is barely enough for the 1st stage of post-war peace operations in relatively placid conditions, let alone the challenges of Iraq. At the 8 year mark in Korea, we were fighting the Red Chinese. Our official occupation of Japan only ended at the 7 year mark; 10 year mark for Germany. Of course, our military presence retained.

    In 2011, the military leadership was recommending a 16-20 thousand presence, which speaks of the success of the COIN “Surge”. Only a short time ago, the COIN “Surge” relied on about 160 thousand troops (a far cry from the 500 thousand troops some claimed were necessary). In comparison, the US today maintains a 30 thousand presence in Korea.

    Obama instead insisted on a 3-5 thousand! presence which he has admitted could hardly meet force protection requirements, let alone be effective for the Iraq mission.

    The Iraqis knew that, too, which made no sense for them to pay the political cost for the benefit of an ineffective US presence. That’s no different than the cost/benefit calculation for our host partners everywhere.

    No one prefers a foreign military stationed in their homeland, even when there’s a looming cross-border threat and the foreign military tries to suit its host. Our ‘friendships’ are practical; they host US forces because the benefit outweighs the cost. It seems Obama made a passive-aggressive offer to Iraq with a poor cost/benefit imbalance that was designed to be rejected, so he could claim both that he “ended the war” and withdrew our troops and he tried to keep our troops in Iraq.

  6. John Oliver,

    In that respect, I think the more apt analogy for energy dependence than cigarettes is discovering that tap water or perhaps carbohydrate foods is making you sick.

  7. Oh, and as for my pro-2nd-Amendment stance, we shot a rattler that must have been about 4 feet long at my house not too long ago. I almost stepped on it, but was so thankful it was not my little boy. After it was dead, my husband removed its head with a shovel. Apparently, shovels are not very good instruments for cutting into snakes of that size. It took quite a bit of effort to hack the head off with such a dull edge. Without a firearm, I guess we’d be torturing the snake with a blunt shovel, hoping we didn’t get struck because we’d have to get pretty close with the shovel.

    Guns are just tools. It’s the people who use tools that determine whether they use them for good or ill.

  8. Obama inherited a war in Iraq which we had won. He touted the success as he took office.

    But he threw it all away by withdrawing all troops. We have troops in countries around the world. We still maintain troops in Germany and South Korea. That’s normal. What is odd is spending years, and the blood of our soldiers, winning a war in the desert and then leaving no troops at all to maintain stability. And then he released a terrorist who went on to form ISIS. When Iraq asked for help months ago, Obama blew them off with the whole JV flippant comment.

    He’s frustrating. Over and over again he blows it from a military perspective. I won’t even get into Syria.

  9. rafflaw:

    I remarked that I agreed with Squeeky. If my family members had been rounded up by the government and gruesomely murdered, including children, then I would not be in a hurry to accept disarmament.

    Disarming the populace didn’t go very well in Russia or China. And in England, criminals now target families who are home to beat up and rob, because there is the best chance their house alarm would be turned off.

    It’s not really political, it’s simple logic: if you are a homicidal rapist standing in front of 2 houses where you saw ladies enter, and one said “protected by Smith & Wesson” and the other had a bunch of peace signs and “I vote against the 2nd Amendment” signs, which house do you think he would choose?

    Statistics show that most gun violence comes from gangs, and those with a criminal connection with the victim. Most of our mass shootings have occurred at the hands of the mentally ill, who showed a long trail of red flags before the shooting.

    Passing gun laws only affect the law abiding citizens, who, by definition, actually follow the law. Disarming the entire population just turns them into helpless victims.

    The problem is with gangs and the mentally ill. Because owning a firearm does not suddenly turn you into a crazed maniac.

  10. Eric, you are being a smidge disingenuous to imply this cancer is the result of the “last” pack of cigarettes. The United States took up smoking many decades ago and our self-inflicted energy dependence (and greed) merely made us go filterless.

  11. John Oliver: “Some cancers are preventable”

    Yeah, that’s the point of Secretary Clinton’s criticism – if we had strongly engaged and empowered the moderate elements of the Syrian rebellion from the outset, then ISIS wouldn’t have been able to exploit the gap.

  12. “Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health”

    The point: Some cancers are preventable; but as were told in the Navy “Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

  13. Add: Of course we also spent a lot on the Gulf War and Gulf War ceasefire enforcement between 1991 and 2003. I don’t know that $ total off the top of my head.

  14. Ken: “To secure US taxpayers $3 trillion investment in Iraq”

    I don’t know how much we’ll spend on Iraq moving forward, but fyi, we spent about 823 billion dollars on Iraq between 2003 and 2011, not 3 trillion dollars.

    The 823+ billion dollar investment, and incalculably more valuable investment of American blood and honor, is plenty big enough to secure, though.

  15. Darren Smith: “It should be disturbing when even Al-Queda will not support these guys due to their violence.”

    My go-to analogy for the War on Terror is treating an aggressive cancer with surgery, chemo, and radiation therapy. Quitting the treatment halfway guarantees a weakened body left to the mercy of an evolved, resistant disease.

    Either fight the cancer all the way, whatever it takes, or resign to face a worse cancer. Even when you’ve defeated the cancer, you won’t have eradicated it, so you must be vigilant and ready to fight, forever, at least until you’re ready to die.

  16. wrxdave: “What truly surprises me however, in a country where virtually everybody own an AK-47 and many RPGs, how the populations in these places just roll over for the Caliphate. Perhaps residual institutional behavior left over from Saddam & subsequent occupation?”

    A gun is just a tool, not a magic wand. AK-47s and RPGs only go so far.

    I think formative experience with Saddam’s rule is an underlying factor. Then Iraqis experienced the terrorism of AQI and expelled them only with the ground-level collaboration of the COIN “Surge”.

    (For ground-level insight into the COIN “Surge”, I recommend these e-mails from Baghdad by a Columbia-graduate US Army platoon leader: )

    Then the Iraqis watched ISIS match Syria’s modern military, even with Iran’s conventional and unconventional assistance. I think apprehension would be an underestimation.

    Also don’t underestimate personalized terrorist psy-ops that far exceed the effectiveness of air-dropped US leaflets, radio broadcasts, and ‘shock and awe’ precision bombing.

  17. rafflaw, Are you as flippant about our addiction to free speech or addiction to freedom of religion?

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