Saturday, July 05, 2014

The ISIS caliph has appeared: stop the presses

When you bill yourself as a caliph you inevitably raise expectations.  And as the Arabic saying goes: the mountain went into labor and gave birth to a mouse.  What a lousy performance.  This is a guy who does better on radio than on TV.  And did you notice how sparsely populated the mosque on Friday is?  His speaking style is the typical ISIS leaders: where they pronounce the words by stressing certain letters according to recitation rules of the Qur'an.  He also exhibited the worst trait in an Arabic speaker especially one presenting himself as Caliph--no less: he appeared hesitant and lacking in self-confidence.  He also sounds like he has memorized the speech and is vomiting it from memory.  He also was confused: he did not know that he is being inaugurated as caliph and yet most of the speech he sounds like a mediocre Friday sermon speaker.  The video was shot in HD which is another indication of the advanced technological skills of the Furqan foundation--the propaganda arm of ISIS.  But the worst part is that plagiarized a section of the speech (how "I am not your best") from the caliphate speech of the first Rightly-guided Caliph, Abu Bakr As-Siddiq.  That will be marked against him.  But regarding all those Western accounts of this guy and the proclamation of the caliphate: with the exception of the new issue of the Economist (more later on that long article on the Arab world), it is not being stressed that Arabs are universally treating this phenomenon and this kook with derision and ridicule.  Lastly, he seems shy.  I never heard that there was a shy caliph in Islamic history.