A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Video: The Jihadi and "Hello Kitty"

This has gotten a lot of attention over the past couple of days, but in case you haven't seen it: Zahran Alloush, head of the Syrian Jaysh al-Islam, a non-ISIS jihadi group, is haranguing his troops and denouncing ISIS. What catches the eye rather quickly and made the video go viral, however, is the pink "Hello Kitty" notebook on the desk in front of him. (Still pic followed by video.)

Now, I always found "Hello Kitty" rather unsettling (the cat has no mouth!), but I never associated it with radical jihadism.

As Britain's The Independent commented in one of the many reports on this video:
Wearing combat uniform, with gun holsters strapped on, the commander seems unlikely to have chosen a pink Hello Kitty notebook to enhance his image.
The pink pad could have arrived in aid convoys sent to war-torn Syria or in charity packages, or maybe he is a genuine fan of the Japanese cartoon cat.


David Mack said...

It's time for Representative Michele Bachman to launch an investigation into the links among the radical jihadis, the Obama Administration and Hello Kitty.

Anonymous said...

I believe Darrell Issa has already subpoenaed Hello Kitty to testify at the Benghazi hearings. Since she deosn't have a mouth, Bill Frist will look into her eyes (via television from Florida) and determine her answers and relay to Chairman Issa.

S. Qutb said...

Akh Zahran has some explaining to do.

White Kitty is clearly a woman. Yet he has a picture of her without her burka. She is not his wife. He has displayed that picture in the media.

White Kitty also betrays a strong resemblance to the traditional Japanese maneki-neko - associated with bringing good fortune and luck. And probably with Japanese Buddhist/Shinto trends.

Those who know Islam --apparently unlike Kaafir Zahran -- know who the people of the Book are. And who are not.

Believers would also know about the prohibition of maysar and magic.

The conclusion is clear.

Gen. Salim Idris (Ret) said...

From the pristine condition of his camo, you might mistake him for one of the perfumed princes of the FSA.