Those of you – and how many of those are there? – who read my cartoon strip will be aware of the ongoing The Great Big ISIS Movie Extravaganza storyline, and that among the most prominent members is someone named Jihadi Colin.
A few months ago, I did a particular episode in which Jihadi Colin acted in one of those ISIS beheading videos, in which he appeared as here:
Now, Jihadi Colin is, obviously, purely a product of my imagination. He does not exist in reality, and, like all other Raghead characters, is a stereotypical construct designed to be easily recognisable by being dressed in very distinctive clothing; in his case, a wraparound face and head cover, a salwar kameez with a sleeveless ammunition jacket comprising two rows of receptacles; upper small pouches on the chest and lower large ones.
I had never seen any actual ISIS member – and, as I said, I do a lot of research on the group – who looks or is dressed like Jihadi Colin. He was, as I said, someone I made up, and his clothes were also made up by me.
Now, we all know all those famous ISIS beheading videos where men in spiffy black outfits (such as “Jihadi John”) stand behind crouching hostages in orange jumpsuits making threats against their lives. Those black beheading suits are so characteristic of ISIS they might as well be called a marketing logo.
But sometimes images need a makeover.
A few days ago, I came across a video (which, trust me, you do not want to watch) released by ISIS last week in which a purported Syrian soldier was crushed to death under a tank. There are questions about whether that video is genuine – in so far as any ISIS video is genuine, given the group’s carefully cartoonish malevolence – but it was preceded by the usual hostage lecture. Only this time, the ISIStani lecturing wasn’t dressed in the trademark outfit. Oh no.
Look at what he was dressed like:
Does this look familiar somehow?
I’ll give you a clue.
I can see only two alternatives here:
First, either by some remarkable coincidence, by totally random chance, ISIS came up with a new sartorial style which looks exactly like Jihadi Colin’s outfit, down to the two rows of ammunition pouches on the sleeveless jacket, as well as the not-particularly-practicable head and face covering, and then posed him in exactly the same situation as Jihadi Colin was...or else –
- or else ISIS is reading my comic strip and using it as inspiration for fashion designs.
What next? Jihadi Rose burqas? Al Hollywoodi caps with constantly shifting logos? Catwalks with Jihad Fashion Week? At this point I have given up on sarcasm. It seems there’s no way of creating satire without it becoming fact before you know it.
Actually, is it possible that someone from ISIS did read Raghead and copied my designs? Yes, it is possible. I get a fair number of hits from Saudi Barbaria and Turkey...and you know where ISIS is located.
So, ISIStanis, if you’re going to copy my designs, I think you ought to at least pay me a royalty.
Some of those dollars Obama gave you should be mine by right.