How to combat the ruthless tactics and gruesome crimes of the terrorist group ISIS?
For a group of Iraqi Kurdish entertainers, it's not with guns, bombs, or munitions. They're fighting back with humor.
Iraqi Kurdish KurdSat TV broadcast a new musical parody video on Oct. 12 that mocks the terrorist group ISIS in Saturday Night Live fashion: a group of bearded men pretending to be ISIS fighters play air guitar on rifles, pretend to sword-fight, and play with skulls, all while singing a chorus of lyrics.
“We are bearded, dirty and filthy. … We are brainless with nothing in our heads.”
“We are ISIS. We are ISIS,” the singers declare. “We milk the goat even if it is male.”
“Our music is without rhythm. And our leader is called Qaqa,” they sing. “Our pockets are full of Qatari money. Our language is bullets and cutting.”
The video was featured by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
In fact, this isn't the first time embattled Iraqis have fought back with humor.
"The situation in Iraq is no laughing matter, but artists of all stripes are turning to humor to wage war on the Islamic State (IS), an entity so terrifying by nature that no distortion is needed to achieve the goal of ridicule," reports Monitor correspondent Dominique Soguel from Baghdad in a piece entitled, "Fighting horror with humor, Iraqis retaliate against Islamic State."
“The purpose of comedy and cartoons is to pick something peculiar and exaggerate it, but what is happening now in Iraq is so abnormal that I can’t pump it up any further,” veteran Iraqi cartoonist Diyaa al-Hajjar told the Monitor's Soguel.
Over the last several months, cartoonists and political activists have churned out a series of political cartoons, skits, and animations poking fun at ISIS. One recycles an old episode of Popeye, another is a full-blown satirical soap opera, “State of Myth,” that depicts the arrival of IS fighters and their ideology to a fictional town in Iraq.
It turns out other embattled groups have also turned to humor to mock their oppressors.
The Nazis inspired a slew of great satire, including Charlie Chaplain's film, "The Great Dictator."
Even modern-day Germans turn to satire to mock neo-Nazis. The group Apple Front protests far-right extremists by adopting Nazi-like dress, regalia, and rhetoric and demonstrating at neo-Nazi rallies across Germany.
Their aim is the same as that of the Kurdish entertainers mocking ISIS: to drive home the ridiculousness of these radical movements.
Because, as it turns out, sometimes satire cuts deeper than munitions.