In our continuing effort to provide in-depth analysis and information about the situation in Syria we managed to obtain exclusive interviews with the three main jihadi leaders in the country. Much has been said about the three leaders, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Abu Mohammad al-Jawlani the leader of Al-Nusra Front and Zahran Alloush the leader of the Islamic Front, but no other media organisation has managed to obtain such exclusive access to all three men and then relay what they said to each other. No doubt our reputation as the prime source of alternative narratives is what allowed us to get this scoop.
There has been much friction between the three men and their factions in recent weeks, and we endeavoured to get to the bottom of that with insightful and inquisitive questions. Read the transcripts of those fascinating interviews below, they will give you a comprehensive view of the emerging jihadi world in Syria.
We began by interviewing al-Nusra’s leader al-Jawlani.
KrM: Emir Jawlani, let’s begin with the basics. You always appear with your face covered in photographs, is this some kind of post-feminist comment?
Jawlani: I can see why you would think that, but it’s mainly a way to protect my identity.
KrM: Slightly disappointing. Many people have noticed that the watch your wear appears to be a woman’s watch?
Jawlani: They are people filled with hate for our Islamic project. It is a fashionable men’s watch. They don’t understand fashion.
KrM: Tell us about your relationship with the leader of ISIS, al-Baghdadi, there seems to be tension between you two.
Jawlani: That is false gossip. We are brothers.
KrM: That is not what he is saying.
Jawlani: What have you heard?
KrM: We met him recently, and he said unflattering things about you.
Jawlani: What did he say? Did he mention the watch?
KrM: No, but he said your sword is not curved enough.
Jawlani: That Iraqi traitor. My sword is curved like a banana. You can tell him that.
KrM: And he said (al-Qaeda’s leader) Zawahiri talks to him on Skype but he only texts you.
Jawlani: He Skypes with Zawahiri? I could Skype with him to but I have this, er, Skype keeps crashing on my computer. This proves nothing. We are the true army of Islamic revival in Syria. He and his Chechen and Afghan brigades are the United Nations of Idiots. Haha, that’s a good one.
KrM: That is a good one. Almost as if I came up with it myself. What do you think of the Islamic Front’s leader Alloush?
Jawlani: he is liberal and democratic, those are not good qualities in a jihadi. But we are united for now.
KrM: I see. He said that you cover your face because you can’t grow a beard.
Jawlani: Better than someone whose beard is from Saudi Arabia. I am on a roll today, I should write this one down.
KrM: It’s gold. You have a way with words.
Next, we spoke to ISIS’s al-Baghdadi. Funny thing that, it’s hard to pronounce ISIS’s. ISISssss. Anyway, where were we.
KrM: Emir Baghdadi, you no doubt know about the harsh things al-Nusra’s leader Jawlani is saying about you…
Baghdadi: Empty rumours.
KrM: We have heard it ourselves. He said your flag has more frills than a teenage girl’s dress. No doubt you understand the insinuation…
Baghdadi: And what is he doing looking at teenage girls? Is this the Islamic way? This man is alien to our ways, he is an impostor.
KrM: he also said why are you in Syria when your people are being attacked in Iraq?
Baghdadi: Those Sykes-Picot borders mean nothing to us, we don’t accept any of those monstrous countries.
KrM: and yet your name is Baghdadi, one from Baghdad.
Baghdadi: That is different.
KrM: How is that different? Why are countries not important but cities are?
Baghdadi: It’s different, it’s, er, it’s about where you were born. Who you are, your people.
KrM: But you only believe in the nation of Islam?
Baghdadi: You don’t understand this, change the subject. Or I will behead you.
KrM: No, subtle hint taken. What about Alloush, the leader of the Islamic Front?
Baghdadi: Alloush and his front are lite, like Diet Coke.
KrM: That is a serious accusation. Alloush said that you are too ‘beheady’, what do you say to that?
Baghdadi: He says it like it’s a bad thing.
KrM: Er, yeah. Why did you ban smoking?
Baghdadi: It’s bad for your health, it’s against Islam to harm yourself.
KrM: so… like suicide bombing?
Baghdadi: No, that’s different. You die and go to heaven.
KrM: But you die if you smoke to?
Baghdadi: You are a nuisance.
Lastly, we spoke to the Islamic Front’s Alloush.
KrM: Sheikh Alloush, you distinguish yourself and your group from al-Qaeda’s groups in Syria, but some claim you are as sectarian as they are, what do you say to that?
Alloush: Falsehood! If there are two things that I hate it’s sectarians and Shiites.
KrM: You are man who is not afraid of paradoxes.
Alloush: It’s a gift from God.
KrM: Baghdadi said you are ‘jihadi lite’, how do you reply?
Alloush: I’m not the one who has to recruit video game jihadi boys from the West. Those idiots can’t even speak Arabic. Baghdadi’s gang is like the tower of Babel.
KrM: It’s a good metaphor. What is your main critique of Baghdadi?
Alloush: His problem is premature sharia introduction. We have to pace ourselves.
KrM: What about Jawlani, he said that you are liberal and democratic.
Alloush: God forbid. But we must ration the way we reveal our true nature, these are delicate matters.
KrM: Impeccable phrasing. I can see why the Americans are attracted to your constructively ambiguous language. Any last words to Jawlani and Baghdadi?
Alloush: The candle that burns brightest burns first. Let them enjoy their brief fame.
KrM: Nice, is that from Paulo Coelho?
Alloush: No, I came up with it myself.
KrM: Syria is in safe hands.
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Karl reMarks is a blog about Middle East politics and culture with a healthy dose of satire.
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