In a blog post entitled, “Culture Clash: Understanding The Syrian Race,” a British ISIS recruit has written that Arabs are “rude,” “angry,” “lazy,” messy, poor leaders who do not know how to queue, stare too much, and violate his personal space and property.
Omar Hussain, 27, also know as Abu Saeed al Britani, is a former security guard at Morrisons supermarket who lived with his mother in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, before joining ISIS. The terrorist complains that he is particularly concerned about people stealing his shoes and unplugging his phone when it is charging.
“Arabs as a whole have a unique culture, which differs dramatically from the western lifestyle,” he wrote. Adding: “If one is unaware of these cultural differences then it could be quite peculiar, annoying and, at times, somewhat stressful to interact and associate with them.”
He proceeds to “list a few of their habits which Arabs are known for.” His subheadings include: “A lack of privacy for other’s space,” “Childish behavior,” “Stealing shoes,” “Etiquettes when eating,” “Getting angry” “Sleeping habits,” “The staring competition,” “Treating animals badly,” “Beggars,” “Driving ‘skills’,” and “Empty words.”
On Arab behavior generally, he says: “Unfortunately Syrians seem to be very childish in their dealings and mannerisms in how they interact with each other. It’s not an unusual sight to see a fully grown Syrian man acting like a child and playing around with other brothers… Sometimes it may get quite hard to hold a civilised conversation with a Syrian man.”
He warns later: “Another common trait among our Arab brothers is to get offended if you bring their errors to their attention,” and that, “when Arabs get angry their ability to judge justly tends to falter, and they get upset quickly when you tell them the bitter truth.”
Under the subheading “Administration work,” he states that, “As Westerners we are naturally good at administration work as our whole life is based on an organised structure.” However, “There are many flaws and errors in putting an Arab in charge.” He even confesses “how even the Kuffār [non-muslim] work harder and quicker at administration work.”
Continuing: “Another ‘great’ feature of Arabs in administration is that there is no queue in any of their offices. You could be waiting in line for half an hour and then another Arab would come and push in the queue and go straight in.”
The “Majority of the Arabs in administration are not only lazy workers but also unaware of their job role,” he states. “The solution is twofold. Number one; to pray to Allāh that He (sic) replaces the Arabs with others who know what they are doing. Number two; and a more practical solution, is to shout at them while asking for what you need” he instructs his readers.
He also complains about other jihadists waking him up in the night. “For those of you who have been to university, it’s a bit like uni-life with a group of friends all being together,” he writes.
Adding: “As westerners we naturally tend not to mention other people’s faults especially when it seems obvious as we believe that they would come to their senses. Usually coughing or clearing one’s throat is an indirect sign to tell others of your presence, but with Syrians, you literally need to state the obvious before they come to their senses.”
On eating and etiquette, he says: “Our Arab brothers, or Syrians to be more precise, lack these basic manners.” He explained how he had to treat fellow Jihadis “like children” when trying to serve them food because they would not remain seated. He concludes: “The difference between an Arab and a non-Arab in their manners is like the difference between the heavens and the earth.”
Under, “The staring competition”, he writes: “Syrians love to stare at foreigners, maybe because no tourist has ever visited Syria… it can be quite uncomfortable to have a fully grown man stand a few metres away from you staring at you.”
On animal welfare, he says: “It is not uncommon to see an Arab throw objects (sic) at animals and to chase a hungry cat away. Nor is it uncommon to see some from among them killing harmless dogs,” and says he regularly see’s dead dogs on the street with “bullet holes” in them.
He says beggars “here in Syria are fraudsters.”
“In the airport you may be confronted by a ‘poor’ Syrian man who is trying to get enough money to book a flight to another country.”
On driving, he says: “Many things which may seem illegal or irrational are quite common for Arabs to do. In the west, one is required to look into his side mirrors prior to moving lane or going to a slip road, however an Arab would hardly ever look into his mirrors, even if he is coming onto a busy motorway. Women casually walk on the roads…”
He seems most wound up about his phone and shoes, however: “In the west, it is common knowledge to walk out of a room wearing the same pair of shoes that you wore while entering the room. Nay, it is common sense. However here in Shām, our Syrian brothers have a very peculiar philosophy whereby they believe that everyone can share each other’s footwear, irrespective of foot size.”
Continuing: “Another common trait is that they see no issue in unplugging your mobile phone to charge their own phone. Even if it’s your own charger, they would casually take your phone off charge to charge their own phone, even if there is no real need for them to charge their phone at that current time.”
This is not the first time that Hussain has complained about life under IS. Earlier in the year he complained about having to peel potatoes without a proper peeler, struggling to wash his clothes and of how he hadn’t been able to find himself a jihadi bride.