While Iraq, the Kurds, Iran, and America’s allies continue their military campaign against ISIS, Iraqi artists are attacking the group with a weapon of their own.
A few weeks ago Iraqi TV launched a new sitcom that uses humour, songs, and kitschy costumes to mock the Islamist group that has taken control of numerous towns in the country’s north. The title of the show roughly translates to “Fairytale State,” though some news outlets have translated it as “State of Superstition.”
The sitcom’s director, Ali al Qasem, told 7:30 Australia they were fighting against the group’s use of fear and terror. “By tackling this issue with humour, you can reduce the fear of Islamic State among people, particularly children,” he said.
The sitcom is set in a fictional Iraqi town that has been taken over by Islamic state. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, who is seen hatching from an egg, takes control of the city with his high-strung dwarf sidekick.
At one point, the group is shown bickering over the logo for its flag.
“The Islamic State’s appearance, the way they look, is terrifying. By presenting them in a comedic way, I think we can help people to overcome that fear,” al Qasem said.
Baghdadi’s group goes on to create the “Blood Broadcasting Corporation” — The BBC — with a male anchor welcoming viewers while his female colleague struggles to cover herself with a sheet.
“Hello and welcome ISIS and infidels,” the anchor intones.
Future episodes appear to feature Islamic State holding the Olympics, shooting runners on the track to ensure their athlete wins.
“The whole world is talking about ISIS — America, France — but once you make fun of them, they’re finished. I think this is the response they deserve,” al Qasem said.
In the final scene, Baghdadi conducts a chorus of ISIS militants and former Saddam Generals as they sing about their murderous exploits. Having killed everyone else, Baghdadi begins shooting his own people, and then blows himself up.
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