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When resistance flows from the minarets in a way you hadn’t anticipated

This is a guest post by Adloyada

On yesterday’s BBC Radio 4 Today, they had a friend of the latest ISIS hostage murder victim, Kayla Mueller , talking about her and how she intended to commemorate/remember her. I felt increasingly uncomfortable listening to it as she poured out a string of robotic New Age cliches of the “going on a journey” type. Written down, they’d have been great candidates for Private Eye’s Pseud’s Corner.

Over in The Times and the Guardian, there were uncharacteristically Motherhood and Apple Pie eulogies to a lovely looking young woman. This example from the Guardian is maybe from the young woman I heard yesterday on air. You need to read it twice before you realise what meaningless twaddle it is:

“Mueller had a remarkable ability to always find a silver lining, said her friend Eryn Street. “Kayla had such great empathy. It’s hard to find that in this world. It’s really rare.” Street, tears streaming, said she was not sure she could live in a world without Mueller. “But I do know that we’re all living in a better world because of her.”

And how many Guardian news reports– not comment pieces– start off like this: “She was a young woman with a gift for empathy and a smile for everyone but when the town of Prescott first lost Kayla Mueller it went about its business, unaware of the terrible secret.”

It’s disgusting when someone young and by all accounts intensely idealistic dies at the hands of a brutal murderous religious-political movement. But in the case of Kayla Mueller, the story is much more complex than the one being spun across our media.

Because Kayla Mueller was herself an activist for a terrorist support activist group, the International Solidarity Movement. And in her activities for that group, a very different and altogether more aggressive person emerges. A cheerleader for and apologist for terrorism, who signs herself “forever in solidarity” with it. She clearly didn’t have a smile or any empathy for people she could label “Israeli settlers and military”. Here’s a sample, from the ISM web site tribute to her, of a propaganda letter written by her in 2010 in defence of Palestinian jihadi-inspired terrorism:

““Oppression greets us from all angles”, she wrote. “Oppression wails from the soldiers radio and floats through tear gas clouds in the air. Oppression explodes with every sound bomb and sinks deeper into the heart of the mother who has lost her son. But resistance is nestled in the cracks in the wall, resistance flows from the minaret 5 times a day and resistance sits quietly in jail knowing its time will come again. Resistance lives in the grieving mother’s wails and resistance lives in the anger at the lies broadcasted across the globe. Though it is sometimes hard to see and even harder sometimes to harbor, resistance lives. Do not be fooled, resistance lives.”

It seems that tragically, Kayla did not understand that “resistance” flowing “from the minaret 5 times a day” may not share her simplistic ideas about who counts as an oppressor and who is a target for its anger.

She’s a young woman who tragically and needlessly paid with her life for chasing the path of “resistance” and going out seeking to put right complex political situations she thinks there are simple, stark answers to.

But why are our UK and US media staying totally silent about this less than angelic side of Kayla Mueller’s life?

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