A British ISIS fighter has taken to his personal blog to complain about "rude" and "lazy" Arabs who steal his shoes, and warn potential western recruits to the jihadist cause of the "culture clash" they will face when joining the so-called "Islamic State."
Omar Hussain, also known as Abu Sa'eed al-Britani, wrote the length rant under the title" Culture Clash: Understanding The Syrian Race."
Though he begins by stressing that "the Arabs and the non-Arabs are united in one line" in ISIS, the post reads as a litany of borderline racist complaints about Hussain's Arab comrades. He details a full 13 "habits which Arabs are known for" which he finds irritating and offensive, ranging from "being childish" and "stealing shoes" to being lazy, not respecting "personal space" and keeping him up at night by talking loudly.
"Arabs as a whole have a unique culture, which differs dramatically from the western lifestyle," he informs his readers. "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."
His number one complaint was a lack of respect for people's private space and belongings, at one point fuming:
Another common trait is that they [Arabs] 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.
One particularly odd-sounding complaint which ranks highly on his list was that his Arab fellow jihadists regularly stole each other's – and his – shoes.
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 [Syria], our Syrian brothers have a very peculiar philosophy whereby they believe that everyone can share each other’s footwear, irrespective of foot size…
From my very first month here in Shām, I would experience this; I would enter a room with my shoes, and when leaving I would notice my footwear was missing. This is too common here in Shām. For some reason (known best to Syrians), what’s yours is theirs and what’s theirs is yours, even if you disagree with it.
Hussain, who first traveled to Syria in 2014 to join Al Qaeda's Nusra Front, before defecting to arch-rivals ISIS, also found Arab table manners tough to stomach, complaining that when he served food to them he had to force them to sit down "like primary [elementary] school students" or risked being mobbed.
"It is also a habit for Syrians to eat other people’s food without question," he continued, his post becoming increasingly passive-aggressive. "Not only would they eat your food without prior permission but they neither inform you of it. If you purchase something and put it in the fridge, expect it to be missing within a few hours."
The British former security guard also lamented the lack of orderly queues, and that "the typical Arab" administrator "tends to be very lazy." Detailing his own frustrating experience with ISIS's bureaucracy, he advised western recruits that the only way to get anything done was to "shout at them".
"Arabs tend to get slightly intimidated when someone raises above them and sadly this seems to be the only way to get what you want from them," he offers. "However, one needs to know the line between getting slightly angry at him for being lazy and criticising him, as too much criticism will make him refuse to help you in any way."
Either way, he says, "Arabs in administration is a recipe for disaster."
Other "irritating features of Arabs" include "frustrating sleeping habits" – particularly keeping him awake by talking loudly – "treating animals badly"; terrible "driving skills" and "empty words."
When not proffering friendly "advice" to western recruits, Hussain has appeared in numerous ISIS propaganda videos urging British Muslims to enlist in the vicious terrorist group, while threatening to "bomb the UK" and urging western soldiers to deploy on the ground in Syria so that ISIS could send them "back one-by-one in coffins"