[Ed. – LU’s knowledgeable readers will remember that America’s own suicide bomber in Syria, Abu Jurairah al-Amriki, was photographed holding a cat — because his namesake, early Islamic leader Abu Hurairah, was known in Muslim lore as a cat lover (which is how he got his name). ISIS is milking that Sunni theme for all it’s worth, apparently.]
The Twitter account “Islamic State of Cat” (@ISILCats) appeared on Twitter on June 25, and it is exactly what it sounds like: an account which posts photos of cats alongside terrorist jihadists. Some photos merely showcase the kittens themselves, while others shows jihadists snuggling or playing with kittens– cat in one hand, automatic weapon in the other.
It has not been independently confirmed that the account is run officially by ISIS or whether a supporter has organized the effort. It does not appear to be an account parodying ISIS’s other social media efforts, as it posts earnest calls to jihad as well, and posts lionizing individual jihadists in particular.
The Global Post describes the accounts owners as “supporters of ISIS.” The account appears to be directly influenced by the American website “I Can Haz Cheezburger,” which posts photos of cats and other small animals with interior monologues. In the ISIS version, those interior monologues say things like “I Luvs My Mujahid.” It also notes that cats can participate in Islamic activities, like drinking from the water of ablution…
ISIS also launched a less frivolous media project intended for a Western audience in English, French, and German titled Al-Hayat, which publishes a monthly magazine intended to keep sympathizers of jihad updated on ISIS’s advances. That magazine uses more traditional imagery to promote the cause: mass executions, severed heads, and the violence usually attributed to terrorist propaganda.