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So what if it is?

An ISIS flag flying over the entrance gate to a housing estate (what in the US would be called a housing project) in Poplar, East London. (Call the Midwife is set in Poplar.) Go there to look at the picture, which is weirdly blood-curdling.

A black flag with white Arabic writing, similar to those flown by jihadist groups, was flying at the entrance of an east London housing state near Canary Wharf.

In a highly provocative gesture, the emblem was planted on top of the gates of the Will Crooks estate on Poplar High Street, and is surrounded by flags of Palestine and slogans.

The flag bears similar writing to the jihadi flags that have been flown by the extremist group in Iraq and other jihadi groups since the 1990s. When the estate was approached last night, a group of about 20 Asian youths swore at Guardian journalists and told them to leave the area immediately. One youth threatened to smash a camera.

When a passerby tried to take a picture of the flag on a phone, one of the gang asked him if he was Jewish. The passerby replied: “Would it make a difference?” The youth said: “Yes, it fucking would.” Asked if the flag was an Isis flag, one local man said: “It is just the flag of Allah.” But another man asked: “So what if it is?”

So what if it is? Well, genocide, that’s so what if it is.

 

Comments

  1. Shatterface says

    The chilling thing is trying to link ISIS with Palestine; the assumption anyone taking pictures must be Jewish follows ‘logically’.

  2. Decker says

    A Catholic nun, of all people, had it taken down.

    It’s only a matter of time before London becomes a stage for jihad.

    The chilling thing is trying to link ISIS with Palestine

    I know! How could there possibly be any link between the two?

    ISIS are Quakers and the Palestinians Jains.

    They absolutely nothing in common; no world views, opinions, theologies or hatreds.

  3. Omar Puhleez says

    Decker: “It’s only a matter of time before London becomes a stage for jihad.”
    I hate to have to be the one who tells you this, but it already has. On 7/7/2005. 52 dead; 770+ injured.
    Four bombs: three on tube trains; one on a bus.

  4. Pen says

    It falls into the same class of activity as draping bacon around mosques and threatening to beat up muslims in general because one of them has murdered someone. It would be nice to think they had cctv up there and could arrest the perpetrators and fine them 50 quid or whatever it is they do. Failing that, I hope they put cctv up now.

  5. Pen says

    I think this article sheds quite a bit of light on the subject. Possibly the people on the housing estate were in the same unfortunate position as white English people who say, ‘but what’s wrong with toting the England flag around?,’ in ignorance of the way it’s been appropriated by white nationalists. Or people who think it would be a good idea to rehabilitate swastikas because they look good and are so terribly spiritual in Hinduism.

    Here’s what I think: I’m all for supporting Gaza actually, but not this symbol, and not this forum. You shouldn’t politicize residential space in this way for any reason (at least I don’t want it in the UK). And in this case it was widely misunderstood outside the Muslim community and was probably taken as an endorsement of anti-semitism by a bunch of Muslim young idiots.

  6. says

    What’s supporting Gaza got to do with it? ISIS isn’t about “supporting Gaza.” I know Gaza banners were there too, but that doesn’t make the two actually connected. More the opposite. Israel shouldn’t genocide and neither should ISIS; nobody should. Mashing the two together makes it look as if the principle is that some people shouldn’t be genocided but other people should. Fuck that.

  7. Pen says

    The people who put it there claimed that it only coincidentally looks like the flag ISIS used, that they had no awareness of that connection when they put it up and that in their minds it’s merely a generically Islamic flag with sayings from the Quran on it intended to show cross-border Muslim solidarity (unlike what ISIS are doing, incidentally). When they got wind of how it was being interpreted they intended to take it down, only to discover it had already been removed by a Catholic nun and some other members of the local Muslim community.

    Or, you know, you could just read the article I linked to.

  8. Shatterface says

    I think this article sheds quite a bit of light on the subject. Possibly the people on the housing estate were in the same unfortunate position as white English people who say, ‘but what’s wrong with toting the England flag around?,’ in ignorance of the way it’s been appropriated by white nationalists.

    It’s not the same thing at all. Whether or not the George Cross has been appropriated by nationalists it’s still the flag of a country. The thousands of English people who sported the flag during the World Cup aren’t Nazis.

  9. Shatterface says

    Failing that, I hope they put cctv up now.

    Brilliant, let’s sacrifice our civil liberties entirely just to prevent people putting flags up.

  10. says

    Or, you know, you could just read the article I linked to.

    No, actually, you could make your meaning clear in your comment instead of expecting people to click on an external link and read another article. You could provide the information instead of expecting people to do extra work.

  11. johnthedrunkard says

    But Islamists consistently invoke Palestine. It is a guaranteed silencer for a vast array of western ‘progressives’ who just love anti-semitic, pro-Nazi, Holocaust denying, exterminationist, Muslim Brotherhood allied, creeps.

    But only when the magic word ‘Palestine’ is mentioned.

  12. exi5tentialist says

    It wasn’t removed by the nun. She held the ladder. It was actually removed by a muslim resident. From the Guardian article,

    “As soon as we realised it was being misrepresented we took it down,” said Ruhel Choudray, 31, a community worker at a local mosque. “No one thought of that black flag as a jihadi flag or Isis. They just wanted to support Gaza. There has been a big misunderstanding and the community is really shocked.”

    In a radio interview yesterday, the nun said she and the community wanted the flag to go up again and were planning to put it up, together with information about what they want it to represent – not ISIS, not violence.

  13. James K says

    That’s what an awful lot of racists groups in the USA do: put up the Stars-and-Bars (the Confederate Battle Flag), then claim “it’s just a flag.” (Some go as far as to claim victimhood and state that it is cultural genocide to denigrate them when they do it.)

    Flags have real meanings. They are more than just a piece of cloth. They are representative of real political aims and goals.

    National flags mark everything from government grounds to aircraft and ships. They represent the country.

    There is a real difference between “civil liberties” and flying the flag of an organisation specifically bent on rebellion, genocide, and the overthrow of government.

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