For weeks, Middle Easterners have responded to a sudden rise in threats from Islamic State militants with ridicule, scorn and old-fashioned trolling.
Egyptians have mocked the jihadi propaganda song “Clashing of Swords” by uploading YouTube videos in which the tune accompanies belly dancers or receives a “pop remix.” Italians, too, have made light online of the group’s threats to conquer Rome. (RELATED: Egyptians Joke About Joining ISIS, An Estimated 600 Actually Have)
But Egyptian newlywed Ahmed Shehata recently brought Islamic State mockery to a whole new level at his wedding reception.
In a video that has spread quickly online, a group of his friends wearing face masks “raid” the reception, entering the dance floor with plastic swords accompanied by the solemn a cappella tune that often begins Islamic State militants’ propaganda videos.
“The path of fighting is the path of life,” goes the jihadi song. “So amid assault, tyranny is destroyed.” (Other lyrics in the song include “The banner has called us, to brighten the path of destiny, to wage war on the enemy.”)
Confusion and alarm are clearly visible on the face of the bride, Shymaa Daif.
The men then “kidnap” the bride and groom, leading them to a cage on the dance floor that resembles the one in which Islamic State extremists immolated Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh. Over the entrance to the cage is a handwritten sign: “a thousand congratulations to Ahmed and Shymaa.” (RELATED: Video Emerges Of ISIS Burning Captured Pilot Alive)
Once the two are safely inside, the music suddenly switches to a peppy dance tune and the celebration continues. At one point, Shehata pretends to fire a toy pistol into the air.
The prank comes just weeks after 20 Egyptian Christian men were beheaded by the terrorist group in Libya. In response to the provocation, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi vowed to avenge his countrymen with airstrikes. (RELATED: Egypt Strikes Back Against ISIS In Libya — At Least For Now)
The wedding took place in the northern Egyptian city of Shibin al-Kawm. Shehata told Egyptian online news outlet Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ that he came up with the prank two weeks before the wedding, “because I wanted to do something different from everyone else.” He admits that the details were inspired by recent reports of Islamic State atrocities,
Having recovered from the incident, the bride said, “I’m very glad about what Ahmed did, keeping our reception from being too traditional. We did something unusual that I’ll tell our children about, God willing.”
According to Facebook, both newlyweds are recent graduates from medical school.
This is not the first time jihadi extremism has become the target of Egyptians’ famously audacious sense of humor. Top comedy films from recent decades include 1992’s “Terrorism and Kebab,” in which Mubarak-era bureaucracy drives an ordinary man to extremist madness, and 2008’s “Hassan and Morcos,” depicting a Muslim sheikh and a Coptic Christian priest who switch identities to evade terrorist threats.
But wealthy Middle Easterners have a well-documented habit of partying in questionable taste: compare the incident last fall in which a gay dance club in Israel used ISIS imagery to promote a party. In this case, it is questionable whether Shehata is more mocking ISIS’s campy brand of radicalism or the plight of its victims.
Watch the now-infamous video here:
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