Adam Hills explains how ordinary people can fight terrorism

Thanks to Vox Political commenter Chris Kitcher for reminding me about this.

You’ll be aware that This Writer is a huge fan of Channel 4’s The Last Leg and its host, Adam Hills’, approach to issues like the current terrorist threat.

Today he posted a Facebook status that should be sent to representatives of all Western governments as an example of what they should be doing – and an alternative to what they are doing.

It is particularly pertinent to the UK, as Mr Hills makes it perfectly clear that British Government representatives advised him to take the course of action he has followed.

Why aren’t they taking their own advice?

I’ve been called a lot of things in the past few days, many of them deserved. “Leftie wanker”. “Islam apologist”. “Unfunny ****.” I’ve also been called a “traitor” and even worse, “un-Australian.”

Here’s why I don’t think those last two apply.

Earlier this year I was invited to an Australia Day drinks function at the Australian High Commission in London. As the beer flowed and the lamingtons were passed around I found myself in deep conversation with a variety of governmental experts on The Middle East and in particular, Syria.

As this was a few weeks after the Charlie Hebdo attacks I took the opportunity to find out all I could about this so-called Islamic State group.

I learned a lot of things that night, but the one that stood out was this: Islamic State need recruits and they have two steps to get them.

1) Create an uprising against Muslims in the West by carrying out attacks in the name of Allah.
2) Then when young Muslims feel rejected by Western society, make ISIS look like a cool alternative.

Please remember, this was all expressed to me by officials of both the Australian and British Governments.

It seemed to me that a good way of combatting this would be 1) be nice to non-ISIS related Muslims (ie the vast majority of Muslims) and 2) make ISIS look like idiots.

I ran this past my friends at the High Commission, who agreed that this was indeed a good thing to do.

Now there aren’t a lot of things a one-legged comedian can do to combat a bunch of pricks like ISIS, but when experts in the field from your own government tell you what you can do – you damn well do it.

The next week on the show I host – “The Last Leg” – we ran an on-air competition to rename ISIS. The winner was a lady who tweeted “Cyst-ISIS: cos they’re irritating twats”. From that day forth we only ever referred to them as Cystisis.

We then ran a weekly segment called “The G-Hadi Spot” in which we attempted to ridicule them whenever we could.

We played Cystisis training videos with the Benny Hill music over the top. We celebrated the young girls who defrauded them out of thousands of dollars. We made our own ads for the caliphate, in which we clearly mocked them.

We also increased security at the studios. A live TV show would be the perfect target for these arseholes, and to this day my Mum still pleads with me not to provoke them each week.

In amongst all this, I did my best to remind our viewers that Cystisis are interpreting the Islamic faith in a highly extreme, and self-serving way, and that the vast, vast, vast majority of Muslims – around 99.997 per cent – disapprove of them.

I did all this, not because I am a hippy dippy idealist who believes that fairy wings and puppy dog farts can change the world. I did this because I was advised by representatives of my government who are way smarter than I am, that it was the right thing to do.

I might be an unfunny leftie wanker, but I’m no traitor.

And the thing is – you can do it too. There are countless memes going around at the moment decrying Islam; there are people saying their businesses are closed to Muslims; there are jokes going around making Muslims the punchline.

All you have to do is use the word ISIS instead of Islam. Mock the arseholes who are really causing the damage. Cos they hate that. Call them Cystisis. Say your business is closed to any Cystisis member who wants your services. Make a meme about how deluded Cystisis are.

It’s what your government wants you to do.
And what could be more Australian than taking the piss out of those who deserve it, while giving a fair go to those who need it?

It’s a British attribute as well – although Conservatives may choose to forget that every now and then.

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  1. roybeiley November 18, 2015 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Funny but doesn’t address the very serious issue of radicalisation whether online or through radical preachers in mosques. Also I would dispute you very high percentage of Cystisis followers. This only accounts for the active ones. How do you measure those who are silent sympathisers?

    • Mike Sivier November 18, 2015 at 4:09 pm - Reply

      People would think twice about being radicalised if they had ridicule pumped at them from all sides.
      Suppose a 40-year-old man was considering attending a concert by a pop star whose music he enjoyed – but then discovered that the material was aimed at teenage girls and his presence at such a show would throw public opinion against him. Would he still go?
      Also the very high percentage quoted in the article is of people who DISAPPROVE of the terrorist organisation in question. It doesn’t account for active or inactive followers at all. They would be among the 0.03 per cent that remains.

  2. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) November 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    I am not at all certain that this is the only answer to stopping these easily led (by evil people) fools, but it certainly is a good one. I am not religious at all, however I respect the right of all people to follow their hearts and beliefs as they feel they should and any religion which encourages hate against another cannot be a good one.

    • Mike Sivier November 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm - Reply

      Who said it’s the only answer? The article presents it as an example of what can be done.

      • Daniel November 19, 2015 at 9:48 am - Reply

        More to the point, with social media able to reach almost worldwide audiences, it’s something that nearly all of us can do, by sharing the jokes and memes that ridicule cystISIS, show solidarity for muslims and show we will not be cowed by these cowards

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