Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Before Jamal Al-Harith blew himself up near Mosul, he had been a celebrity and a hero of the left. He had received a million pounds for his “suffering” at Gitmo and been impersonated on stage.
He was played by Shaun Parkes at London’s New Ambassadors Theatre and by Andrew Stewart-Jones in the New York production at the Bleecker Street Theatre. The play was Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom. The title was an interesting one considering that the play was defending Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists who had been fighting for the freedom to murder non-Muslims and oppress women.
Andrew Stewart-Jones has a role on Gotham, Shaun Parkes has appeared on The Nightmare Worlds of H.G. Wells and Jamal Al-Harith headed off to join ISIS where he got to star in his own martyrdom video.
As Shakespeare’s Jacques declaims, “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.” Jamal Al-Harith was a better actor than any of the actors who played him. And he knew that the secret to great theater is to bring down the house. But he also had an audience of leftists eager to suspend disbelief when an Islamic terrorist is lying to them.
A year before the 7⁄7 bombings tore apart London, West End theatergoers were treated to these sad sack stories of Muslim terrorists with British citizenship being detained at Gitmo. Then it was the turn of New Yorkers at a theater barely a mile from Ground Zero under the auspices of the Culture Project and its mission of “socially conscious theater”. And what’s more socially conscious than Islamic terrorism?
The actors playing the ISIS killer, in a production Variety dubbed a “chilling expose of the U.S. government policies”, recited his lies that he only went “to find out about the religion”. In the version of the terrorist’s fairy tale distributed by the left from the Guardian to the New York Times, he was actually a victim of the Taliban, wrongly detained and tortured by the Bush administration.
Night after night, melancholy actors in orange jumpsuits wearing steel chains, declaimed Al-Harith’s lies and excuses to lefty audiences who fueled their outrage with imaginary Muslim suffering. Meanwhile Americans, Brits, Iraqis and Afghans were being massacred by the friends of their real life counterparts.
Progressive theatergoers glowed when Al-Harith compared his time in Gitmo to the suffering of concentration camp inmates. “I got put in isolation for because I refused to wear my wrist band. I said, ‘In concentration camps they were given tattoos, and now they’ve given us these, it’s just the same really.’” And who could be more similar to a Jewish concentration camp inmate than a member of an Islamic ideology that believes in exterminating all the Jews?
How many of them cheered when he declared, “You know, I’ll walk out from here when I leave free, because I haven’t done anything at all.”
And he did walk out of Gitmo. The US sent him to the UK along with the “Tipton Three” who were the stars of Michael Winterbottom’s Road to Guantanamo anti-war flick. Al-Harith was part of their Rasul v. Rumsfeld lawsuit with the aid of the Center for Constitutional Rights. The radical left wing group’s Report on Torture, Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantánamo Bay” drew in part on Al-Harith’s claims.
In the CCR’s report, the ISIS terrorist claimed that he had been abused at Gitmo for keeping too many salt packets in his cell. No one rolled their eyes. Any silly lie by a Muslim terrorist was treated as truth.
The UK paid him as much as a million pounds in compensation for his salt packet “suffering”.
Then Jamal Al-Harith headed to Syria. He had started life as Ronald Fiddler before converting to Islam and becoming Jamal Udeen Al-Harith. In the Islamic State, he changed his name yet again and became Abu-Zakariya al-Britani. In his final killing spree, he took unknown numbers of Iraqi soldiers with him.
In his years with ISIS, how many Yazidi girls did the martyr of the salt packets rape? How many Christians, Yazidis and even Muslims did the pampered terrorist who whined about the air conditioning in his cell to the even more pampered audiences of London and New York leftist elites behead?
The left gave Al-Harith’s impersonators a stage to weep over his Gitmo air conditioning and his salt packets. Will they bring the little girls he raped and the teenage boys he beheaded on stage to tell their stories?
It goes without saying that they will not because they are complicit in Al-Harith’s crimes as in the crimes of every Muslim terrorist whom they have defended. A parade of Gitmo detainees has returned to terror. How many Islamic terrorists have stepped off to applause on the London stage to stand over the beds of bloodied and beaten little girls in Mosul or the severed heads of Christians in Fallujah?
Many are the crimes of the left.
The co-authors of Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom went on to find new ways to support Islamic terrorists. Gillian Slovo, the daughter of Communist Party leaders Joe Slovo and Ruth First, and co-author Victoria Brittain went on to call for a cultural boycott of Israel.
Slovo hatefully urged blocking the travel of Israeli writers. She insisted that the Israelis weren’t really trying to stop terrorist attacks. “They’re not really looking for arms or guns. What they are doing is putting people in their place and trying to stop the free movement of a whole people.”
Next month, Muslim terrorists kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers.
But it was easier for Gillian Slovo to claim that the security situation in Israel had been made up or that Jamal Al-Harith was just an innocent victim. It is always easier for the left to believe Muslim terrorists than to believe their victims. It is not because the left is stupid, but because it is evil.
Slovo’s latest play is titled, Another World: Losing Our Children to Islamic State. The idea comes once again from Nicolas Kent, the man behind Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom. Once again Islamic evil gets a stage to blame its horrific crimes on discrimination or Israel.
“The fact that they see the (anti-IS) coalition as being totally against one country, against one religion, I mean, that’s very important,” one character declaims.
Even fighting ISIS is Islamophobic.
Another World: Losing Our Children to Islamic State is obsessed with understanding Islamic terrorists rather than their victims. To the left, perpetrators are important while their victims, as Stalin said, are only a statistic.
But the final epitaph for Jamil Al-Harith was not written by Gillian Slovo or The Guardian, but by ISIS. It was simple and to the point.
It was also the first true thing told about him.
“The martyrdom-seeking brother Abu Zakariya al-Britani – may Allah accept him – detonated his explosives-laden vehicle on a headquarters of the Rafidhi army and its militias in Tal Kisum village, southwest of Mosul.”
In his last moments, the truth finally emerged about Jamal Al-Harith. Before his death, he stopped playing the victim and came out of the closet as a killer. You can see him grinning broadly on his final picture as he prepares to kill. This is the real Jamal Al-Harith. This is who he was all along.
Jamal Al-Harith was a monster who won the affection of a monstrous left who loved him for his monstrousness. This was not something that they could admit to each other or to themselves.
The terrorists at Gitmo weren’t victims. They were perpetrators. They were evil. The left defended them because it is evil. There is a simple and unbreakable truth in the calculus of human affairs.
Those who defend evil are evil. They seek out evil to defend to excuse the evil inside themselves.
Jamal Al-Harith is dead, but there will be many to take his place. And the lies will go on. Terrorists will be transformed into victims. And progressive theatergoers will cheer their crimes with bloody hands.