ISIS is apparently rather better at governance than expected. Hold that thought

by Rashmee

Posted on October 13, 2017


This really is a hoot. Have a read, if you get the chance of Rand Corporation’s new study “The Economic Impact of Islamic State Governance in Iraq and Syria”. IS (or ISIS or ISIL) wasn’t that bad an economic manager, it says. In fact, says Rand, “local economies that struggled under ISIL control did so … Continue reading “ISIS is apparently rather better at governance than expected. Hold that thought”

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Should Kosminsky’s TV drama on ISIS have been made now?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 27, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Leaving the United King­dom halfway through the four-night screening of the television drama “The State” ironically put me in an ideal place to comment on award-winning writer-director Peter Kosminsky’s controversial Islamic State (ISIS) series. Then I watched the rest. I can legitimately be ambigu­ous about the good or evil that will come of it but … Continue reading “Should Kosminsky’s TV drama on ISIS have been made now?”

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Nail polish in The (Islamic) State? It got my attention in Peter Kosminsky’s TV drama

by Rashmee

Posted on August 21, 2017


Golden Globe and BAFTA Award-winning director Peter Kosminsky’s much-heralded four-part British television drama series on radicalised Britons entering ISIS/ ISIL/ Islamic State had many gripping moments, but it was the nail polish that stayed with me. An older woman – western or Lebanese? I wasn’t sure which – sported blood red nail polish in the … Continue reading “Nail polish in The (Islamic) State? It got my attention in Peter Kosminsky’s TV drama”

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Outlaw hero? How else to explain 16-year-old Linda Wenzel’s adventures with ISIS?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 21, 2017


The German teenager stole money from her parents and secretly left her peaceful little town near Dresden to live with ISIS for a whole year. She was recently rounded up in the extremist’s group fallen capital, Mosul, along with a couple dozen jihadists. Why is everyone so surprised? Linda Wenzel was 15 when she left … Continue reading “Outlaw hero? How else to explain 16-year-old Linda Wenzel’s adventures with ISIS?”

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Will tomorrow’s world be realism redux, liberal resilience or radical uncertainty?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 26, 2016


Harvard professor Stephen Walt offers three models of the future and you can take your pick depending on whether you’re an optimist like Winston Churchill or a miserable git. In December 1938, Churchill said, “I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use being anything else”. But he never, as is famously … Continue reading “Will tomorrow’s world be realism redux, liberal resilience or radical uncertainty?”

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The unfulfilled Dabiq prophecy an omen for ISIS

by Rashmee

Posted on October 23, 2016 / The Arab Weekly


In the excitement over a new prophecy, an unfulfilled old one is receiving less atten­tion than it might. The new prediction comes from Baghdad, Washington, Ankara and Erbil and it is upbeat. We are told that the battle for Mo­sul will fatally damage the Islamic State’s pretensions to having and holding an Islamic state. The … Continue reading “The unfulfilled Dabiq prophecy an omen for ISIS”

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ISIS is right on this point: the Dabiq battle was not the epic one for which it longs

by Rashmee

Posted on October 17, 2016


A basic fact about the battle for Dabiq, the northern Syrian town that ISIS has just lost: as the extremist group says, it was not the apocalyptic struggle between Muslims and non-Muslims allegedly prophesied by Prophet Mohammed. ISIS is right. This was not that particular epic battle. The rebel groups who won Dabiq were not … Continue reading “ISIS is right on this point: the Dabiq battle was not the epic one for which it longs”

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Should we deny ISIL the oxygen of publicity?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 29, 2016 / The National


At the start of the week, an important discussion took place — and I don’t mean the first of the US presidential debates. In London, senior journalists and news managers from major media outlets in three European countries conducted a sober debate on the reporting of terror. Is it time, they asked, 15 years after the attacks … Continue reading “Should we deny ISIL the oxygen of publicity?”

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Can European culture prevent ISIL recruitment?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 22, 2016 / The National


On both sides of the Atlantic, the fight against radicalisation is evolving in unexpected ways. In the United States, a federal judge is considering whether convicted home-grown ISIL supporters can be put on a deradicalisation programme rather than clapped in jail. In Italy, the government is handing out €500 (Dh2,043) of free money to 18-year-olds … Continue reading “Can European culture prevent ISIL recruitment?”

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The question in Sirte #Libya is not whether ISIS will be defeated. What comes after?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 31, 2016


Sitting in Tunis, it’s hard not to pay particular heed to what’s happening over the way – in Libya. More specifically, in Sirte. As the world knows, the tough-bitten Misrata militia, which is aligned with Libya’s UN-backed government of national accord (GNA), is laboring to displace ISIS from Sirte. From August 1, the Misratans have … Continue reading “The question in Sirte #Libya is not whether ISIS will be defeated. What comes after?”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, UK and US