That's what goats are for, buddy

Unsurprisingly, the Koran really doesn't have an equivalent to the Tenth Commandment
A British Muslim who decided to defect to ISIS is finding out the rather less savoury aspects of Arab culture, and took to Tumblr to document his travails in typically understated British fashion:
Omar Hussain, 27, also know as Abu Saeed al Britani, is a former security guard at Morrisons supermarket who lived with his mother in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, before joining ISIS. The terrorist complains that he is particularly concerned about people stealing his shoes and unplugging his phone when it is charging. 
Arabs as a whole have a unique culture, which differs dramatically from the western lifestyle,” he wrote. Adding: “If one is unaware of these cultural differences then it could be quite peculiar, annoying and, at times, somewhat stressful to interact and associate with them.” 
He proceeds to “list a few of their habits which Arabs are known for.” His subheadings include: “A lack of privacy for other’s space,” “Childish behavior,” “Stealing shoes,” “Etiquettes when eating,” “Getting angry” “Sleeping habits,” “The staring competition,” “Treating animals badly,” “Beggars,” “Driving ‘skills’,” and “Empty words.” 
On Arab behavior generally, he says: “Unfortunately Syrians seem to be very childish in their dealings and mannerisms in how they interact with each other. It’s not an unusual sight to see a fully grown Syrian man acting like a child and playing around with other brothers… Sometimes it may get quite hard to hold a civilised conversation with a Syrian man.” 
He warns later: “Another common trait among our Arab brothers is to get offended if you bring their errors to their attention,” and that, “when Arabs get angry their ability to judge justly tends to falter, and they get upset quickly when you tell them the bitter truth.” 
Under the subheading “Administration work,” he states that, “As Westerners we are naturally good at administration work as our whole life is based on an organised structure.” However, “There are many flaws and errors in putting an Arab in charge.” He even confesses “how even the Kuffār [non-muslim] work harder and quicker at administration work.” 
Continuing: “Another ‘great’ feature of Arabs in administration is that there is no queue in any of their offices. You could be waiting in line for half an hour and then another Arab would come and push in the queue and go straight in.” 
The “Majority of the Arabs in administration are not only lazy workers but also unaware of their job role,” he states. “The solution is twofold. Number one; to pray to Allāh that He (sic) replaces the Arabs with others who know what they are doing. Number two; and a more practical solution, is to shout at them while asking for what you need” he instructs his readers.
You cannot make this stuff up. A British Muslim decides to go all jiHAAAAAAD!!! on people, and then realises that maybe his fellow shahidi aren't quite the stand-up guys that their so-called "holy book" tells them to be? Who ever would have seen that coming?!

The thing is, though, that once you stop cracking up at the irony of it all, the man does in fact have some good points about dealing with Arab culture.

There are good things about the Arab culture, if you're willing to look past a lot of quite frustrating differences between it and more forthright Western cultures.

Arabs are, generally speaking, sociable people. There is no better way to get to know an Arab than to sit down with him for a cup of coffee. They love to talk, and they never get straight to the point; Persians and Arabs both share a love of small talk that will drive the typically forthright American round the bend very quickly. If you are not willing to spend ten minutes at a time discussing the vagaries of the weather and the minutest details of distaff relations of each other's families, you won't get very far in Arab societies.

They also operate on rather different ideas about time than the rest of us do. If you've ever lived in or visited a part of the world that is primarily desert, you'll realise that the awesome heat and the desolation of the environment result in some decidedly interesting ways of dealing with the passage of time. In practice, what this means is that if someone says he's going to show up in "15 minutes", what he really means is, "sometime between 15 and 90 minutes from now". The latter endpoint could stretch out as far as two days from now, if the task at hand is not terribly important. To most Arabs, pretty much everything not related to immediate family falls into the "not terribly important" category, from what I've seen.

The Israelis call it "desert time", and that utterly laconic attitude to life can drive anyone who is not used to it right up the wall. I ran into it in the Negev Desert, and I have to say, out there, in the midst of the rocks and sand with just goats and snakes and scorpions to keep you company, it kind of makes sense. It made somewhat less sense when, during an earlier trip to Egypt, the bus my family was riding in broke down and we were told it would take "just 5 minutes" for the spare to arrive from the hotel to pick us up; it actually took about 80 minutes.

And don't even get me started on Cairo traffic.

As I said, there are admirable things about Arab culture. But there are also significant downsides. And most of them stem from the "amoral familist" nature of Arab societies.

The concept of "amoral familist" can be best summed up in that old Arab saying, "me against my brother; me and my brother against my cousin; the three of us against my tribe; my tribe against the world". Basically, if you're not family, you're nobody, and your possessions, your wealth, even your life, are all fair game.

The concept of "voluntary random associations" that I find so unusual, and so very admirable, about Americans is, from what I have seen anyway, utterly alien in the Middle East- except in Israel. And that is because the Israelis are a people under daily threat of attack. Living under such conditions tends to make people a lot more willing to stick together.

The absolute worst thing about the Middle East, though, has got to be the "Insh'Allah" attitude. That is a very fatalistic saying, which essentially means, "it will be as God wills". In other words, nothing is your responsibility, nothing is within your control. There is no point to making a real effort, for "Insh'Allah", you see.

This, combined with the Arab respect for strength- the "strong horse" concept, basically- means that nothing is ever their fault. Nothing is ever really up to them. They can do as they please, and consequences be damned.

I am, of course, making some enormous generalisations about a part of the world that I have visited and, frankly, didn't much care for (with the sole and very notable exception of Israel). But there is a kernel of truth behind all of them, as Bert the Bomber here is finding out. I cannot say I find it within myself to feel sorry for him. He is a traitor to the British people and nation, and deserves nothing better than to be shot the moment he is within sight of the British border.

Of course, this being modern Britain, they'll probably invite him right back in. With subsidised housing, health care, and education, all paid for by the British taxpayer. All for a man who spat on his people and his country, in order to help Islamist barbarians bring their particularly savage "religion" to the world through fire and sword.

However, the funniest thing, by far, about Mr. Hussain's travails is this little complaint right at the end of the article:
Earlier in the year he complained about having to peel potatoes without a proper peeler, struggling to wash his clothes and of how he hadn’t been able to find himself a jihadi bride.
Oh, the poor dear. Your heart just melts for him, doesn't it?

Well, in the interests of helping a brother get laid, can I just point out that there is, in fact, one good way to deal with his problem. Never let it be said that the Didact is unwilling to help out a fellow when he's in need of good advice.

Mr. Hussain, I present to you the ISIS alternative to a war bride:

Somewhere in the American South, Carey is laughing so hard he'll rupture something

Mr. Hussain may, of course, have to decide precisely which end of that particular marriage he wants to be a part of. But he's a big boy, I'm sure he'll figure it out.

Oh, and in the inexplicable event that Mr. Hussain is still having difficulties, may I be so bold as to suggest looking up the American Army Ranger battalions and their particularly developed set of skills in this area:


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