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Have you heard the one about Isis and the ‘Ebola bomb’?

26 August 2014

26 August 2014

Isis has the Ebola bomb. So be very, very afraid.

If you’re a nutjob, that is. The conspiracy website Before It’s News reports that ‘whistleblower and former police officer’ Greg Evensen has discovered that ‘Isis now has the weaponised Ebola virus, here in America!’

Evensen also reveals who’s pulling the strings of Isis. Yup: Barack Obama. Surprisingly, the website omitted the President’s middle name, but I imagine its readers are pretty familiar with it anyway.

This is a conspiracy theory of (mostly) angry rednecks. But we shouldn’t’ be surprised if it pops up in African-American and Muslim communities – both, in their different ways, hungry markets for these fantasies.

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Articles about young British Muslims volunteering to join Isis focus too much on the supposed apocalyptic logic of Islamism and too little on the circulation of what I call counterknowledge – ‘deviant’ information that’s rejected by intellectual orthodoxy but seized upon by society’s fringes.

Peddlers of counterknowledge include Holocaust deniers, homeopaths, UFO believers… you get the picture. As I asked in my book Counterknowledge, has anyone yet revealed that after Jesus married the notorious Freemason Mary Magdalene in a ceremony on top of the Great Pyramid of Giza, she spirited him off to the south of France in one of the FBI’s black helicopters? If not, it can only be a matter of time.

The leitmotif of counterknowledge is the revelation of a dastardly hidden plot: you often find strands of a single conspiracy theory woven into the belief systems of groups that ostensibly have nothing in common. Look at how that masterpiece of counterknowledge, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, has been embraced by Russian aristocrats, Idaho survivalists and the Arab street.

There was a terrific op-ed piece in last weekend’s Sunday Times by Dominic Lawson arguing that the young Western morons who have joined Isis haven’t been systematically ‘radicalised’ by imams. Rather, they resemble gang members or football hooligans who have donned Islamic fancy dress. ‘It is not such much the ideology that acts as the pull, but the possibility of exercising power over others,’ wrote Lawson.

Self-deluding gang members are incredibly receptive to crazy notions – such as the idea that the world can be captured by an ‘Islamic caliphate’ through the barbaric real-life equivalent of computer games. There are plenty of jihadi versions of Call of Duty doing the rounds. Time in prison listening to the rambling fantasies of self-styled Islamists also helps. (‘Listen, brothers, do you know about the Ebola bomb?’)

None of this is meant to excuse Muslim leaders around the world who have encouraged the spread of Jew-hatred. But I suspect that even the most fanatical Salafist preacher has little control over British Isis recruits whose murderous urges owe as much to digital technology and gang culture as to extremist readings of the Koran.


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Show comments
  • http://goo.gl/Gb8Ne Ved from Victoria Institutions

    Might as well allow Homeopathy a chance. Let us see what would be the result.

  • Jose Martins

    “Peddlers of counterknowledge include Holocaust deniers, homeopaths, UFO believers…”

    It also includes myself, whom believes Political Correctness is affiliated with Goebbels`s Reichs Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.

  • GraveDave

    Does Michael Gove know about all this Damian.

  • Youbian

    Haven’t noticed many homepaths beheading people

  • Augustus

    Have you heard the views of just one of many ISIS members interviewed by a Dutchman called Harold Doornbos a few months ago when this jihadist was fighting in Syria against Assad? Pretty old news by now, but nevertheless worth repeating, because as we all learnt in the 20th Century, radical ideology thrives and becomes the greatest danger when it is treated with apathy or derision by others.

    “We are going to first fight against Assad, then against the secularists, then against the Americans and the Jews, and then we have to conquer the rest of the world. Syria is just the beginning. Democracy is a diabolical system because God is not worshipped and there are laws that are made by people, not by God. Anyone who believes in democracy is an infidel dog. How can you be a Muslim and believe in democracy at the same time? God tells us that we should decapitate all these people, since this is how the servants of God should punish the enemies of God.”

  • HookesLaw

    ”There was a terrific op-ed piece in last weekend’s Sunday Times by Dominic Lawson arguing that
    the young Western morons who have joined Isis haven’t been
    systematically ‘radicalised’ by imams. Rather, they resemble gang
    members or football hooligans who have donned Islamic fancy dress. ‘It
    is not such much the ideology that acts as the pull, but the possibility
    of exercising power over others,’ wrote Lawson.”

    This is probably true – but it still leaves the ease with which these people are happy to be ‘radicalised’ or ‘self-deluded’.

    • GraveDave

      They’re very rarely thick underclass Muslims. Far from it. Yet for years the MSM have been trying to paint this picture of Muslim extremists being the Pakistani version of the EDL. It’s utter bollox.

  • artemis in france

    They’re joining up because they can, and the idea occurs to them because there is far too much complacency within Britain. When I start to read reports that the forces of order (such as they are in Britain) have been arresting youths for peddling hate littérature, enforcing Sharia law within their neighbourhoods, and harrassing young women and gays for simply walking around dressed normally, then I may start to believe that the penny has dropped. But while thèse questionable and sometimes illégal activities are allowed to continue I shall continue to think of Britain as a comfortable place for potential jihadists to be raised.

    • Colonel Mustard

      It can be summed up by the protocol that what serves as a constabulary in Britain is much more interested in what a householder might do to a discovered burglar than the act of burglary which brought that circumstance about. The thrust of enforcement is almost entirely directed towards control of the law abiding regardless of criminal provocations, unless and until the “victims” fall within recognisable but ambiguously established identity groups.

      There is no longer one rule of law, the constabulary no longer enforce it impartially and the CPS (est.1986) no longer prosecute it impartially. All three have become agents of a political agenda.

  • Blindsideflanker

    I haven’t heard that one, but I did hear the Establishment claim Ebola is very difficult to catch, and that we shouldn’t worry about it, only to find medical people, who should know the risks, should know how to deal with it, going down with Ebola like flies.

    The chap we flew back for West Africa, we are told is a very dedicated and professional nurse, s how come he went down with it if it is difficult to catch? Was he careless? Perhaps not quite so professional as we are made to believe?

    • El_Sid

      The risk to the man in the street is very different to the risk faced by people in daily contact with the advanced stages of a disease. In the same way medics get vaccinations for hep C etc, which is nasty but not something that the man in the street is at particular risk of. “very dedicated” nurses will be more likely to expose themselves to high-risk patients who should probably be left to die.

  • Jez

    “Peddlers of counterknowledge include Holocaust deniers, homeopaths, UFO believers… you get the picture.”

    You missed out Jimmy Saville in your keyword onslaught as to utterly put off any person anywhere from questioning anything whatsoever.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    Sorry, Tom Clancy did this years ago.

  • Colonel Mustard

    The problem with conspiracy theories is that it is so easy to sneer at them from a position of presumed enlightened superiority that the real conspiracies can hide in plain sight, like Labour-dominated fake charities. Then you have the conspiracies that are no more than tacit understandings and groupthink.

  • Bonkim

    ISIS may have the last laugh!

  • Shotfirbraons

    Yes. Umberto Eco also wrote about this brilliantly in Foucault’s Pendulum …

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