At home with Mohammed Emwazi Britain’s last living executioner
Having been told that Jihadi John is Mohammed Emwazi, the loveable rogue’s father is the subject of the Times‘ story: “No proof my son is Isis butcher, says father of Mohammed Emwazi.”
Which makes us wonder: where is Mo, then? Has he got in touch to dismiss the stories?
Jasem Emwazi, for it is he, has hired a lawyer in Kuwait. No, not to sell his story to the highest bidder or to auction his belongings to ghouls. That for later. The lawyer is there to stick to the facts, telling one and all:
“I am not sure that [Jihadi John] is my son. There is no proof that the man shown in the videos and photographs is my son, as the media has reported in the last few days.”
Or as NBC puts it:
The father of the militant known as “Jihadi John” cried when his son’s role in ISIS was revealed to the world and said “May God … take revenge on him,” a co-worker told NBC News.
An the Telegraph:
The father of Mohammed Emwazi described his son as a “dog, an animal and a terrorist” and revealed he begged his parents for forgiveness before joining Isil and becoming Jihadi John, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.
So what of the news that Honest John’s mum Ghaniyah had seen the ISIS snuff movies and declared, “That’s my son!” Says dad:
“There are a lot of lies in the media … I want to say to the people of Kuwait that I am one of you.”
Jasem’s lawyer, Salem al-Hashash, goes fearlessly on the record:
“There is no evidence that Mohammed is the man in the videos because his face was covered… There is nothing that proves his father agreed with him or helped him. Muhammad is responsible for what he does himself.”
He could go on. Did the helmeted ‘Lewis Hamilton’ really win the Formula One Drivers’ Championship? Is Bruce Wayne really Batman? Was that Neil Armstrong on the moon? Is that Prince Andrew or his Spitting Image puppet?
A few pages on, the Times’ Daniel Finkelstein says Emwazi is John and John is Emwazi. he then labels him a useful idiot:
People get together in small groups, often for primarily social reasons, and these groups gradually become more extreme, pushing out doubters and increasing in purity. They form an identity that is resilient to argument and the norms of the outside world.
They accept a narrative that justifies further extremism and brooks no opposition. Everything and everyone outside the group is a challenge to its coherence and therefore reasonably subject to violent reprisal.
This has happened repeatedly in history and the adoption of a strict interpretation of Islam has not proven necessary to it. Look at the SS gangs, for instance….
Yet the plain and unavoidable fact is that this time, right now, it is Muslim identity and Islamic ideas that have been co-opted by these groups.
And this means that the burden of condemning it and challenging it and exposing it, inevitably falls upon Muslims…
Suzanne Moore looks at the celebrity with stars in his eyes:
I am not going to call Mohammed Emwazi by his cuddly nickname as the BBC headlines continue to do for some strange reason. I do not want to see any more pictures of him in his murder outfit brandishing a knife. I do not want to read any more details that seek to explain what turned him into a serial killer. He looks ill at ease in a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball cap. All the self-assurance of the feared executioner disappears when he is unmasked. Let’s keep it that way.
Not all executioners are so easily shamed. Sydney Dernley was Britain’s last surviving executioner. Why did he want to become a hangman?
“It was not that I wanted to kill people. It was the story of travel and adventure, of seeing notorious criminals and meeting famous detectives.”
Mohammed Emwazi is away…