Twitter Terrorist


One would have expected Iraqi teenager Alaa Esayed to treasure her refuge in posh Kensington in South London where she was given sanctuary back in 2008. Instead, Esayed, now 22, used her home as a base to launch a jihadist hate campaign that has seen her dubbed the Twitter Terrorist. I read her story bewildered. The extent of brainwashing that extremists put children through at an impressionable age is scary. How else do you explain a girl being so ungrateful to the country that gave her shelter, after her father was forced to flee Iraq? She posted more than 45,000 tweets in Arabic, so effective and prolific, that she drew the attention of al Qaeda, which listed her account among the 66 most important jihadi accounts. Her tweets mostly comprised gory and horrific images and video clips used to promote the jihadist cause. Esayed called on Muslims to murder English infidels. Sadly, she had a sizeable number of online followers, who I hope are being investigated by the authorities.

From pictures of her taken while she was standing outside court, she looked no more than a cowardly, frightened, chubby-cheeked girl. How deceptive can appearances be. Rather than deporting her, the clown of a judge gave her a lenient three-and-a-half-year sentence. She will be a bigger problem when she comes out in 18 months. Meanwhile, I hope she doesn’t get the internet in prison! 

Accidental racism

Someone tell me this didn’t happen. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that the recently released Jurassic World got accused of racism, and, all for a dinosaur’s name. Hai Allah. Some idle minds conveniently assumed that by christening those extinct creatures, ‘Pachy’, the makers were making a smartass dig at the ‘Paki’ community. (‘Paki’ is used as a pejorative term against South Asians in the UK.) In Luc Besson’s 1997 feature film, The Fifth Element, the hideous savage brutes are called Mangalores. Incidentally, Mangalore is a beautiful South Indian city. I don’t know of any Indian who thought about this, leave alone objecting to it. And here, poor Chris Patt, for no fault, put his tail between his legs and apologised, fearfully, just to keep the fanatics off his back.

Pachycephalosaurus refers to a thick-skulled dinosaur and the most natural abbreviation for it is ‘Pachy’. Phonetically, this might sound like a wildly racist slur but one reading it as an insult would have to be just as thick-skulled. Note to troublemakers: you know best that if you go looking for trouble, you can find it anywhere. But please don’t get desperate to feel racially offended. This over-reacting at the drop of a pin will do you no good. Making a mountain out of a molehill will only make the rest of the world angrier with you. Now grow up, get a life, go inside and enjoy the show! 

Bhaijaan on Eid

This one is for troublemakers of another kind. Read: rival distributors spreading mischievous murmurs (to influence the Censors) that Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan might not release in Pakistan on Eid because of its alleged anti-national content. I’m sorry to disappoint the mischief-mongers but bhaijaan will be coming to Pakistan… on the silver screen. Friends in his office have assured me that the film is as peaceful, happy and friendly as it gets: “It is about how people on both sides of the border are the same.” Don’t we agree?


According to a study released last week, Bangkok’s international airport has the fastest WiFi service in the world. Since users can hardly ever sign in, it should be pretty fast.

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