ISIS and the Elephant

Not radio-related, but I couldn’t help but share this caricature by Latif Fityani that Roya TV has just posted on its Facebook page:

The reference here is to the Qur’anic Sura of the Elephant, in which God is said to have sent “birds in flights” against the enemies of the faithful (as a sign of His power), which in the Sura are referred to as أصحاب الفيل (People of the Elephant).

The “birds” here are, of course, symbolically, Jordan’s air force bombing the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (the flag sticking out of the frontmost elephant says “Daesh” [= ISIS]). The cloth (saddle blanket?) over the animal’s back says أصحاب الضلال والتضليل – “those who delude and deceive/misdirect,” which refers back to the Qur’anic quote both through the initial  أصحاب – literally “owners,” “friends” or “companions,” but also used to mean “those who…” or “people associated with…” – and the final تضليل “misdirection” or “leading astray” – which also occurs in the Qur’anic original (though as something that God inflicted upon the Elephant people, rather than one of their attributes), and is also in keeping with the verse-final -iil rhyme that occurs throughout the Sura.

The rest of the iconography – noble hawks / falcons / eagles, with Jordanian air force symbols on the underside of the wings, flying across a bleak landscape – fits very neatly into the various graphics posted by Jordanians and Jordanian media outlets on social media websites over the past few days.

ISIS and the Elephant

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