Isis

Isis’s weakness is now its strength

2 April 2021 5:00 pm

As coronavirus swept the globe a year ago, Isis began issuing pronouncements. ‘God, by his will, sent a punishment to…

We shouldn’t forget the horrific crimes of Isis returnees

16 March 2021 7:00 pm

Summer 2015. A five-year-old girl is chained up and left outside in the desert sun in Fallujah, Iraq – a…

The twisted logic of Shamima Begum's defenders

16 March 2021 4:29 am

Shamima Begum is back in the news. Firstly because she’s had a makeover. She can be seen on the front…

Shamima Begum is not a victim

27 February 2021 10:50 pm

Adark cloud hangs over the Al Hol Camp where Shamima Begum is being held in North-Eastern Syria. She is said…

Denying Shamima Begum a return to Britain could backfire

27 February 2021 12:44 am

Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to prevent Shamima Begum from returning to the UK and mounting a legal challenge…

A high-end car-boot sale of the unconscious: Colnaghi’s Dreamsongs reviewed

17 October 2020 9:00 am

In 1772 the 15-year-old Mozart wrote a one-act opera set, like The Magic Flute, in a dream world. Il sogno…

hostages

The hostages’ president

8 October 2020 6:06 am

President Trump has tweeted that, among other things he’s best at, he is ‘the greatest hostage negotiator in the history…

Macer Gifford: My fight against Isis

27 June 2020 9:00 am

A warning from the British trader who fought in Syria

Netflix’s Caliphate is all too frighteningly plausible

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Sweden is now properly celebrated as the Land that Called Coronavirus Correctly. But in the distant past, those with long…

A dark journey into a fanatical underworld

14 March 2020 9:00 am

Two years ago, the counter-extremist analyst Julia Ebner decided she needed to delve deeper into the extremists trying to disrupt…

Netflix's Messiah is a great concept undermined by implausible politics

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Sky’s latest bingewatch potboiler Cobra can’t quite make up its mind whether it wants to be an arch, knowing House……

My fear about the next generation of jihadists

2 December 2019 11:19 pm

I’ve just finished reading William Manchester’s absorbing memoir about the Pacific War. ‘Goodbye Darkness’ is a reminder of just how…

conan

Trump honors hero dog Conan. Media goes barking mad

26 November 2019 9:08 am

There are a few scenes from the Trump presidency which belong in the pantheon of great American political imagery. There…

Portrait of the week: An election date is set, al-Baghdadi dies and a row over gay giraffes

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Home Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, having shelved his Brexit Bill in the face of parliamentary opposition, persuaded the Commons…

Donald Trump’s shameful Syrian betrayal

10 October 2019 10:26 pm

Donald Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria is one of the most shortsighted foreign policy miscalculations in recent memory.…

It’s unfair for Britain to take Tooba Gondal and other Isis brides back

30 September 2019 9:05 pm

I am sure that Tooba Gondal, the latest Isis bride to beg for a return to Britain, would, as she…

Lap-dancing with ISIS, the real Monica Lewinsky and one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen: Edinburgh Fringe roundup

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Clive Anderson’s show about Macbeth, ‘the greatest drama ever written’, offers us an hour of polished comedy loosely themed around…

A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces holds up the group's flag (Getty)

The European fighters who battled Isis – and were abandoned by their governments

13 July 2019 9:00 am

Foreign fighters are returning from the battlefield — not Islamists but the Americans, Europeans and South Americans who fought to…

The brutality of the Isis Beatles

22 June 2019 9:00 am

 Beirut Television cameras get everywhere these days. Or maybe that was always true. Gore Vidal, the grand old man of…

A teenage Shamima Begum, before she left Britain (Getty Images)

Why we must make an example of Shamima Begum

2 March 2019 9:00 am

The three most popular justifications for punishment under the law all (as it happens) begin with R. They are retribution,…

I always come away more confused after listening to Moral Maze

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Is it me or are we now faced (or perhaps I should say fazed?) much more often by stories in…

Ivory plaque of a lioness mauling a man, ivory, gold, cornelian, lapis lazuli, Nimrud, 900 BC–700 BC. [© The Trustees of the British Museum]

The Assyrians of Ashurbanipal’s time were just as into pillage and destruction as Isis

1 December 2018 9:00 am

The Assyrians placed sculptures of winged human-headed bulls (lamassus) at the entrances to their capital at Nineveh, in modern Mosul,…

Right, a page from the Hamzanama, c.1558-73, depicting Elijah rescuing Amir Hamza's drowning grandson. Left, 'The Raven addresses an assembly of animals', c.1590.

The true face of Islam won’t be found in mosques or Muslim schools, but at the British Museum

3 November 2018 9:00 am

In Britain today, Islam in its original essence is not to be found in mosques or Muslim schools, but on…

And I think to myself, not a wonderful world…

25 August 2018 9:00 am

The story of Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan is an interesting one, I think, for what it tells us about…

In rebel-held territory, two boys contemplate the rubble of Daraa, September 2017

The tragedy of Syria: how protest spiralled into savagery

28 April 2018 9:00 am

The fateful day five years ago began like any other for the family. A pot of black tea with cardamon…