Poetry of a Belgian jihadi in Syria

Belgium’s largest daily newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reported today about the writings of a Belgian jihadi recently killed while fighting for Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria — showing his poetic side.

Belgian Jabhat al-Nusra fighter Abu Handalah (on the right)

Belgian Jabhat al-Nusra fighter Abou Handalah (on the right)

“How beautiful are the characteristics of the mujahid. If he is bleeding, he says: Allahuma, take more. With his blood and his iman , he defies every danger. And his deepest wish is: Allahuma, let me be a martyr.” That’s one of the verses translated from Dutch, published this week by ‘De Basis‘ — a Facebook community of Dutch speaking members of Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria. They found the poetry on the laptop of Abou Handalah, killed on May 3 while he kept watch during the fighting in Sheikh Najjar, near the northern city of Aleppo.

The true identity of Abou Handalah isn’t known yet, although his brothers in arms already distributed a recognizable picture of him. Their conversations on Facebook do learn his first name must be Mohamed, and most of his friends and his acquaintances seem to come from the Belgian city of Antwerp. What his poems certainly are showing, is that Abou Handalah was fluent in Dutch. They contain numerous misspellings — but apart from that, he mastered the language clearly much better than the average Belgian fighter in Syria.

“Every single attack is as a marriage proposal for me”, he also wrote. “Waiting for your answer to my request. Wondering when the noble martyrdom will reach me and I will enter the hearts of green birds. When the houri will descend from heaven and remove the dust from my face. Oh my Lord, decorate me with the beauty of purity. All I’m asking from you, my beloved, is your satisfaction.” The poetry of Abou Handalah is always religious and rather combative, yet a lot more sophisticated than the blunt cries about fights and beheadings to which most of his peers seem to limit themselves.

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