ISIS derided Korean boy band BTS, British pop star Harry Styles, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk as having “absolutely disgusting” influence and claimed that men dressing in drag is a sign that “everything is getting worse” in an article predicting that “the world is heading to the end times.”
ISIS Khorasan Province, which operates in central and southern Asia, made the comments in an article on Abu Bakr (father-in-law of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad) “to remind Muslim Ummah [community] about our real role models” in its 25th and latest issue of the English-language Voice of Khurasan magazine, which runs 58 pages.
“A role model has a strong influence over people, especially young children because they are impressionable but unfortunately in this generation, mainstream media determine role model based on popularity and glorified unrighteous behavior,” the terror group states. “It is such a shame that we live in a time where men feel shy for being masculine and having righteous qualities but glorified for their sinful behavior, attitude and qualities. They are especially glorified through drug usage, zina [sex outside marriage], greed, arrogance, etc., and sadly everything is getting worse because apparently, it’s a trend and ‘courageous’ for men to dress up like women and it is absolutely disgusting that even in Muslim countries people are following, celebrating and welcoming kuffr [disbeliever] celebrities like, Harry Styles, Jaden Smith, BTS, Elon Musk and Brad Pitt.”
“Anyone who considers themselves as a Muslim should reject such poisonous ‘modernity’ because it is haram for men to imitate women in the way they dress,” ISIS-K continued.
The article also goes after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud for what ISIS sees as encroaching westernization in the kingdom including “inviting kufr openly, curbed the influence of important cleric, relaxed rules, policies & code of conduct for women, allowed music concerts, Halloween events, fashion shows, opened cinema halls, accepted Christian tourism” and more.
“It is no secret that the world is heading to the end times and Saudi Arab’s turning green is one of the most important signs of it, and during this time, the Muslim Ummah should make sure they follow the right role model, that the Khalifah of the Muslims, other than following the traitorous Tawagheet [idolatry] rulers of the time,” the article added.
Speaking about the end times has been a tenet of ISIS communications since the early days of the caliphate: A 2015 e-book released by ISIS, “Black Flags from Rome,” laid out the group’s apocalyptic vision and said they would conquer Rome by 2020 to set the stage for a final battle in Israel.
Another article in the issue is directed at Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi — criticized for foreign policy “based on the principle of globalization” — and claims that “the imprudent Taliban militia miscalculated their strength in this long war.”
“You call the world like a village and want good relations with all infidel countries, even if it ends up selling Islam and honor,” the article states. ISIS also claims that Afghanistan is under “cultural occupation,” despite the Taliban’s heavy-handed rule, because “the secular republican curriculum is still being taught in schools and universities across Afghanistan.”
“Under the guise of cultural programs, sometimes you participate in religious ceremonies of their religions, sometimes you celebrate Independence Day at the Turkish Embassy, and you call those killed in defense of democracy as martyrs, while you pray for them and put flowers on their graves,” the magazine continued. “Sometimes, you observe the death anniversaries by putting a memorial book and writing on it, just as the Westerners do… Your cabinet and government are comprised of Aga Khan supporters, religious leaders, Sufis, secularists and other polytheists. Is it not enough as a reason for fighting against you?”
ISIS also said the Taliban is allowing “high quality alcohol” at “guest houses of the foreigners” including hotels and embassies, which “are also big centers of prostitution now.”
The terror group concluded of the Taliban that “jihad against them is obligatory” as it was under the previous Afghan government. The following article in the magazine encourages Muslims to save their cash and fund terror instead: “At a time when the jihad and the mujahidin are in immense need of the sincere financial support of the Ummah, the ordinary Muslims should be more cautious about extravagance and wastefulness, and more sincere in contribution for the the expenses of jihad and mujahidin, according to their capacity.”
While the articles in Voice of Khurasan tend to be focused on regional issues such as their displeasure with the Taliban in Afghanistan or targeting Hindus in India, the magazine does wade into U.S. current affairs.
In April, Voice of Khurasan declared that “media knights” for the terror group should redouble their efforts to do battle wielding social media, videos and online publications and could qualify for a reward “equal to that of shooting arrows and in some cases even more than that.”
The same issue also mocked the days-long monitoring and eventual U.S. missile takedown of the Chinese spy balloon and said response to the incident gave the terror group questions “about America’s capability of digesting another 9-11 styled heavy blow to its mainland.”
The terror group then said the balloon was a distraction from American domestic problems including “regular mass shooting which has turned out to be one of favorite US leisure activities these days,” underscoring ISIS-K’s fondness for rolling news headlines in the west into their propaganda.
In September, ISIS-K referenced the execution of a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago and the reactions of former President Trump and Donald Trump Jr. in declaring that the United States has descended into a “banana republic” ripe for an “Islamic storm” in the terror group’s favor.
In the July Voice of Khurasan issue, ISIS-K called mass shootings and other gun violence in America “tit for tat” and an “‘unwanted’ population control program” that, despite the motives of white supremacist or grievance-driven domestic shooters, is divine retribution for the U.S. war on terror.
Back in a May 2022 issue, the magazine invoked recent hot-button elements of the culture war and talking points arising from debate over issues including sex education, LGBT acceptance and the teaching of evolution as the group argued that “democracy and all that emanates from it is retarded and perverse” and attempted to woo recruits to their extremism.