In a short video recently circulated, three French-speaking members of the Islamic State (ISIS) – a young man and two much younger boys who appear to be minors, all of them armed with rifles – sing a song in praise of jihad fighters and leaders. According to the caption of the video, one of the boys is Syrian and the other is French, and the film was shot in Raqqa. The video was posted March 3, 2015 on the Facebook page of a French-speaking ISIS activist calling himself "Khalid Sham."[i]
The video begins with a short message in French delivered by the older fighter, who says: "This little message, this little nasheed, is for the brothers who are infiltrating Paris, may Allah reward you. We send you greetings from the brothers of the Caliphate, of the Levant."
Next, this fighter and one of the boys, both of them masked, sing a nasheed (religious song) in French. The song mentions a row of prominent jihad fighters and jihad leaders, including Osama bin Laden, Anwar Al-Awlaqi, Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, Abu 'Omar Al-Baghdadi, and Mohammed Merah, perpetrator of the 2012 attacks in Toulouse. After each name it says: "For everything you've done for us, we will never forget you."
In the last part of the video, the third boy, who is unmasked, delivers an angry message to Muslims living of Fance. Waving his gun, he shouts: "This is a message for all of France! Why are you sitting? Do not be afraid of the infidels, you have to confront them with weapons! Why are you sitting? Why are you crying like women and sitting in your homes? You make me angry! If you are not with the Muslims then fuck off!"
It should be mentioned that nasheeds are very popular among jihad supporters and fighters and play an important role in spreading the jihadi message. Most of these songs are in Arabic, but ISIS recently released one in French, titled "Extend your hand."[ii] Its lyrics are:
"Extend your hand to pledge allegiance and migrate to your land
"Make your heart cry out for vengeance because you can't remain silent anymore"
"The standard has risen, the Caliphate has arrived
"O you who dreamed so much, it is time for you to migrate
"We must break the silence with militant faith
"[through] the perfection of martyrdom or shining victory
"We lose our dignity by living as cowards
"We strengthen our unity by fighting relentlessly
"Our enemies are terrified and want us exterminated
"Let's be ready to sacrifice everything. Let us be the most determined"
[ii] The song was released February 17, 2015 on the Twitter account of ISIS's media company Al-Hayat.