Retailers Capitalize on Iraq Crisis With ISIS Merchandise

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T-shirts and other apparel featuring the emblem and teachings of the radical Islamist group ISIS have been making their way around the world as the Sunni group spreads its reach across northern and western in Iraq and parts of Syria.

Retailers in Sunni-majority Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, have been particularly aggressive, setting up websites and Facebook pages to hawk the merchandise. The ISIS gear includes hoodies, t-shirts, baseball tees (oh the irony), and action figures. 

As Robert Gearty reported, Facebook has acted to shut most of them down, citing company "rules that bar direct statements of hate, attacks on private individuals and groups, and the promotion of terrorism."

Gear bearing slogans like “Mujahideen Around the World United We Stand,” “Fight for Freedom Till The Last Drop of Blood” and even “We Stand for ISIS” - the acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Levant - is still for sale on web pages of mainly Indonesian merchandisers, but the Menlo Park, Calif., social media company is no longer a part of the twisted promotion."

One active page (the Indonesia-based Rezji Militant) even sports some "Mujahid" piggy banks for the ISIS supporter who is wary of being shut down by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.


Beyond the irony of halal piggy banks, there is something to be said about the inherently capitalist nature of banking off of an Islamist group's surge to establish a caliphate.

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The gear has also been seen in Turkey, which has been supporting the very loose confederation of rebel groups fighting the Assad regime in Syria, which at one point included ISIS.

There's no word yet on how sales of apparel for ISIS (the real radical group) is impacting sales for ISIS (the fake organization on the FX cartoon show Archer).

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.