ISIS Helped Me Quit Smoking

H. A. Eugene

From the Medium article “Why I Joined ISIS”, which quotes a Twitter DM from an ISIS fighter:

It took time for ISIS until they implemented the law, but after having lectures about it and so on, there is no objection — with exception to those who smoke. It’s a little hard for them to suddenly quit smoking. But ISIS have been very good at helping them quit. —Abu Bakr al-Janabi

Smoking is a very difficult habit to break. I should know. I tried to quit twice. The physical symptoms, the self-recrimination you’ll feel at the first sign that you may not be as resolute as you previously thought, the childlike helplessness, the weakness of will…wait a minute…weren’t we talking about ISIS? Violent extremists?

Eric Hoffer’s terrific 1951 book The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements describes the extremist persona well. If memory serves (I read the book many years ago), this…

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Author: The Dalai Loca

Ileana Shevlin is a rock-concert accountant and writer living in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Muni Diaries, spiral-bound notebooks, and Google Docs. She probably owes L.A. Unified School District an invoice and an apology for all the great stories she left in the margins of their textbooks along the way.

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