A popular Tel Aviv gay party promoter is facing a backlash after it used imagery mocking the Islamic State to publicize an event Friday. Drek, which organizes gay nightclub parties, published two controversial pictures: one, which remains prominent on the Facebook page, shows a semi-nude model holding aloft a black flag, a gesture to the Islamic State's banner; another, which has since been taken down, shows two men, one standing, the other kneeling, in a pose that recalls the footage the terrorist group released following the recent beheadings of Western hostages in its custody.
Israel's Ynet reported on the the party promoter's satire:
Posting the images online to Drek's Facebook page, the organizers wrote "as the new Islamic State gains traction in the Middle East, we at Drek have decided to give in to Sharia law and cheer the stubborn Daesh," using the Arab acronym for the group, and invoking a veiled play on words – "stubborn" in Hebrew can be written as "hard necked," a reference to the group's infamous executions.
Of course, not everyone found this funny. Drek's Facebook page was bombarded with negative comments — "Disgusting! Getting a laugh off of the murder of innocent victims," read one quoted by the Guardian.
"We reject violence in any form and that includes the (execution) videos intended to scare the world," Amiri Kalman, one of Drek's founders, told reporters. "Therefore we also refuse to participate with this fear and refuse to become hysterical. This is satire, and our way of showing our contempt of them and their videos."
They are not alone in their desire to mock the extremist group, which has seized swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, slaughtered innocent civilians, beheaded American and British hostages — acts which compelled Western countries to intervene in the conflict. As WorldViews reported earlier, many in the Arab world have taken to parodying the Islamic State's social media propaganda, through rock songs, joke videos and satirical Twitter accounts.