The French government has published a chart of nine ways we can spot a potential jihadist. However, many of the points on the list could easily be applied to anyone whose life has been altered radically, not by any extremist preacher, but by an all-screaming, never-sleeping, always hungry new baby.
This may lead to the finger being pointed at some innocent new parents.
Here's the French government's nine-point list (see chart below):
- They stop listening to music
Potential jihadists will stop listening to music because they think it will distract them from the “mission”, the government says. Most new dads are also forced to unplug the music system, not because it distracts from any parental “mission”, but because “you’ll wake the bloody baby! Again!”.
- Stop watching TV and quit going to the cinema
Radicalized young men and women will turn off the TV and stop going to the cinema, the French government points out because they don't want to risk coming across “forbidden images”. First-time parents on the other hand will stop watching TV or going to the cinema because they just can’t stay awake past 9pm.
- They dramatically change their eating habits
Those potentially heading for jihad will change what and when they eat, the government says, which is exactly what happens when you have a baby. No more eating out, no more eating together, no more eating at the table, just lots of take away pizzas and leftover pureed vegetables for mum and dad.
- Stop all sport
Extremists are likely to give up all sporting activity as they don’t like the fact men and women are often mixed, French authorities say. Over in new-baby world, a similar change in habits takes place with mums stopping exercise because they feel like they've been hit by a bus and dads because they've finally got an excuse to order take-away pizzas and get fat. And where do you get the time anyway!?
- Change the way they dress
Those who have heard the call to jihad will also change the way they dress, the French government says, notably women who are likely to wear clothes to hide their figure. That’s remarkably similar to Parisian mums who are also desperate to hide their body until they are back in the same shape they were before they got pregnant. While dads don’t really change what they wear so much, they are however far more willing to wear a jumper to work covered in baby sick.
- They don’t trust old friends
According to the French government potential jihadists will act differently towards their old friends who they may see as “impure”. Whilst “impure” might be a tad strong for how new parents would describe those friends “on the other side” who don’t have children and who go out late and get time to sleep off their hangovers, something does feel odd about them. B****rds is probably the more appropriate word.
- They reject members of their family
Those on the path towards radicalization are likely to turn away from their own family members, the government says. This is also distinctly likely for new parents, although here it's not an extremist preacher of hate who is responsible, just the mother-in-laws and how much they help out/stick their beaks in.
- They abandon school/professional training
A potential jihadist is likely to drop out of school or vocational training, the French government says, because they see the teaching as part of a plot. While this isn’t the case for most parents, unless we are talking about accidental teenage ones, they do abandon hope of following the career they wanted and just concentrate on earning money to pay for childcare.
- Consult extremist websites
One of the most obvious ways to spot a potential jihadist is to keep an eye on the websites they visit. They will visit social networks and websites that are more radical and extreme, the government says. While “lalecheleague.org” and “mumsnet.com”do not promote violence of any kind, they do have some pretty extremist mums on there suggesting some pretty radical things like “talk constantly to your baby”. They are pretty influential.