On sale now: Jihadi beard shampoo

In response to my earlier post on red beards, Joanna Paraszczuk tweeted this advertisement for a beard shampoo developed by pro-jihadi Daghestani women: 

I asked Joanna for a translation, which she kindly provided:

Dry shampoo for beards

Desire to Jannat

for the growth, thickness, and “taming” of beards

(ingredients: Aloe-vera gel, jojoba oil, palm butter, olive oil, glycerine, vitamins)

with oil and black cumin seeds, kist al hindi, vitamins, cobra oil, usma oil, helba oil, shea, decoction of herbs, D-panthenol.

Additional ingredients – Desire to Jannat recipe.

In an email, Joanna also provided some background information about the ad and the women who produced it:

“The beard shampoo was advertised last year [in 2014] on an account on the Russian social networking side VKontakte run by a North Caucasian woman or possibly group of women  named “Bely Sneg” (“White Snow”), thought to be from Dagestan. The account posted propaganda for the Caucasus Emirate and pro-Caucasus Emirate militants in Syria. The image was posted with an note that proceeds from sales would go toward supporting jihad. Bely Sneg stopped posting around May this year. There were rumors that she had gone to Syria. In November, Russian media reported that a “the Soap Gang,” a group of Dagestani women, had been arrested on charges of selling homemade soap and children’s items to fund the IS group (but Russia calls all militant groups in Syria “IS”). One of those arrested was named as Saida Khalikova and the leader of the group was named as Darya Itsankova who was believed to have escaped to Syria. I don’t know if Darya Itsankova is Bely Sneg but I suspect that she may be.”

This is the first time I have heard of militants producing grooming products “in-house”, but it is certainly not the first indication that radical Islamists are interested in such products. In the  documentary “My Brother the Islamist”, for example, we meet a 17-year old British convert named Ben who has an inferiority complex about his facial hair and uses beard serum to improve it. 

(From My Brother the Islamist, at 32′18′’)

This is not to mention perfumes, which are a big deal in the salafi and jihadi worlds and a topic I will return to in future posts.