There is nothing ‘medieval’ about Islamic State atrocities – they’re just cruel and brutal

By Professor Norman Housley, School of History

Professor Norman Housley, School of History discusses how the word ‘medieval’ has been used about Islamic astrocites.

“In Pulp Fiction, when Marcellus Wallace tells his captor and tormentor Zed that “I’m gonna get medieval on your ass”, we are spared further details, which is just as well since it involves a pair of pliers and a blow torch.

To Marcellus, “medieval” clearly means acting with cruelty towards a helpless captive, and similar thinking lies behind the use of the word to describe the murder of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff carried out, and broadcast to the world, by Islamic State. Everyone from UK deputy prime minister Nick Clegg to US foreign secretary John Kerry has used the word to express their horror at these awful crimes.

Medieval cruelty in modern times” proclaimed Christopher Dickey in The Daily Beast. Dickey referred to Foley being beheaded “as if he were a captive taken in medieval combat”.

Read the full article on The Conversation.

This article was originally published on The Conversation .




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