One of the two podcast hosts who came under fire for selling t-shirts with ISIS-inspired logo responded to the backlash calling it a "manufactured outrage." Photos of Anna Khachiyan and Dasha Nekrasova — who host "Red Scare" podcast — in the t-shirts went viral on Twitter with several users accusing them profiting off the terrorist group's logo.
The "Red Scare" merchandise featured a design that was a play on the ISIS logo that has an Islamic creed called "shahadah" or testimony of faith written in Arabic on a monochrome flag. The middle portion of the creed was replaced with an illustration of three woman in provocative positions.
The circle underneath that originally featured "Muhammad is His Prophet" on ISIS logo was replaced with "Red Scare" written in a similar fashion to Arabic. According to Nekrasova, t-shirts were launched about two years ago.
"When @visitordesign and I designed the shirt in March 2019, the 'MAGAbomber' Cesar [Seyoc] was in the news for sending defective explosives in the mail, one of which had an ISIS parody sticker that read 'get er done' ala Larry the cable guy," Nekrasova told the New Arab referring to a Twitter user who designed various clothing with political commentary. She also referred to Seyoc — a supporter of President Donald Trump — who mailed pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and media figures in 2018.
"The design was a riff on a sticker which was in English with mud flap graphics and available on eBay. The week we made the shirt the Trump administration had also announced the defeat of the ISIS caliphate," Nekrasova told the news outlet via a Twitter message. "The fact that there is 'backlash' almost 2 years after the fact is frankly manufactured outrage."
Nekrasova, 29, posted photos of herself and her co-host Khachiyan, 35, sporting the t-shirts on Twitter. She also mentioned a web link to purchase the t-shirts. However, multiple Twitter users slammed the duo and said they were trying to be "edgy" by selling ISIS-inspired t-shirts.
"[M]y dad's entire family is from Mosul. if he saw you wearing this in public it would just remind him of the pain, suffering and trauma of our family and friends and people. it's not funny, it's not cute, you aren't mocking anything, you're wearing a terrorist's flag," one user tweeted.
Another user said: "Imagine if a survivor of Daesh [ISIS] felt safe and isolated from danger as a refugee only to see this shit triggering their trauma."
A third user replied to Nekrasova saying: "Thousands of girls and women were raped, slaughtered or taken as slaves by ISIS. But hey, edgy right. So close to the original."
Nekrasova, who emigrated from Belarus, and Khachiyan, who emigrated with her parents in 1989 from the Soviet, are both based in New York City. According to the Cut, the duo's "Red Scare" podcast is a "critique of feminism and capitalism." They have also been critical of the #MeToo movement and the Black Lives Matter movement.