Staging an ISIS kidnapping as a wedding prank might sound like one of the worst ideas anybody has ever had—but luckily for Egyptian groom Ahmed Shehata, his bride got the joke. At the wedding this week, Shehata's relatives burst into the wedding hall wearing masks and forced the couple into a cage like the one militants burned a Jordanian pilot alive in. After the "kidnappers" revealed their identities and music played, the couple danced inside the cage. To ISIS, the message is that "the cage you're scaring us with, we are dancing inside it," 23-year-old bride Shaimaa Deif tells the Guardian.
Some Egyptians said the prank was tasteless so soon after ISIS' execution of 21 Egyptian Christians, but Shehata says now is the time to send a message to the group. "We will scare you, because our enjoyment, our happiness, and our weddings will continue whatever you do," the medical graduate tells the Guardian. The wedding prank came after several ISIS parody videos in Egypt last week—one involving belly dancers—and commentator Mona El-Ashry rejects arguments that joking desensitizes people to the group's atrocities, telling the BBC that ISIS needs to know that if it tries to scare Egyptians, they will "degrade you, demean you, and make fun of you in every possible way." (Saturday Night Live and Dakota Johnson spoofed ISIS in a controversial skit.)