Islamic State members and supporters online are distributing a photoshopped image of Santa Claus being held hostage by the group. The dark humor and heavy sarcasm of Islamic State (ISIS) supporters define its aggressive social media campaigns that position the group as the “cool” successor to the out-of-style Al-Qaeda.
It is unconfirmed if the original source was created by an Islamic State member/supporter, though an intelligence source involved in monitoring extremist online activity believes it was. Nonetheless, Islamic State supporters have happily been posting it and using it to mock the U.S. and Christmas.
Celebrating Christmas is viewed as heresy or even blasphemy, which is punishable by death under sharia law by some Islamists. Muslims believe that Christianity contradicts the singularity of God by believing that Jesus was the Son of God, instead of limiting him to an admirable prophet.
Islamic attitudes towards Christmas celebrations greatly vary, even among Islamists.
When Al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorists talk about "breaking the cross," it is a reference to this prophecy about Jesus. The Islamic State goes further and argues that it is fulfilling prophecy and triggering this End Times conflict.
The Islamic State’s hostility towards Santa Claus is a reflection of the disdain Islamism has for non-Islamic holidays.