Geoff Martin, editor of the Hamsptead & Highgate Express and other Archant titles in North West London, believes the widely-used moniker is “too playful” and in bad taste.
Emwazi, who was unmasked by US newspaper the Washington Post as the brutal ISIS killer, was a former pupil at Quintin Kynaston school in St John’s Wood and grew up on the Mozart Estate in Queen’s Park, which is covered by the Ham&High’s sister title the Brent and Kilburn Times.
Geoff banned the nickname from being used in Archant titles produced from Hampstead after the issue came up while he was taking part in an election hustings event at Belsize Square Synagogue last weekend. In future, the newspapers will simply refer to Emwazi by name.
Said Geoff: “During the debate I shared my distaste for the term ‘Jihadi John’. I believe it is altogether too playful, given the shocking images we’ve seen in our national newspapers, on television screens and most graphically of all, on the internet.
Writing in his leader column in the Ham&High, Geoff said: “Do we really need to attach a nickname to someone who has revelled in shedding innocent blood in the most savage and despicable manner? I think not. The term that’s being used to describe him makes him sound like a superhero from a Marvel comic.
“What next? Action Man figures? Mohammed Emwazi is no hero: he’s an evil cold-blooded killer who should be hunted down ruthlessly and brought to justice.”