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Vice Blog

The 2011 Global Fear League

To us Brits, fear isn’t fear anymore. It’s Arab. Sure, some of the old fear was Arab-related. But this new fear is almost entirely Arab. It's not our fault. It's the fault of the world. Or of militant Islamists. Militant Islamists? Militant Islame-ists! That said, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of dangerous places in the world, and not all of them are being ruled by waxwork replicas of Sergeant Gaddafi (though unfortunately one of them is).

Annoncering

Anyway, here's a list of the most fearsome countries in the world from a British perspective. And here is last year's (non-UK-specific) list.

CUBA

So what's the situation?
An old man sits alone in a palace. He has a beard. He is unwell. Perhaps he is already dead. In the streets, a yearning for cars built after 1956 grows. The old man takes out a guitar and films himself singing "Hurt". As he watches the playback he drops to the floor and rasps, "I was Castro". Furious with himself for saying his last line in English, he dies.

What's Islam got to do with it?
Religious peoples of any creed confuse Fidel.

How does this affect us?
If a capitalist government storms to power, the US market will flood with Cuban cigars. The Midwestern population, whose yoinks provide a significant proportion of Taliban IED fodder, will instead be decimated by throat cancer, leaving us Brits to fight the terrorists ourselves. Eek.

SOMALIA

So what's the situation?
There are two clear and present dangers and they aren’t that comfortable with each other. You’ve got Long John Silver and his pal Bluebeard roaming the high seas looking for an easy buck and la dolce vita, and then you’ve got a civil war fought, on one side, by Al-Shabaab, an extremist Muslim group who disapprove of the pirates but tolerate them in exchange for cash. There’s no real government and we, like the rest of the outside world, largely appear not to give a shit (unless we're doling out covert ransoms). All aboard HMS Broken State!

Annoncering

What's Islam got to do with it?
Shabaab’s Allah will take your ransom money, but he’s not happy about how you got it.

How does this affect us?
As long as you’re a seafaring British Muslim extremist who happened to be raised by a neutral Somali clan you’ll be absolutely fine. Failing that, you could always just not drive a boat anywhere near Somalia.

LIBYA

So what's the situation?
Most of the evil figures that people in this country can actually remember have either been comedy Nazis like Oswald Mosley, or one-off, whore-killing nihilists like Peter Sutcliffe. As such, it's maybe been too easy for us to look upon Colonel Gaddafi in recent years as a madman who'd mellowed and become ridiculous with age, like Klansmen or Mr Nice. To generation xyzabc, the Libyan dictator was nothing more than a guy with a baggy face who wore funny hats. And then he went and spoiled it all by doing something stupid like dropping bombs on his own pop-u-lay-tion.

What's Islam got to do with it?
It seems likely that a Taliban-style extremist group will sweep into the power vacuum created by Gaddafi's decision to hand over his country to foreign mercenaries. They'll win the hearts of the structure-hungry Libyans, fire guns in the air on the day they come to power, then dick all over everything in a way that has everyone longing for the days when they were playing shrapnel chicken with the Colonel again.

Annoncering

How does this affect us?
Well, if David Cameron’s audacious, highly unpopular “no-fly zone” plan comes into being, which it won’t, the danger of retaliation would be massive. Otherwise – mmm, not so much. See you in ten years when you're another al-Qaeda breeding ground shouting at us from across the sea, Libya!

CHINA

So what's the situation?
“24 million single, lonely men by 2020…” You’ve never read a scarier sentence. But that sentence will be the reality as the one-child law and sex-specific abortions continue to force proud young Chinese men into each others' arms. The lonelier and gayer China gets, the more likely it is to form an army of bachelors ready to take out their sexual frustrations on unwitting foreigners. Chinese dudes who can never get laid will dominate the future of fear.

What's Islam got to do with it?
Anything that encourages being gay is unlikely to go down well with hardcore Imams. The lonely guy Chinese army may meet resistance from the married guy Islamist army.

How does this affect us?
You know how the developing world tends to act as an Elysian Fields for the basest, most repugnant sexual beings the global superpowers can muster? When gay China finally overtakes the US in the dick-swinging stakes, your clean, white ass is gonna be a dick-swinger's steak.

EGYPT

So what's the situation?
Everyone had been talking about Tunisia but then Egypt, which is a lot bigger, got a lot rowdier, and we all know “rowdy fear” is the best fear. President Hosni Mubarak had been in power for 30 years. Keen to stay there or hand over the reins, Monarch-style, to his son Gamal, who has “no charisma” and isn’t even that popular with his father’s army cronies, Mubarak is now on a snorkelling holiday in Sharm el-Sheikh having been deposed. Time to return to worshipping cats.

Annoncering

What's Islam got to do with it?
A lot. On the one hand, the Muslim Brotherhood want to be nice and extreme. (Niqabs all round.) On the other, the liberal, young, educated crew want to be, like, not really that Muslim? (Drinking, some light sexiness and The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break all round.)

How does this affect us?
Ecstatic, young, liberated beings with cat-gods, walking around on the internet? It'll be like that time James Righton tried to chat up your girlfriend at Mother Bar in 2006.

FAROE ISLANDS

So what's the situation?
Every year this small community of Vikings, stranded on a rock between Scotland and Iceland, run on down to the beach, herd large groups (schools? Shoals? Sacks?) of pilot whales into the shore and then harpoon them till they’re dead and the water has turned red with their blood. It’s called the “slaughter of the whales” and it looks like this year is going to throw up a bumper crop of docile, naïve ones for the Faroe Islanders to sink their huge, hungry, unloving, hooked phalluses into.

What's Islam got to do with it?
I've never met a Muslim whale.

How does this affect us?
If you’re a British whale, the Faroe Islands are the scariest place on earth. They are a blubber-stripping hellmouth. If you’re a British anything else, who gives a shit?

IRAQ

So what's the situation?
Just like Ethiopia in the 80s and Somalia in the 90s, Iraq was last decade’s hot media topic that got boring. Fuck that! This year it’s going to make a comeback because, shockingly, it’s not yet the land of milk and honey. It’s the land of sour milk and guns.

Annoncering

What's Islam got to do with it?
Everything? If you live there you may as well live in a mosque, work in a mosque and go to sleep dreaming of mosques. That’s how big a factor it is.

How does this affect us?
Apparently they're re-discovering the ancient sites of Babylon, so the only immediate danger you're in is of seeing Tony Robinson and his loyal team of archaeologists being blown to smithereens on a live special of Time Team.

VENEZUELA

So what's the situation?
Socialist demigod Hugo Chavez is turning his people into crusties by encouraging them to squat high-end houses in Caracas while his army takes over “unproductive” farms. Rich Venezuelans are spluttering fine red wine into their tender steaks.

What's Islam got to do with it?
Doesn’t matter what religion you are as long as you're sticking it to the man. And remember: Chavez, his government and his army are not the man. Other rich Venezuelans are. The ones who don’t have any political power.

How does this affect us?
When the rich Venezuelan family who've been holidaying in your second home in the Cotswolds get back to discover their house is full of barrio babes, they aren't likely to risk a return journey next year.

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