We all want to make a good impression, especially when it comes to gaining admission to a coveted institution. But it’s far too easy to mess up when you don’t know some of the basic things that will disqualify you right off the bat. To help you aspiring Islamists, here are some tips from experts in the field to help you keep from committing career-sabotaging blunders in your quest to fight for the Islamic State.

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1. Having a Jewish-sounding last name

ISIS may never have suspected Steven Sotloff’s ancestry, but you can never be too careful. Any hint of Jewishness in your background will prejudice the admissions committee against your candidacy. Make sure your surname does not end in -off, -witz, -stein, -berg, -feld, or -evsky. And if your name is on the order of Cohen, Levy, or any variation of Israel, forget it. All it takes is one other foreign-born jihadi to become suspicious and you’ll find yourself on the wrong end of a Kalashnikov.

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2. Exhibiting any kind of squeamishness

ISIS members will be called upon to perform beheadings, crucifixions, gang rapes, and all manner of brutality. Such tasks are not for the faint of heart – or stomach. The gag reflex is not your friend here. If you need help in this regard, try binge-watching gore-filled B-horror movies, or visit an ER in a major metropolitan area on a Saturday night.

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3. Quoting the conciliatory, tolerant portions of the Koran

Yes, they exist, though you might not be familiar with them if you get all your news from the Fox Network. Muhammad was of two minds when it came to Jews and Christians, both admiring them for their intellectual and spiritual traditions and ordering them killed for resisting his, which was obviously better. The Bible is hardly the only religious text that can be mined to support whatever idea you want. Stay on your interviewer’s good side by only exhibiting familiarity with the bloodthirsty verses. Bonus points if you can throw in a few Hadiths to the same effect.

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4. Confessing that your favorite book is Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses

This one is key. Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa calling for Muslims to kill Rushdie should be your first clue that radical Muslims are seldom bothered by pansy Western notions such as freedom of expression. No matter that Khomeini was a Shiite and ISIS is a Sunni organization, and the two sects hate each other more than either one hates the Jews; when it comes to defensiveness over Muhammad, it doesn’t take much to get the vengeful juices flowing. Just ask a Danish cartoonist. You’re much better off singing the praises of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.

Rosie the Riveter

5. Expressing support for the notion of women’s rights

You can’t strike fear in the heart of the weak, Western liberal if you show any respect for women. If terror is your aim, then targeting women – especially young girls – for merciless sexual slavery must be part of the package. If you’ve retained even a whiff of feminism about you from your time in the West, get rid of it stat. You have no future in ISIS if your treatment of cattle and your treatment of women are distinguishable in any way.

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6. Suggesting that the celebration of victory might include alcohol

Basic rookie error here. Islam eschews alcohol, don’t you know, at least when other people are watching. You can get yourself into a heap of trouble by professing a fondness for hard beverages. The Taliban has no problem profiting from the harvest of opium, but heaven help you if you so much as hint that recreational activities should consist of anything more than pillaging a Yazidi town.

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7. Showing your #BringBackOurGirls tattoo

The only worse mistake would be a #BringBackOurBoys tattoo.

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8. Sharing the notion that ISIS is a Zionist plot to divide the Muslim world

It’s counterintuitive, but not every claim of a Zionist plot will prove popular in every part of the anti-Zionist world. This is especially true when the people you’re essentially accusing of participation in that Zionist plot would behead themselves before acquiescing to any such thing. Remember that “Zionist” is the epithet of choice across the Islamic Middle East, so share your conspiracy theories carefully.

OK! You’re all set! Now, about that Star of David necklace…

Find more of David’s tasteless sarcasm at PreOccupied Territory.