A Story of the Others
‘The Quran is our constitution. To see martyrdom in the path of Allah is our highest ambition and our goal.’ These are the words of one of the founding fathers of the Jihad in the UK and one of the people most responsible for spreading jihad throughout the Western world. He has fought on the battlefields of Afghanistan, Burma, and Kashmir and has inspired and recruited thousands to join the war against non-Muslims.
It has become a common scene these days as thousands of young men and women are deliberately choosing to exchange their comfortable lives in the West for a position in the ranks of the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) religious army. Many apparently stable school kids have transformed almost overnight into Kalashnikov-wielding fighters. This frightening tendency has left most onlookers all around the world feeling confused and disgusted, wondering what can be done to stop the madness.
Emmy Award winning filmmaker and director Deeyah Khan shows in her documentary that for Westerners, embracing jihad and death is really nothing new. Young people across Europe have fallen prey to extremist groups for three generations now. They have fought, killed, and even given their support to various movements that span from Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Kashmir, to Chechnya and Burma.
The big question, however, is what is it about the jihadi message that has such an alluring effect on young Westerners?
In order to find answers, Deeyah Khan spends two years with some of the leading figures in the British jihadi movement from previous generations. She is able to get vulnerable and emotional testimonies from former extremists, who share from the inside what it is like to be drawn into radicalism and how it really feels to have your life ruined by the thirst for violence.
Many of them admit that they were impressed by their leaders and by the sense of belonging that they created in the group of followers. They looked up to these men and saw them as role models and so they willingly did whatever was asked of them.
For others, it was the stories they saw on the news that were a call to action. They went to fight in order to defend the rights of Muslims who were being abused in other countries.
Then her search for answers takes Deejah to the streets where she meets today’s young Muslims. These young people are caught somewhere between extremism and the war against terrorism. Many young British Muslims are harboring deep feelings of anger and hatred because they are facing issues of discrimination and rejection by society in general and also by their own communities. This desire to kill or be killed drives many of them and it consumes their thoughts.
Watch this award winning documentary now.