Jihad: A Story of the Others

2016 ,    »  -   16 Comments
Ratings: 9.00/10 from 97 users.
Jihad: A Story of the Others

In recent years, we've witnessed a growing number of otherwise respectable westerners fall victim to radicalization under the tutelage of terrorist organizations. What's behind this troubling epidemic? Director and filmmaker Deeyah Khan who also made Banaz: A Love Story - herself the victim of threats from Islamic extremists – spent the better part of two years speaking candidly with figures from all sides of this complex issue, including high-profile recruiters and their prey. Her award-winning documentary Jihad: A Story of the Others is the searing and perceptive result of these efforts.

One of the major revelations in the film is that this phenomenon is nothing new. We hear from Abu Muntasir, a well-regarded Muslim preacher in the U.K. who began teaching extremist views as an increasing intolerance for all other beliefs and religions began to take hold within him. It all started in the 1980s as he witnessed the emergence of the Islamic Jihad movement in response to invading Russian forces in Afghanistan. He was the first Muslim in Britain who traveled to the war-torn region to join the fight, and he set the precedent for many others to come.

These actions proved inspiring to many in his close-knit congregation. The film features conversations with two of his most impressionable recruits. They both testify to Muntasir's power of influence, his strength and wealth of knowledge, and his status in their lives as a father figure of sorts. In many respects, the qualities that make someone susceptible to the lure of extremism are all too common. Feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, coupled with an intense need to belong, are eased by the illusion of family, acceptance and an outlet for their growing frustrations.

Thankfully, many of the film's subjects have left these extremist positions behind, and their harrowing experiences inform the deeper and more compassionate message of tolerance and peace they share today. Jihad: A Story of the Others is a brave and noble endeavor simply for its willingness to relate to the human motives behind extremism. In this world of rampant racial and religious intolerance, it promotes the most important message of all: that meaningful change can only come through understanding.

Directed by: Deeyah Khan

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16 Comments / User Reviews

  1. john

    What a beautiful story and what beautiful men and women these are. I could actually want to be in a world with such humans.

  2. mike m

    the correct words being said!
    I remember exactly where I was and stood leaning against a door frame, watching tv as that mentally incompetent , bush, said the first words that started this mess.
    "war against terrorism"
    The CORRECT words are, and should have been, war against mental illness.
    A war on terror can bring the enemy out but a war on mental illness, well,.....maybe we wanna think of how we look going to join that one if we are the ill ones,(terrorists).
    If you feel less than, insecure and inadequate, a war on terror sounds uplifting to fight against.
    If you feel used, insecure and inadequate, a war on mental illness sounds like something you'd have to think about first.
    This isn't a religious war, never was. Not a nationalistic war either. It should have been named an initiative against mental illness, as it really is. Words have power.

  3. edwardo

    I think that this is the time for Snowden to run for president. A hero against a crook and a mentally defective.

  4. Glenn Luttrell

    RELIGION" It has been used and abused since man developed imagination

  5. Sarang

    I really loved this film. I don't understand, why it has become such a difficult thing to relate with people as human beings.
    I think you did a job. I could feel all the tears shed by those people, in my eyes.

  6. Susan

    Great film. Again we see that religious cult type group know how to engage those who suffer from unresolved anger and feelings of not belonging and further destroy them and use them as weapons. Very well done.

  7. Bashir Saoudi

    This documentary is an eye opener. I loved it and I wanted other people to watch it. Now we know what drives a youngster to become extremist.

  8. Hugh Mungus

    What a tear jerker. It does really touch on ONE of the deepest reasons that pushes muzzies for Jihad. Mis-Assimilation and exclusion from western society. Exactly what's happening in Germany, France, Sweden and Belgium etc. These symptoms all form in the ghettos.
    But also it never touches the OTHER sides. Mainly the islamic ideology, and why it's so easy for people to be "triggered" and converted into Jihadists. It's the dark side of Islam. It's easy to ignore it, but it's the main drive for all of them. This sense of superiority in their own world. It's self entitlement that they're chosen by god, and will be its judging hand.
    It's a great documentary though, presenting at least the "humanistic" side of Jihadist. Worth the watch. 7.5/10

  9. Loring

    Congratulations, Deeya Khan---well done. You've pointed out how society (us) discriminates between those that are "beings," those that are acceptable, and those denigrated as "objects" to be diss'd and manipulated, i.e., "the others" to be manipulated and excluded: Causes and conditions for resentment, hatred, and aggression. We see this everywhere. Note our on going prejudice of the black people in the US. Hatred and aggression go together and bring fear. The opposite of fear is love.

  10. T

    Religion is Mental illness.

  11. sjp69

    Thank you Deeya Khan for this incredible piece of work. I found it deeply moving. You really made me think about how profound the effects of growing up with racism and blind hatred can be and how important a sense of belonging is to our identity and self worth. Abu Muntasir's journey from hate to love is truly awe-inspiring.

  12. Sarah

    I really like this film. It covers so much ground and gets to the heart of the matter. It is very humane, and makes me want to work towards a happier and more inclusive world.

  13. Minh Duong

    A powerful slice of humanity amidst on an inhumane topic.
    A must see for all - especially those giving orders in the military and counter terrorism fields. This film is a good tool to "win the hearts and minds" of those we need to engage.

  14. ben

    Good doc! A great insight indeed. Aren't most of these people confessing to highly illegal doings on camera though? Terrorism, war crimes, and so on...?

  15. Casey

    good doc.. liked it a lot.. Islam has to evolve.. for the good of everyone, especially themselves. IF the core belief or SOUL reason for islam to exist is to have sharia law, and or get rid of all NON believers of allah... that is WRONG. If Muslims want peace, then let everyone do what they believe in, as long as its not violent toward others. If the Islamic religion/ideology is going to try and force itself on people/kill people/shun people that dont agree with it, then of course there is gonna be violence. so ISLAM HAS TO EVOLVE PERIOD, END OF STORY.

  16. Athea Marcos Amir

    Any belief in the supernatural is by definition extreme. All religion has the potential for violence, but Islam is especially heinous. I just hope that some day, when atheism is the default position, the word atheism will cease to exist and people will no longer see faith (i.e., belief without evidence) as a good thing. Meanwhile, the death and destruction go on.

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