Hug a Jihadi

Hug a Jihadi

2017, Crime  -   8 Comments
Ratings: 5.35/10 from 37 users.

Radical terrorists have gripped the world in fear. From London to Barcelona, many have fallen victim to their disturbing acts of public violence. Equally troubling are the increasing number of disillusioned citizens who are being lured by their perverted ideology. Is reform possible for these radicalized recruits? The makers of Hug a Jihadi travel to Denmark to profile controversial rehabilitation efforts that favor empathy over condemnation.

The program is underway in the city of Aarhus, and its unusual approach has garnered equal parts praise and criticism. Counselors know that ISIS recruiters work to target the most impressionable, impoverished and isolated candidates they can find; therefore, they've made it their mission to step in and disrupt the radicalization process before it's allowed to fully take hold.

They don't achieve their goals through bullying or threatened imprisonment. Instead, they share time with each subject, hear their concerns, impart guidance, and appeal to their sense of moral righteousness and shared humanity.

The filmmakers introduce us to Jamal, a young man who felt unfairly discriminated against because he was a Muslim. This perceived injustice seethed within him until he found a distorted sense of purpose within the allure of radicalization. Thankfully, the police interceded before he seized his opportunity to stand alongside ISIS on the front lines in Syria. They urged him to meet with a Muslim counselor. Faced with a mentor who understood his struggles, Jamal no longer felt like an outcast in need of emotional shelter, and he ultimately reversed the destructive course of his life.

Organizers within the program claim many success stories like this one, but critics remain skeptical. They believe these recruits should be penalized harshly under the law. But proponents insist that a more tolerant approach is the only way to truly rehabilitate this dangerous mindset, and that increased aggression would only deepen the sense of alienation that made these subjects susceptible to radicalization in the first place.

Hug a Jihadi exposes the frailties of the human psyche when people lack a strong sense of self worth and belonging. The film also shows us how simple gestures of acceptance and compassion can make all the difference.

Directed by: Evan Williams, Joel Tozer

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5 years ago

It's always nice to see alternative approaches to difficult situations. I appreciated this film.

mr k k ali
5 years ago

I am proud to b a Mesopotamian , i am from Iraq and i love that land with all its magic ,, Its the land of the prophets were Abraham grew and drank from its waters and the sun comes up in the morning and saw it rise ,, its the land of civilizations !!! GOT it not one put six and the seventh in the Nile basin of Egypt ,, their has never been any kind of people in humanity who loved writing as much as the !! for they are indeed the ones who invented write and thought humanity to write , so my people are versed in the changes of time as we are ancient ,, this land is a marsh land and no body managed to go though it but one through out the ages and his name was Alexander the great after choosing a wife from that land and paid lots of gold so he can keep the gate to the west open ,, the Americans wanted to go through this gate by force and it left 4700 dead and thousands of hard cases ,,then they left and put a government which has stolen billions of usd from its treasury ,, now Iraq who is one of wealthiest countries in the world and their university student push a cart in the local market with no job, WE say to the world today leaves as alone and lets be ,, we have fought Iran for the west and we have lost millions of our young men,, now we are fighting ISIS for the world and say do not send us any more because they will be killed in the same way that they have killed our people ,, ITS Mesopotamia ,, i have heard a lot of sad stories from my cosines in the Iraqi army when they were fighting for Mosul ,, we do not want any think from the national community but to leave us alone so we can fight Iran after ISIS only this time around the golf youth should be the artillery fodder and the officers of the Iraqi army in the back lines only acting as advisers ,thank u

Minister Of Truth
5 years ago

GunnerinLA an whoa get it. Nice to see many more folk are waking up. Pity this website has to run with the corporate mainstream narrative instead of creating it's own. Oh well. Off to vote to pass over my decision making for others to do for me. I am free and brave, my corporate goverment tells me so.

Dexter Morgan
5 years ago

The real truth is that morality is a myth. there is no such thing as right or wrong apart from social constructs we create. So nobody is 'good' or 'bad' here, not the jihadist, and not the anti-jihadist. Each side just puts on a show of superiority and outrage over the other sides actions, whether it is anti-jihadists over the other side's killings, or the jihadists over the other side's fornication and pornography.

Mikkel Neubert
5 years ago

Hi i'm from denmark and I made a paper about about this documentary and it turned out really good and i live near Århus (Aarhus) and the stuff they're talking about is all true

mark gaboury
5 years ago

Jamal said the girl needs to stoned for her opinion. But he's the innocent one? Tell us the whole story. Portraying the Muslims as downtrodden folks who need hugs in order for them not to kill is not working for me. Did you see his expensive runners? And we know that the majority of Muslims in that ghetto are not from war-torn Syria. The UK has a tougher approach to jihadis returning to their country? Try Hungary. Apologize to jihadis? That's your answer? It's implied at the end, too, that the terrorist son is in paradise! Yeah, that will help to dissuade these boys! Poor me another cup of coffee, but this time hold the propaganda.

Simon Thomas
5 years ago

I agree. Maybe the trick is to publicise this program in the right places. ...

5 years ago

Actually this is interesting.I think it's a great idea, and seems to work. Trouble is there are so many of them.What resources ,manpower are needed to equip them with these skills?It would cost a fortune.I don't think this is the whole answer to the problem.But I certainly agree it's a good start, but also some may be so dedicated that nothing can be done.The jails are full of Jihadist's persuading others to convert, and Immans teaching their philosophies.Maybe the best place is to start there..