Jihad: A Story of the Others
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Jihad: A Story of the Others

2016, Religion  -   37 Comments
Ratings: 8.61/10 from 270 users.

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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37 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Denis

    Its not about religion is about war like it always been. Now that you are done watching do some reasarch on 9-11 next and realise how blind folded you rly are.

  2. Gorlee Robert

    No religion but islam can do this, yet you are a hatemonger when you say it.
    Being an islamophobe is natural for a sane person.

  3. Roy

    I cant wait for the war between christianity and Islam begins....so we in the west can nuke mecca and medina....and save every normal persons freedoms from Islam and its uneducated muslim followers...bring it on ...

    1. Khan

      Don't worry brother we believe in afterlife this world is your paradise enjoy your time here death is very near to us

  4. Katie

    Stop! Leave us alone and we will you. I have had nightmares for weeks from this film. Remember Gulf or 911 I do. Please don't do this. They are cop outs.

  5. Spencer Rose

    Really powerful and wise. Should be essential viewing for Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson who said recently that all British Jihadis who’ve travelled abroad should be killed.

  6. chris

    disturbed group of people ! anger driven , hellbent to destroy anything that is good just to make themselves feel better about themselves . they will have to answer to god for their actions

  7. Ashok

    Now i really understand why people get into extremism, may it be jihad or naxalism,. I think our responsibility as humans is to love each other, and contribute for an inclusive world. We must spread love, we must show our gestures of care to the less previlaged by virtue of humanity and for purpose of better future.

    Respect for Deeyah Khan and her team.

  8. patrick

    Really good work. Too bad our society values superhero movies more than documentaries like this one.

  9. Penta Singh

    Wooow, touching documentary. I think they should show this movie in all the troubled states. Young muslims can learn alott from this. God gave those ppls a second chance and they are making some difference in their societies....Vengeance Perpetuates More Vengeance.................... Keep Up the Good Work

  10. Sahil

    These people had no choice because they were sent by their leaders. It was a mission which was to kill my country people in Afghanistan. They translated the meaning of jihad wrong. Jihad doesn't mean to kill and slaughter people. Jihad means tolerance, convince and behaving non muslims that they have to attract by your kindness and tolerance and do good to you not to start fighting against you. All Pakis are involved somehow in such groups because Pakistan mean translating the meaning of Islam in way of Satan. They created extreamism and still destroying our country every day as well as our people. One day these jihadies will face Allah and will answer his questions so will see how much clean and Jahadies these people were. Jihad needs to started from yourself first but people like them used it as a weapon and I swear these were rejoicing where thy were killing my innocent Afghans. We will never ever forgive.

  11. skeptical indian

    It again reaffirms that all religious schools should accept people at the age of 23 after secular education is finished,the individual is introduced to collective responsibility as demanded by society,not just a segment based on religious-political group. All these kids have low self esteem,confused,semi educated who already have accepted despair and no hope in future.Muslim family structure seems very very weak. Great documentary.

  12. nipi

    this is proper brainwash. everybody has been bullied and loved ones have died because of some. it doesn't give you the right to kill other people INNOCENT people. these kind of people need a proper anger management. I'm sorry for what happened to them, but after their action they should give a sentence.

  13. Marites

    Deeply moving. I love this glimpse of what is in the heart of a true Muslim. Will share this with students taking my course on "Conflict Transformation and Peace Among Religions."

  14. Joey

    If only all people will take time to watch and listen to Abu. He didn't said it all. But his emotions and his tears told it all. Hate is not what Muhammad thought us. Racism is a terrible thing. These should be the messages and posters that are out in the streets and billboards.

  15. Frank

    Taqqyaya in its purest form

  16. Toneechestnut

    What a beautiful film from a courageous beautiful movie maker, the final shot holding the mans grief , as he showed emotionally what he found difficult to express verbally ; have you forgiven yourself ? Said it all. Never seen anything as insightful on the BBC

  17. Dex

    Yes, obviously if you're dressing up weird, grow a really great beard and eat with your hands people will avoid you, not hire you. Get with the times, let go of this stupid-stupid beliefs in religion and you will integrate. Religion is POISON! You people actually want to be treated this way so you can confirm your die hard strong belief in what ever stupid gods you worship. Get with the times. Start with buying a T shirt at least.

  18. Mark Gaboury

    First, on the filming. The technique of morphing the street lights was especially good. Great filming. Second, on the content and good sense. I believe this woman really went into this in an unbiased, objective way. And she did a splendid thing by including the man crying at the end. It shows that radical Muslims are not monsters who have no consciences. They are feeling human beings who can have a change of mind. Deeyah Khan, you did a noble piece of work. May you be rewarded by seeing your film do some good in society.

  19. Khalid Kana

    I get so much hate over the internet just because of my name, to the point that I had to change my youtube account's name from Khalid to Kade. Now I stopped getting that much hate, but before I used to comment on random youtube videos and some random person would just call me a terrorist for no reason, or they would say fu** Islam and my comment has nothing to do with religion or politics. I honestly don't understand why some people have so much hatred for other religions and races, it's about time we learnt to accept one another regardless of race, color, or religion. We must learn to coexist by living in a multicultural society to put an end to racism that is causes suffering.

  20. Nancy

    I was very impressed with the quality of the people interviewed that had been extremists. Amazing individuals really and very good people clearly. Was also very shocked and horrified at how much racism is still present and that it sets real limits on how people see themselves and what they can do with their lifes. It reminded me how important it is to take actions to make those that might feel left out, included and cared for.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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...?

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. T

    Religion is Mental illness.

  28. 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.

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. Glenn Luttrell

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

  34. edwardo

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

  35. 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.

  36. 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.