• My Jihad - Trailer

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    My Jihad: As violence continues to spread throughout the Middle East, a growing number of young Muslims from all over Europe are leaving their home towns to fight for ISIS.

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    In the last year alone over 400 young Belgians have traveled to Syria. This report visits the region of Vilvoorde to investigate why so many young Belgians are becoming radicalized, and how leaders of the Muslim community are attempting to combat it.

    "Everyone in Vilvoorde knows someone who's left" explains Moad, a young Muslim. Recently a huge number of Muslims from the area have fled to Syria to take up arms for ISIS, and it is affecting the community. "Vilvoorde is empty now...an entire generation is missing". What is driving these young men to turn their backs on their families to go to war? Moad says "It's a shared responsibility... there is nowhere else for young Muslims to go".

    "Instead of Kalashnikovs we bring food parcels... that is our Jihad" explains Imad. He, like many other Muslims in Vilevoord, are trying to fight this growing radicalization by engaging with the local Muslim youth through charity, and offering them guidance and support to try and stop them from turning to ISIS.

    Local Imam Sulyaman explains "We need to work towards a positive future... there are still many young people who do believe in a future here". Community members like Imad and Sulyaman are trying to fight radicalization and extremism by educating young disenfranchised Muslims about the true meaning of Islam, and that Muslims have a valuable place in European society. Because, as he explains, "ISIS is an ideology. You cannot bombard an ideology... an ideology has to be fought intellectually". This report offers a fascinating and topical insight into a growing problem throughout Europe, and a valuable perspective on the Muslim communities fighting extremism.

    VRT – Ref. 6633

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