JIHAD: a story of the others
Deeyah Khan, is a Norwegian film director, music producer, composer and human rights defender of Punjabi/Pashtun descent. She is an outspoken supporter of women's rights, freedom of expression and peace. Ms Khan is Norwegian born and had a successful public singing career in her Norwegian childhood and youth. She became a poster child for multiculturalism and diversity acclaimed by white Norwegians while hiding the discrimination and attacks she suffered from Norwegian Muslims. He singing career was ended by continual attacks and threats from Muslim men. She currently works as a music and documentary producer from Atlanta in the USA.
Her first documentary, Bajaz: A Love Story, about the "honour killing" of Banaz Mahmod a Kurdish Muslim living in the U.K. In 2002, 17 years old, she was married to Ali, an illiterate who was literally just off the plane from Iraq. In 2005, after three years of abuse, Banaz left Ali and went to the police whose response was basically to do nothing. A few months later she went missing and the police inquiry was stonewalled by the local Kurdish community. Her body was found in a suitcase. Thanks to a dedicated woman detective and Banaz's older sister, Bekhal, who testified against her family, Banaz's father, uncle, and the three cousins, including two who, incredibly, were extradited from Iraq to where they had fled, were given life sentences. Banaz had been tortured, anally raped and strangled by the three cousins. A phone call taped by the police included bragging about the details.
For her protection Bekhal Mahmod wears a hijab.
JIHAD: a story of the others is her 2015 documentary film questioning former radical Muslims in England as to their radicalisation and their later disenchantment with those beliefs. It showed on SBS in April 2016.
Ms Khan believes that by questioning former Islamic radicals about the causes of their radicalisation and their later disenchantment with terrorism it might be possible to prevent future radicalisation of young British Muslims. It's nice to see her own experiences with Muslim men have not destroyed her optimism or her belief in the clear sightedness of her respondents.
Many of the interviewees claimed their radicalisation was caused by the killing of Muslims. They appeared to have no understanding of the different causes of the conflicts involving Muslims (some of which are still ongoing) and that many involve only Muslims killing each other. They were angered by the "West" killing Muslims and blame racism and Islamophobia but ignore the fact that far more Shia are killed by Sunni and Sunni killed by Shia than are or have been killed by Western armies. This seemed to be attributed to ignorance rather than hypocrisy. Muslims are killing, and in living memory have killed, far more Muslims than non-Muslims have killed Muslims. But if this was known to these young Muslim radicals-to-be it was ignored and as far as I know young Western Muslims have not banded together to protest Muslims killing each other. They prefer to blame the Great Satan - the Americans. One intelligent and angry young ignorant black British Muslim told of his dream: "My dream is to see the American Empire fall".
I was born in 59, the first war with India happened in 1965. So I was 5 or 6 years old. I remember when I was 8 taking a vow to kill a Hindu, any random Hindu even to go out in the streets and just randomly stab, just because somebody is a Hindu. Then '71 war happened with Pakistan to liberate Bangla Desh which was very graphic in terms of the atrocities committed and then I saw dogs eating dead bodies and walking around with bullet wounds crying for help. My neighbour upstairs and downstairs were taken away and shot and they were pleading with us "Oh please help us." Then I was about 11 or 12 years old, that's when my elder brother was murdered so that very much affected me because I was very close to him. I lost 22 of my relatives and I hear horror stories about them and though it was 30-40 years ago I mean it affects me more now because I can visualise, imagine. A dozen of them were taken out of their houses and their throats were slit.
Actually the 1959 Indo-Pakistani war didn't just "happen". The Muslim army of Pakistan invaded India and the battles were fought by regular army troops far away from Bangladesh. He suggests he was radicalised as a child by the murders of many family members during the Bangladeshi War of Independence. However, it was the Pakistani army of Muslims that attempted genocide against the Bengali Muslims and the Indian Army of Hindus who defeated the Pakistanis and saved the Bangladeshis.
Abu Muntasir now leads a small community of devout Muslims, preaching around the country and doing charitable works. But in the 1980s and 1990s, he was a charismatic and fiery Islamic extremist preacher, with a large following across the UK. He describes how his worldview at the time led him to be one of the first British Muslims to go and fight abroad - before coming back and helping to influence and radicalise others. He says of his mindset at that time: "The world is populated by Muslims and non-Muslims. That everything that constitutes disbelief, unbelief in their systems, in their education, in their way of life, all of it is dishonourable or defective or corrupt."
Muntasir was disillusioned when he realised the jihadi leaders were themselves corrupt, using donations for their own use and their families while allowing the deaths of children.
Shahid was one man who heeded the call spurred on by atrocity footage from the war in Bosnia.
Shahid Butt was inspired by the horrors to fight though it didn't bother him that he would inflict the same horrors on others. He believes peace will be achieved by creation of a Caliphate and imposition of Shariah Law. Butt and Muntasir obviously have no idea that the Bosnian war occurred because the Serbs remember only too well 500 years of living under the Caliphate and Shariah Law. 500 years of oppression, devshirme, extortionate jizyah tax, dhimmi status and massacres of Christian freedom fighters. Nor would they have any idea that far more Muslims in Palestine have been killed by other Muslims than by the Israelis and that Israel itself was only created because of constant Muslim attacks on Jews trying to live legally and peacefully in what was then Palestine. They probably have no idea that the genocidal Muslim invasions of India are the long-term cause of current fighting in Kashmir.
There was one person, Alyas Karmani, who was prepared to talk about the major Muslim youth problem. Muslim rules about male-female relationships were created by Muhammad, an old man with a harem of women whom he did not attract in the usual ways and so those rules are completely unnatural for normal people. The old man is sexually fearful, he cannot satisfy a large number of women, he sees their sexual dissatisfaction as insatiability and demands they hide their appearance from other men and imprisons their bodies. So young Muslim men cannot meet their sexual and emotional needs in the normal way of young people because the rules of female social life were created for and by an old man with a harem.
You know I was gonna, I was talking to my wife this morning and I say, you know, I say, this is all about sex, this all really, everything comes back to basics here so you can't say that though but I said this is it, these guys just want girls, that's all they want but you can't say you know cause you'll get really lambasted for it. Guys do things for girls and that's it.
Ms Khan believes Islamic radicalisation, jihad and terrorism can be prevented if we "come together to create a society where we all belong." She's dreaming. Wishful thinking will not solve any problems.
Radicalisation is about pain, it's the pain of young people facing racism, exclusion from society, isolation from the opposite sex, overwhelming pressure from families and communities, a crisis of identity and feeling powerless and insignificant … too many of them lead lives of emotional poverty. … We shouldn't give up, we need to look beyond what divides us and come together to create a society where we all belong.
The problems facing young Muslims in Britain are no different to those facing young Sikhs, Hindus, West Indians or Africans and yet none of these immigrant groups are joining terrorist groups and attacking the societies in which they live and in many cases were born. Sikhs and Hindus have far greater historical evils perpetrated on them by Muslims than Muslims have by Britain, USA, France or any other Western country. And yet Suicide Sikhs are not letting off car bombs in Tehran or Riyadh.
The 80's jihadist shown in a b&w clip explains the difference: "You feel that you are doing what the prophet Muhammad and his companions did some fourteen hundred years ago."
"What I feel here when I come here is a sense of satisfaction," he continues, "because every time I'm in Britain, I go to study circles, I go to lectures, I go to talks, and I feel in my heart that something is empty. I watch the TV and tears roll down my face, when I see the Muslims in Bosnia, Muslims in Palestine, Muslims in Kashmir, and then I come here and you feel a sense of satisfaction. You feel that you are fulfilling your duty. You feel that you are doing what the prophet Muhammad and his companions did some fourteen hundred years ago."
Calling them radicals or fundamentalists does not alter the facts. Jihadis are attempting to commit the same violence, terror and conquests that Muhammad did.
Click here to see a list of deaths in wars involving Muslims since 1950