Wednesday, 08 October 2014

New animated series “Abdullah X” aims to steeryoung Muslim minds away from extremism Cartoon was created by a British former extremist.The series is aimed at countering the online propaganda of groups like ISIS. “Abdullah X,” the new Web-only cartoon series, is the
tale of a young Muslim man in London who is struggling
with his identity and his faith. It is a story that its
creator, a former extremist who spoke to sources on
condition of anonymity, knows all too well.
He said and i quote “I was struggling with my own identity and sense of
belonging when I was growing up — issues around self-
esteem and confidence, and where you fit in with
regards to your Britishness or your Muslimness,”
Ahmed (not his real name) said he spent years helping to spread and
vocalize “extreme and harsh” worldviews in Britain. He
saw efforts by governments and organizations to
understand what was fueling anti-Western extremism as
often “piecemeal and simplistic.”
“Young people — the most vulnerable groups in society —
were caught between government policy perspectives on
how you combat terrorism and extremism, and this wall
of shame and denial from within communities. I felt
that we needed something that was going to be
innovative and engaging.”
So he created Abdullah X, the eponymous star of the
series and an animated alter-ego that mirrors Ahmed’s
own journey from former extremist to someone who
now hopes to steer young Muslims away from violenc
Inspired by the superhero comics of his childhood,
Ahmed used his own money to create “Abdullah X” and
posted it online, specifically to grab the attention of a
generation raised on computer games and social media.
The series, which includes episodes such as “Five
Considerations for a Muslim on Syria” and “Don’t Try
and Justify your Anger with Islam,” is intended to be a
counterpoint to the flashy, gore-filled videos posted on
YouTube by groups like ISIS — the Islamist militant
group that has seized large chunks of Syria and Iraq
and rallied hundreds of Western recruits to its cause.
In a “sound bite age,” as he describes it, Ahmed says his
goal was to create a robust narrative in order to give
viewers pause to reflect — and to prevent vulnerable
minds from succumbing to ISIS’ radical ideology.
“There’s no point sermonizing, there’s no point creating
three-hour videos and campaigns [where] young people
can see [a] potential propaganda element of it. If we’re
going to tackle extremism effectively, or tackle the
narrative, you have to understand that narrative very
well and then package that in a way that rivals the
extremist material that a lot of young people find
online,” Ahmed said.
“Abdullah X is potentially any particular young Muslim
from any particular walk of life, in any given time,”
Ahmed said. “His story and the development of his
character suggest that he’s built resilience and an
element of willpower, and housed that within a kind of
critical framework where he’s able to judge sources on
their merit rather than just believe what is put in front
of him.”
Ahmed’s videos, which he posts on YouTube and
Facebook, have already had tens of thousands of views
— and there are plans for an app that lets users directly
interact with “Abdullah X.”
“We’re trying to tackle the keyboard warrior mentality.
We’re trying to tackle the ‘Call of Duty,’ PlayStation
mentality and the ‘jihobbyist’ mentality — those people
who are allowing their grievances to sometimes put
them at risk or in harm without knowing it.”
Ahmed says he’ll have achieved the project’s objective
“if we can save one person from going to die in some
foreign land, or attempting to do something in his
homeland or her homeland.”
In the meantime, Ahmed hopes that “Abdullah X” will
keep winning young Muslim viewers over, one YouTube a click at a time.


see link to video here:

download link: ss

source: CNN

Edited and posted by: @djshyluckjimmy.

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