The Islamic State (ISIS), ever on the lookout for new recruits, especially those who feel marginalized in their societies, is targeting the deaf community. Last week, the terror group released a video showing two of its members communicating in sign language, saying, “The way is open before you for you to come to the land of the Kilafah.”
Roy Auberg, Community Advocate for the Bakersfield Office of the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness (BGLAD), told ABC 23:
They’re trying to recruit the deaf community to show that they have no discrimination in their country, in their group. Because America has a history of oppression and discrimination and so they’re offering a place where they’ll never feel oppressed and never feel discriminated so they can join their group. They’re trying to glamorize it.
BGLAD’s outreach coordinator, Janice Green, added:
Through the [I]nternet, social media. It’s never a week or two or three weeks where we don’t know about something that’s going on in the deaf community. If something is going on in the deaf community, we will hear about it very quickly. And if it’s something that’s worth being alerted of, then we’ll put it on our website to make people aware.
The Deaf and Hearing Network, attempting to show its community that the ISIS video is dangerous, made its own video to warn the deaf of the ISIS campaign. In the video, the speaker said, “We want to make it clear that the videos they put out can seem authentic, but there is no proof behind them, and [there is] much more proof against ISIS, showing that they are violent.”
Psychiatrist Dr. Albert Ma pointed out that the terror group has a well-organized campaign to use for recruitment, saying, “They are very systematic, and they look for weakness in our community. … As you can see with ISIS, they have all kinds of ethnicities, just anyone who is marginalized by society, and I don’t think Kern County is immune to that problem.”