Drama Asks Viewers, ‘Instead of Finding Fault with Islamic State, Why Not Put Your Efforts Towards Improving it?’

The State
Channel 4

The second part of a British drama set in the Islamic State shows the jihadist territory’s enemies slaughtering infants and features a piece-to-camera in which the ‘strong female’ lead urges viewers not to “find fault” with the caliphate but to help “improve” it.

Part two of the film, produced for public broadcaster Channel 4 by anti-Israel director Peter Kosminsky, opens on the male recruits cruising through the desert armed to the teeth and grinning from ear to ear.

“Better than flipping burgers, yeah?” smiles one of them, before they all pose for selfies.

Part one of the film included many scenes of happy, laughing women enjoy each other’s company, and jihadist fighters at play in a palm tree-lined terror training compound with a swimming pool.

This episode provides us with our first hint that all is not well in ‘The State’ when the younger of the two female protagonists is left conflicted after helping to bastinado a local woman found in the market without a male guardian.

We also see a Kurdish fighter being publicly executed — off camera — but the first actual killing in the film is carried out by the Islamic State’s enemies.

The male characters lose one of their white convert comrades in an air strike, and the female doctor who serves as the drama’s main lead finds dead babies strewn around a maternity ward when the hospital she works at is inexplicably bombed.

The camera lingers at length on the slain infants, and sad music plays as the male jihadists return to base without their comrade.

The audience is not told whether the provocative attack was carried out by Western, Russian, or Syrian government forces — an omission some commentators have criticsed as irresponsible, given the current security situation.

Colonel Richard Kemp, a former COBRA committee member and commander of British forces in Helmand, Afghanistan, described the first part of the drama as “as good an English-language jihadist recruiting video as any I’ve seen”.

This is even more overt in part two, when the female doctor is actually given time to make an unanswered case for the Islamic State at the end of the programme.

“Jihad is struggle. It’s dedication, it’s honesty, selflessness. It’s compassion. It’s perseverance. It’s battle,” she begins.

“Most sisters who come from the land of kuffar, when they arrive here they expect perfection, when the truth is, [the Islamic State] isn’t perfect,” she continues, before excusing what little unpleasantness has been shown so far.

“It’s a new state and it has its problems. But instead of finding fault, why not put your efforts towards improving it?

“We are the first generation to ever migrate to this blessed land, and that means that we will never enjoy the fruits of it … but don’t forget, it’s not the hardship that matters. It’s the final rewards from Allah.

“The Islamic State is the state of the Muslims and we are responsible for making it grow and flourish. So if we aren’t aiding it, who are we to criticise those who are working tirelessly to improve it?”

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