A Muslim Somali man who lives in Minnesota has decided to combat the lure of ISIS in a very creative way. Mohammed Ahmed has created vivid and clear-sighted cartoons at AverageMohamed.com, aimed at children between the ages of 8-16.
Using verses from the Koran, speaking English, Ahmed explains that the Islamic State terrorist group will not lead them to Paradise–but to Hell; that ISIS engages in genocide; that saving one life is equivalent to saving the world; and that taking one life is therefore equivalent to destroying the entire world.
We now know that ISIS and other barbarian Islamic groups use the internet as a recruitment vehicle in order to terrorize their enemies as well as glamorize and normalize their atrocities. While many have decried this fact, Ahmed has decided to do something about it. He wants to create a “counter narrative…which is meant to question, challenge, and agitate minds into not accepting what has been told in the propaganda videos.”
Not only is he posting his counter-narrative videos–he plans to travel with them to mosques, community youth centers, and even to families where a family member is planning to join a radical Islamist group. Below, he explains his mission:
The hottest war of the 21st century is that between civilization and barbarism. The lure of radical Islam is the lure of an idea that many young Muslims in the West been indoctrinated into believing: that their birthright of supremacy has been stolen from them; that Westerners are anti-Arab, racist, “Islamophobes;” and that instead of assimilating into Western modern culture with its European Enlightenment and Judeo-Christian values, they must retreat from it and attack it, both from within and by joining genocidal groups in Iraq and Syria.
Many of us increasingly fear that the majority of Muslims either support radical Islam or are simply too terrorized to oppose it. I have personally been frustrated by the choice of Muslim “experts” whom Western governments choose to rely upon, such as the leadership of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood which the UAE has just designated as a terrorist group. There are dissident and apostate Muslims with whom to consult. Some are secular and moderate, others are religious and moderate. Some are strongly pro-West and pro-Israel. Some believe that Islam is the problem; others want the opportunity to wrest their religion away from the fundamentalists and wrestle it into modernity and into a religion which genuinely supports peace, human rights, and women’s rights.
Zeyno Baran has edited an excellent book called The Other Muslims: Moderate and Secular which features very important pieces by Muslim anti-Islamist dissidents and feminists such as Samia Labidi, Bassam Tibi, and M. Zuhdi Jasser, as well as an Introduction and Overview by the editor. I hope that President Obama and his entire inner circle make it a point to read this book and start inviting these natural American allies to the White House.