Christy Chamy / Sveriges Radio
Abdi Kayse, featured in a film hoped to help counter extremist propaganda. Credit: Christy Chamy / Sveriges Radio

Local Muslim group makes anti-extremist videos

"To get youth to think hard before they go to Syria"
3:58 min

In an effort to counter jihadist propaganda a local association in the Stockholm area has produced two videos for young Muslims.

For nearly a year, the "Islamiska förbundet i Järva" (the Islamic association in Järva) has received funding from a the national Inheritance Fund, which supports non-profit efforts for young people in Sweden.

The Islamiska förbundet's anti-radicalization project called WAANO has now released two videos, intended to be shown in schools and spread on social media. Each makes arguments, one directed towards men and the other towards women, against traveling to fight for extremists in other countries.

In "WAANO brothers' thoughts against violence and war," a man stares into the camera and sternly says "If you want to be a real man and good Muslim, then you stay home and struggle every day to be a better person. That's the great jihad." In the other video entitled "WAANO sisters' thoughts against violence and war" a woman wearing a hijab sympathetically presumes, "You think maybe it's a simple solution to your troubles. A trip down to Syria... you come to a better world. You'll be a better person..."

But though local Muslim youth helped write the script, most people in the videos are actors and some not even Muslim, reported Swedish Television news. Speaking with SVT, Ibrahim Bouraleh from the Järva Muslim association guessed that local youth would not participate in the video out of fear.

But the only non-actor, Abdi Kayse, a 27-year-old who described himself as an anti-extremist activist and who lives in the north-east Stockholm suburb Rinkeby, told Radio Sweden it wasn't anything as dramatic as being frightened of conservative Muslim individuals.

"It's just some people feel like maybe they haven't had the experience of being out there like that. And they don't want to take that leap. And they also want to wait and see. Hopefully after this short movie, the youth will be encouraged to participate," he said.

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