Jihad Selfie: it could have been me, or you

Last Sunday, I went to PwC Indonesia building with my mom, to attend an event, in which we watched a short documentary called Jihad Selfie, and later on had a discussion about it with the director and the main character of the film.

Jihad Selfie is a documentary produced and directed by Noor Huda Ismail, the founder of Yayasan Prasasti Perdamaian or The Institute for International Peace Building in 2008. The purpose of this organization is to help former convicts and ex-terrorists to start their new life.

In this documentary, he investigated the way ISIS recruit new members, especially Indonesian young men and women. The documentary were never released publicly, but has been played in numerous countries, such as London, Melbourne, Turkey, and so on.

It was a very eye-opening documentary, showing us how important and dangerous social media can be. How people can be attracted and even worst, inspired to do such violent acts towards other human being.

The documentary was about Akbar, one of an Indonesian man who was smart enough to get a scholarship to study in one of the school in Turkey, who was feeling a dilemma, because one of his friend has asked him to join ISIS in Syria.

It also showed a lot of interviews with various men all around Indonesia, asking them and learning more about the reason people are interested to become a jihadists. It was such a well-made documentary.

Noor Huda Ismail is a very inspiring man, and I was very surprised to see him as one of the TEDTalks speakers back in 2014, which was an event I really like like to listen to quiet frequently.

He told them that he used to had a really good friend, who was very smart and kind and loving, who went to Pakistan to study abroad, as he got scholarships, unlike Huda, who decided to study in the West countries.

Years later, when he was working at The Washington Post, he was assigned to cover the news about Bali Bombing. When he arrived there, he saw all the blood and dead bodies lying, and he think to himself; “what kind of human being have such power to do such violence? and why bali? bali is indonesia’s main tourism site, what will happen to the rest of the country?”

Later that day, when the policemen were passing on papers with pictures of the perpetrator of the bombing, he was very surprised to see his own friend there, becoming one of the self-bombers. He was so shocked.

It could have been him.

I don’t think I am adequate enough to talk and put my opinion on radicalism yet, but I am very interested in sharing this documentary to you. Not only that radicalism should be something we start to worry about, we somehow need t educate ourselves and those around us to prevent themselves from getting into the trap of doing violent acts.

Nowadays, these organizations recruit their new members from social medias, especially Facebook. They posted every new update and news happening in the war zone via social medias, which allow everyone to watch it. To share it. This could be very dangerous.

Internet is place where we can find new friends and learn more about other country, but we should always be aware of it. A lot of their new members nowadays, unlike ten years ago, who were uneducated and didn’t really understand what are they doing, are now educated, young men. And they joined that organization because of their own will.

Just like Huda, and his beloved friend, it could have been us. It could have been m, you, any of us. So yes, I think that this is such an important thing to share with you.

For more information about this, you can go and check their official website, http://www.jihadselfie.com/, and read more of their articles there. The message that they are bringing may be very important for you.

Stay safe, people.




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