Award-winning director Deeyah Khan, whose debut film Banaz won an Emmy and a Peabody Award, is now launching her next documentary JIHAD. The new film is an unflinching but sensitive and personal examination of jihadism and radicalisation, its causes and its possible solutions.
In the making of the film, Deeyah has spent two years with some of the most influential and controversial figures in the British and Western jihadi movement of the past three generations. As with Banaz, she demonstrates a rare ability to record interviews of great power and emotional depth, delving beyond the usual reasons given for radicalisation.
Deeyah meets one of the godfathers of the British jihad, who went abroad to fight, and who promoted extremism to thousands of young Muslims across the UK and the West.
‘Our young people are giving up their lives to face death in countries far from where they grew up,’ explained Deeyah. “I wanted to understand why; only by understanding the appeal of the extremists’ message, can we begin to tackle and confront its destructive power.’
Deeyah’s search for answers then takes her to the streets of modern Britain, meeting today’s young Muslims, caught between extremism and the War on Terror. She meets young British Muslims who feel angry and alienated, facing issues of discrimination, identity crises and rejection by both mainstream society and their own communities and families; but in surprising moments of insight and enlightenment, she also finds hope and some possible answers to the complex situation we are currently in.
JIHAD will receive its world premiere through ITV’s Exposure strand on June 15th at 10:40pm
Deeyah is the founder and CEO of social purpose production company Fuuse which creates works in the intersection of art and activism.