70 educational webisodes for America’s youth have been released to answer questions about Islam and remind them that Islam is peaceful religion.
In response to the way that ISIS has boosted their online outreach with social media and videos, an Indiana-based team of Muslims aim to create 70 inspiring and educational webisodes at Reclamation Studios. They have already created and released dozens of the 4 minute videos, hoping to reach a wide range of youths in America that have questions and uncertainties about how Islam and violence intermingle. The aim is to remind everyone that Islam is actually a peaceful religion, not one of the ideology that ISIS promotes around the world.
Unjust Killing is Forbidden
In one of the episodes that you can find online, Zac Parsons and Imam Omar Atia are walking down the street. Parsons asks the Muslim man how Islam can be peaceful for Atia, but not for those fighting in ISIS. Atia simply answers, “It’s not even left for question. Unjust killing is completely forbidden”. Atia leads the Islamic Society of Evansville and is the co-founder of Reclamation Studios. Their goal is to remove the idea that Islam is foreign and makes those who believe choose between their faith and their nation. In reality, they can have both and it doesn’t have to be violent. He says that there is a huge problem with identity crisis for Muslim-Americans “because right now, still, the concept that Islam is a foreign faith to America.”
Parsons serves as the digital marketer for Reclamation Studios, and he feels that the videos will be a great thing. They are designed to engage young viewers, giving them information that they would otherwise not be privy to. He says that ISIS has done excellent when it comes to reaching out to viewers online, and they “hope that we’re able to use some of those same ideas and technology” to correct these views. There is also Nour Shams, who designs and maintains the website from his home in Egypt, and Richard Maass, who researches international security at the University of Evansville. He says that ISIS has more success when they can target isolated viewers who have little knowledge on Islam.
You can watch the series unfold here, and learn more about the group as a whole here.