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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:03 pm  |  Posted from: Australia

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A 2015 UK doco nominated for a BAFTA and won an Emmy.

Its got lots wrong with it – including a self-promoting film maker – but lots to recommend it.

It takes a number of bios of formerly radical UK Islamists and suggests that a deal of radicalization is connected with personal issues of alienation and that these issues are not unconnected with local treatment of minorities.

Interesting side issues include the large numbers of UK Muslims who went to fight in Afghanistan in the 80’s that the UK security services ignored – also that there were UK Jidaists in Burma quite a long time ago fighting that government. Also family dysfunction may have a role in pushing some towards radicalization and giving them the feelings of belonging they desire.

Its more personal emotive theater rather than logical analysis – but still has a lot to recommend it and is a very popular/financially useful way of making modern docos.

None of the people covered seem connected with bad things in the last 15 years and I suspect that the stories of those now attracted to mad killing are different to stories of 30 years ago. The truth of the matter is that it’s a doco on late middle aged people who got radicalized 30 years ago and who now reject their madness – and it had very limited contemporary relevance let alone relevance to those that stayed ‘in’.. The Emmy jury seems to disagree.

I also imagine that most of the jihadi recruits (both then and now) are not UK based and that their stories and motives are quite different. Still looking at the others, let alone those that stayed ‘in’, would require hard work, a complex story and danger and the maker of this doco probably doesn’t do much of this.

Nevertheless on its own limited terms its quite good.

The sometimes intelligent London media shows great love for it – and little critical analysis. ... 18164.html

Of course the Guardian loves it – it always likes a good sentimental story about an awful factual thing – particularly when their review is written by someone with no education or actual experience in the particular area they are paid to write an ‘expert’ opinion on. The doco was written for the ‘soft left’ – but that doesn’t mean its necessarily complete garbage.

The shortage/near absence of other reviews by qualified journalists in serious newspapers raises more questions than it answers.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:51 am  |  Posted from: Egypt

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An interesting documentary, as you say Hafiz.

It makes a kind of sense (identifying what triggered extremism) ....but it's dangerous to extrapolate the stories of so few (20 + years ago) to the many that appear to exist today. At least, I expect this to be a major criticism of the film by those who view radicalised muslims as just evil people beyond hope of redemption.

Whether the cause of radical extremism is rooted in personal feelings of alienation, or results from an extreme brainwashed reading of the Qur'an - or maybe a combination of these and other causes - the need to understand the factors involved in order to prevent radicalisation is obvious, and the film is to be congratulated on its endeavour, whether or not you agree with its conclusions.

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