After the knife attack in Melbourne and the shooting of Numan Haider we are all asking just what causes the radicalisation of young people born and raised here in Australia.Young Muslims in England have started the #Notinmyname Twitter campaign and in the US there is a realisation there needs to be an online counter to the slick ISIL marketing campaign targetting disenfranchised youth.
Since 2008 Mohamed Farah, a Community leader in Minnesota, America, has worked with the realisation that:
“Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has zeroed in on Minnesota, home to the largest Somali population in the country, as a target-rich recruiting ground for fighters.
From his shabby office in an old Minneapolis theater, Mohamed Farah plunges into a cyber war zone.
With just a few keystrokes, he’s inside the onlinerecruiting world of terrorists. He logs into the Facebook account of a local Somali teen and up pops the iconic black flag for ISIL, the fluttering symbol that beckons the undecided to join the cause. He scrolls down, reading the posts of a boy enamored of terrorists and the promise of martyrdom:
“This life is the sunset. It rises and it sets. Hope we reunite in paradise.”
Farah exhales an audible sigh. “We’ve been trying to stop this thing since 2008, and we’re not even close,” he says.”
As director of Ka Joog, a Somali youth outreach program, Farah believes he is losing ground in the propaganda war being fought in cyber space.
ISIL’s arsenal includes slick videos with soundtracks and English-speakers who call to their compatriots.
Farah says he’s never seen anything like the marketing. It is
“a whole different animal. The flag, military, guns — they know who they want to target.”
The department is about to launch a counter-propaganda campaign in three U.S. metro areas.
The launch, planned for October, will specifically target the local Muslim community. U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said the campaign will offer quick-response videos to rebut ISIL, deeper community engagement with imams and social service groups, work with schools and mental health clinics, and more financial resources for organizations like Ka Joog.
“We need to reach the same kids that the foreign elements are reaching.
If you watch the recruitment videos, they are very clearly designed to resonate with disenfranchised young people…We need to counter those messages with a more compelling social media campaign.”
“For now, Ka Joog limps by on a $100,000 annual budge to serve about 2,500 youth. That breaks down to about 11 cents a day for each kid.
On the flip side, ISIL operates with tens of millions of dollars in revenue derived in part from black-market oil sales and secret funding. The group runs its own media arm, Al Hayat, churning out those high-end recruiting videos such as “Let’s Go for Jihad!” with images of explosions and battles with AK-47s that resemble an X-Box video game. Tweets fly from the @ISIS_Media_Hub handle and are retweeted by thousands of other supporters praising ISIL.”
In the aftermath of the Melbourne shooting, Haset Sali, a muslim lawyer who was a founding member of Australian Foundation of Islamic Societies, has spoken out, on Radio National, about a subculture due to a change of direction away from educational excellence in Islamic schools, and how this couild be confusing young people.
The community needs to act together on this