Screening: My Jihad + Q&A

Screening Monday 1 February 2016, 7:00 PM

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with reporter Rudi Vranckx.

As violence continues to spread throughout the Middle East, a growing number of young Muslims in Europe are leaving their home towns to fight for ISIS.

In the last year alone over 400 young Belgians have traveled to Syria. In My Jihad, directed by Mark De Visscher, reporter Rudi Vranckx visits the region of Vilvoorde to investigate why young Belgians from the area are becoming radicalised, and how the Muslim community is working to combat this trend.

“Everyone in Vilvoorde knows someone who’s left” explains Moad, a young Belgian Muslim. In the last year a number of Moad’s schoolmates have left Belgium for Syria to take up arms for ISIS. What is driving these young men to turn their backs on their families and their friends to sacrifice everything? Moad believes that “it’s a shared responsibility… there is nowhere else here for young Muslims to go.”

The film also introduces Imad, a youth counsellor. Like many other Muslims in Vilvoord, Imad has responded to cases of radicalisation by engaging with the local Muslim youth through charity; offering them guidance and support to create a sense of belonging within the community. One of Imad’s pupils explains, “ISIS is an ideology. You cannot bombard an ideology… an ideology has to be fought intellectually.”

Encouraging residents of Vilvoorde to voice their own perspectives, director Mark De Visscher creates a moving and revealing portrait of a small community confronting extremism. My Jihad offers a fascinating and topical insight into a growing issue, providing a valuable perspective on the impacts of extremism for Muslim communities in Europe.

Directed by: Mark De Visscher
Runtime: 52′
Country: Belgium
Distributor: Journeyman Pictures