Infamously known for the atrocity of its actions, ISIS remains attracting to scores of Europeans. Even more exacerbating, recent times have shown a high number of young European muslim women disappearing into the arms of the terrorist organisation. Speaking for the web news platform YesDakar after the tragic Charlie Hebdo events in France, the Shaykh Mohammed Mahy Cisse from Senegal explained that Jihad in Islam was never intended as a mean to hurt others, but rather as a form of self struggle toward spiritual enlightenment. So for many within the muslim community, the question remains unanswered: What other alternatives are out there, a part from the deviated extremist ISIS form of Jihad?
The project 'I am Medina Baye', organised by the international NGO African American Islamic Institute (AAII), has recently decided to offer this alternative. The charity organisation has been working for years toward the promotion of education, health and social development in the most disadvantaged areas of Senegal, West Africa, and more precisely, in the city of Kaolack also known as Medina Baye.
In the latest release of the 10th episode of the #Documentary series #Iammedinabaye, the project recounts the story of two young muslim american medical students gone to volunteer in Kaolack. The local clinic 'Ash Shifa' is under constant pressure due to the lack of staff, equipment and medicine. Also the level of poverty in this area is at the highest point in the country, further exacerbating the problem.
The story of the two young students assisting local doctors in daily duties is an excellent opportunity to present another jihad narrative. As the girls explain during the documentary, they have not gone there except 'for the sake Allah', which is usually what can also be heard from hardcore terrorist groups such as ISIS. As the Shaykh Cisse also explained in his interview, what Islam promotes, and what he, in his quality of a teacher, promotes too with his students, one cannot serve God except through serving humanity.
The power of media in modern times is known to have participated greatly in the recruitment process of fighting jihadist for most of these terrorist organisations. While our government are working and struggling, in finding solutions to address the issue, a counter media campaign to the terrorist propaganda may well be among the solutions.The hundreds existing Islamic charities working around the world need to understand the greater role they can play in offering local young muslims the opportunity to serve humanity. To promote working for charities toward the alleviation of poverty and development could be that counter jihad narrative needed to stop our youth falling into the arms of terrorist organisations. #Terrorism