BackBeat: Hijacking Jihad

Posted by News Beat on August 31, 2017  •  2 min read
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On this episode of BackBeat, the team discusses the inspiration for the episode “Hijacking Jihad: Reclaiming ‘Islam’s Personal Struggle’” and how reporting on the meaning of Jihad has given them a more nuanced view of the religion.

You’ll hear from Michael Conforti, aka Manny Faces, Christopher Twarowski, and Rashed Mian as they provide insight into the making of the episode.

Listen to full episode here:

As promised, we’re including a link to Libyan-American hip-hop artist Kayem’s enlightening interview with Jeremy Scahill on The Intercepted podcast in which he opens up about Muslim life in this post-9/11 world. Kayem performed original verses for the “Jihad” episode, touching on such topics as American interventions, how religion has been used as a scapegoat, common misconceptions of Islam, and the true meaning of Jihad.

We flesh out these misconceptions further in a corresponding article. Here’s an excerpt:

Throughout the past 16 years, anti-Jihad policies at home and abroad have careened down a parallel path: While fighting multiple wars abroad, officials at home have championed anti-extremism programs that opponents say further stigmatize the Muslim community. Instead of eradicating terrorists and the radical ideology they espouse, these perpetual wars have created a vacuum where extremists breed violent ideologies. With social media helping amplify their toxic messages, terror groups have essentially weaponized the internet to attract followers fascinated with the idea of fleeing to a presumed religious utopia, such as the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)’s fraudulent caliphate.

The fight against Jihad has been an exhaustive military exercise characterized by a rise in extremism as the so-called ongoing “War on Terror” has progressed. The United States is effectively stuck in neutral as the longest war in American history drags on—a conflict that has cost more than a trillion dollars and claimed thousands of American lives. For all the rhetoric about the threat posed by North Korea’s dictator provocateur, “Jihad” remains America’s No. 1 enemy.

"Hijacking Jihad: Reclaiming Islam's 'Personal Struggle'" included interviews with Murtaza Hussain, national security reporter at The Intercept, Dr. Hussein Rashid, professor of religious studies at Barnard College, and Daisy Khan, executive director of the Women's Islamic Initiative In Spirituality and Equality.

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