A Letter To Terrorist By Young Muslims

(By Carol Sanders) Ever wonder what young Muslims here would say to a violent extremist if they got the chance? You can find out in less than three minutes.

That’s how long it takes to watch Letter to a Terrorist, a short film by Winnipeg filmmaker Nilufer Rahman.

She and her company, Snow Angel Films, brought together a group of Muslim friends to share what they wanted the film to say.

south Winnipeg that looks as far away as one can get from the chaos of recent terror in San Bernardino, Paris and Beirut.

The voice-over written by Rahman in English and translated to French starts with a young woman saying she feels helpless. She cannot move — her body is frozen and yet her heart is racing and her mind can’t be stilled.

With world events, that’s how many young Muslims are feeling right now, said Rahman who grew up in Winnipeg.

They’re just as confused by the motives of an Islamic State terrorist as anyone else in Winnipeg, yet they’re expected to explain it, Rahman said in an interview.

“Faith is something to draw comfort, peace and inspiration from,” she said. “This is the foundation from which I’ve learned my faith and any relationship I build is supposed to be based on peace. To try and reconcile acts of terrorism in the name of Islam by people who say they’re Muslim is very difficult… It puts every Muslim on the globe in a precarious position,” she said.

“A lot of people are saying ‘Where are the moderate Muslims? Why aren’t they speaking up? Why aren’t they doing anything?’ ” said Rahman. “I know a lot of Muslims are doing that. They’re speaking to community groups and mosques are opening their doors and trying to build bridges and create opportunities for conversations to eliminate some of the fear.”

They still feel powerless. “You can’t talk directly to the extremist.”

She said Letter to a Terrorist is a form of art therapy.

“My hope was that it would be a way for all of us to articulate how we feel without having to speak it all the time,” she said.

The film’s narration denounces terrorists and expresses sorrow for the pain they’ve caused their victims and families — and sorrow for the backlash against Muslims being felt now.

“They ask me to apologize for what you have done… I’m sorry for the loss of innocents, sorry for the grief of those left to mourn, sorry for those us of left to bear the burden of your toxic hate,” Letter to a Terrorist says.

People hate me because they hear my name and see you. They see my face and they see you. But I am not you. I hate what you do. I never want to be in that dark place that gives you licence to kill and maim so mercilessly and cowardly… Our hearts are not born to hate. Who has poisoned your heart against the world?”

The film ends on a gentle note with the unexpected appearance of a peaceful and silent visito


posted by f. sheikh

One thought on “A Letter To Terrorist By Young Muslims

  1. As long as enlightened and educated Muslims remain in denial about what Islam really was during the Prophet’s lifetime, the menace of religious intolerance, enforcement of fundamentalist Sharia and proselytization by militant force will not come to an end.

    All three Abrahamic scriptures contain passages that condone/encourage savage practices like stoning, chopping of hands, slitting of throat, stoning to death, brutal lashes, genocide of non-believers and such other inhuman practices. Jews and Christians obsoleted those savage practices over time despite their sanctimonious authority. The Church and Synagogue supported and encouraged that obsolescence and helped rebuild a Deity and Faith that preaches Love and Kindness to all human beings. Islam too had acquired a softer and kinder image over time under the name of Liberalism, Sufi’ism, Barelvi doctrine etc. and practically jettisoned the savage practices, even though they were part of Quran and undoctored chronicling of Sunnah.

    Enter Muhammed Ibin Abd Al- Wahab (1703-1792), a tribal mercenary of Nejd; he helped establish the kingdom of Sauds in return for supporting his movement of reverting Islam to the original savage practices of the ‘Islaf’ (the first three generation of Muslims in Makkah/Madinah). Saudi kingdom is treaty bound to practice and promote fundamentalism known as Wahabism, all over the world. That is exactly what ISIS is doing. Saudis find it very disturbing only because ISIS wants to establish Khilafa, which allows no room for Saudi kings to be the all out rulers of their country and its oil resources. Muslim expat workers, hundreds of millions in number, who worked for a tax-free salary in KSA over the last 60 years, converted unknowingly to Wahabism, under the Saudi environment, and returned to their countries carrying and spreading the infection of Wahabism. The liberal, progressive Muslims who were taught by Barelvi clergy that Islam is a religion of Peace, had successfully and unknowingly acquired the new Faith which said Islam means submission to the will of Allah Who requires them to follow and enforce the Khilafa and Sharia.

    The great majority of Muslims should announce openly and unabashedly that original/fundamental Islam was as harsh as original Judaism and original Christianity. And, acknowledge that like Christians and Jews, Muslims had also liberalized Islam to be a religion of Peace. The savage practices of Islaf had been completely rejected by Muslims almost a millennium ago and there is no acceptance today for religious savagery, already discontinued and discarded many centuries ago, just like the Christians and Jews had done before them.

    Wequar Azeem

Comments are closed.