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Reclaiming the Islamic faith; combating ISIS from Evansville

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Paola Marizan
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Muslims and non fight against ISIS propaganda in an attempt to reclaim the message of Islam.

Reclamation Studios is an initiative to counter radical Islamist messaging  and reclaim  the meaning of the religion for young people confused by the atrocities committed by ISIS and other radical groups. This story starts with a clip from Reclamation studios' first  video, titled ‘‘Does Islam incite or sanction violence?’’.

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Credit Omar Atia. LinkedIn
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Imam Omar Atia

Reclamation Studios co-founder Omar Atia is Imam of the Islamic Center of Evansville, Indiana.

‘’ There’s still this identity crisis that a lot of Muslim Americans live, unfortunately. Because right now is the concept that Islam is a foreign faith to America. It's a faith of the East. Islam is the faith of humanity.’’ said Atia.

  A key question is whether any American messaging initiative will be seen as propaganda in other parts of the world. Reclamation Studios volunteers say on the contrary, America is the perfect place to start because of its freedom of speech and religion.

 Reclamation Studios counts with contributors with different faiths and from different parts of the world, including a Nour Shams, a volunteer from Egypt. 

"We can host people and just have everything transparent in front of the camera and listen to people and answer their questions." Shams said.

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Credit Reclamation Studios. YouTube screenshot.
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From left to right; Imam Omar Atia and Zac Parsons discuss the questions many have about Islam and the Quran.

 Zac Parsons, a professional digital marketing consultant and a key part of Reclamation Studios said the younger generation will be attracted to this initiative becauese of its engaging web design and social media interaction like Twitter, where #askomarali give people the chance to ask direct questions. 

The user friendly website gained new volunteers on its first 24 hours of going live. The series of 70 episodes will continue be released  in the coming months.

Full interviews are available for listening below

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Imam Omar Atia talks about Reclamation Studios, what his purpose is and the relationship between American and Islam.

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Zac Parsons tells us how Reclamation Studios attracts the younger generation and the innovation this initiative present.
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Nour Shams from Egypt says this initiative will not be seen as propaganda in her homeland and how she views ISIS.
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Richard Maass, an international security and terrorism expert, weighs in on ISIS and the effects this initiative could have.
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After the initial interviews, WNIN interviewed Atia for an update. He said people are asking the hard questions and website has already gained new volunteers.

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