Evansville effort to battle radical Islam

Jun 15, 2015

Imam Omar Atia answers questions from the audience at Sunday's event.
Credit Steve Burger / WNIN-FM

A new front to combat ISIS and other radical Islamic groups is about to be launched in Evansville. That was the message Sunday evening at Temple Adath B’nai Israel, delivered by Imam Omar Atia of the Islamic Center of Evansville.  

Temple security greeted those arriving for Sunday's event.
Credit Steve Burger / WNIN-FM

During a question and answer session, the Imam discussed taking the battle straight to young people through social media. "Right now, social media is being leveraged at a significant level by those who are basically causing destruction in the name of Islam. They're doing it in a very captivating way for a young audience; an audience that is used to a video game culture that is all about gore, a movie culture that is all about gore, and they're giving them real-life gore.  It's the saddest reality and we're having to live through it.

One of the key ways to combat it is that we have to give as much effort into something that can be as captivating to young people about the positive and the real message of faith, the divine message of God."

Atia went on to say, "Young people all around the world are looking for purpose, and if there isn't someone to tell them what that purpose is, if they're not told 'that's your ticket to paradise',  they're going to look for a ticket to paradise in another way."

Atia says a local group is launching a video and social media project called “Reclamation Studio” to create the positive messages that he hopes will resonate with young people. He says they expect to launch the first video this coming Thursday.