When we first broke the story on Reclamation Studios in July, the initiative was just beginning to post short, highly produced video clips on You Tube and social media as a way to counter radical Islamist messaging. Now, they’re expanding their efforts with a campaign called “Reclaim Jihad”.
Co-founder Imam Omar Atia and interfaith advocate, organizational psychologist and key player in this project Zac Parsons are working with volunteers from different cities to host viewing gatherings that will clear any doubts about the religion of Islam and clarify what Jihad stands for.
“So our job is to figure out how to empower the positive and help young men and women reclaim Jihad because Jihad doesn’t mean killing. Jihad means building; Jihad means standing up for justice, all the things about societal elevation.”
Zac Parsons said these viewing parties, held in neutral locations, will create palpable relationships between Muslims and non in this and other communities.
“Talk to a Muslim. We even created a hashtag that said, you know, talk to a Muslim and some of the response we got from people is ‘but I don’t know any Muslims’ and some of our Muslims friends would say but what if I don’t know the answer and so this idea of creating events should allow those Muslims who are willing to engage in conversation to be there and say ‘hey, I’m here to talk. It’s not just a few Muslims that care about these issues, we’re all here.’”
In their latest episode titled “Freedom to all religions” Atia answers the question many have about the intolerance ISIS has perpetuated against other religions.
“So, when someone is standing in the way of freedom of religion, they’re actually standing in the way of God.”
This initiative has gotten the attention of local and national media and now counts with more than two dozen volunteers and over ten thousand views on social media.
This is all in an effort to help counter the cruelty committed in the name of Islam.