The world has watched aghast as thousands of young men and women abandon comfortable lives in the West to join the barbaric ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Girls and boys have gone rapidly from being apparently well-adjusted school kids, to enthusiastically joining the ranks of Kalashnikov-wielding religious warriors and burkah-clad “jihadi brides”. It feels like a new and frightening phenomenon, one which has left many feeling bewildered and revulsed.
But as this new documentary film by Emmy Award winning director Deeyah Khan shows, Westerners embracing jihad and death is nothing new. For three generations now, young people across Europe have fallen prey to extremist groups and fought, killed and died with mujahideen movements from Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Kashmir, to Chechnya and Burma