Sexual frustration pushing young Muslims in UK to join ISIS, new film suggests

Director Deeyah Khan's film, Exposure: Jihad, features interviews with young Muslims who have been drawn in by jihadi groups such as ISIS.

June 15, 2015 18:06
1 minute read.

AN ISIS member rides on a rocket launcher in Raqqa in Syria two months ago. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The sexual frustration of young Muslims living in the West is one of the factors driving them to join Islamic State on a mission of jihad in the Middle East, according to a documentary film investigating the roots of Islamic extremism in the UK which is set to be aired on Britain's ITV on Monday.

Director Deeyah Khan's film, Exposure: Jihad, features interviews with young Muslims who have been drawn in by jihadi groups such as ISIS, and explores the appeal of extremism to youth in the UK and Europe.

In discussing the many interviews that she had carried out for the film, Khan told the Daily Beast that immigrant Muslim fathers from South Asia were often uncomfortable with the more open sexuality of the West and this in turn affected their relationships with their children. This frustration led them in some cases to abuse their children or repress their sexual urges, according to Khan.

“Nine times out of ten, look to the dad and you’re gonna find he did something; beat them,” Khan told the Daily Beast. “I would blame the fathers absolutely.”

This generational rift between Young Muslims and their fathers is discussed in the filmmaker's interview with a former Islamist, Alyas Karmani. Karmaini explains that young Muslims live in the same sexualized society as their non-Muslim peers, but are told by their parents that sex is forbidden before marriage.

“There’s a real sense of hate that you have, that I can’t do that,” Karmani says in the film. “And that’s why I find a greater sense of sexual dysfunction sometimes in Muslim communities.”

“You know, I was talking to my wife this morning, and I said: ‘This is all about sex, everything all comes back to sex,’ And she said, ‘Oh you can’t say that.’ But that’s it. These guys just want girls, that’s all they want,” he added.

Joining ISIS gives the promise of a release for this sexual frustration, Karmani adds. “I’m there with my gun, which is more or less just a penis extension, out there. Look at me, I’m a mujahid now… I’m powerful now, I’m sexy now, girls are going to look at me, and there’s girls who would wanna become my bride now.”

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