“Among the Believers” is about troubles and reveals, probing how the Islamic war entering into the region of Islamabad, Pakistan. The documentary film shows the open functioning of an infamous “Red Mosque” looking like an avowed incubator distributing jihad.
The short documentary says it all in a span of 84 minutes that will be screened worldwide in theatres on September 30, 2016. The film takes a bold step by directly showcasing the inexhaustible limits to initiate Islamic war. It shows how the young innocent Pakistani children taking the elementary education in a school in Islamabad. But they’re seen focusing less on the needs to get basic life skills, but instilling an extreme and militaristic interpretation of the “Quran”.
“Among the Believers” shows a plethora of impoverished citizens of the country who feel pride to become one of the Jihadis and pursuing a never declared Islamic war. They indulge in such acts that they themselves don’t have any idea about it. They’re just busy taking the training to become a dreaded criminal in the future who know only about gore and violence. However, others seem to criticise the system unreservedly.
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By: Mohammed Ali Naqvi, Hemal Trivedi
Written By: Jonathan Goodman Levitt
Released Date: Sep 30, 2016 worldwide
Studio: First Run Features
Duration: 84 minutes
A fascinating documentary on emerging Islamic war from the inside of Red Mosque in Pakistan
“Mohammed Ali Naqvi” & “Hemal Trivedi” (both are known to produce documentaries) should be given a credit to produce a much deserving film on the burning sensation that would probably complement mass coverage to the entire media fraternity than getting into theatrical interventions. The documentary seems to offer an alarming and candid insight into the Islamic war posed by the notorious and expanding network of Red Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan.
As the film progresses, it shows a Muslim cleric by the name “Abdul Aziz Ghazi”, who happens to be the ISIS supporter, running a self proclaimed campaign of imposing Sharia law and raising the next version of Jihad supporters. If we discuss a bit about the religious extremism then it’s not just limited to a particular locality, but affecting the entire humanity across the globe. However, if we look at Pakistan, then you can only see hundreds of nourishing “madarsas” ready to create Front-line soldiers in the name of religion eventually making a frightening and tense way of life.
Now, the highly disturbing part is the use of education in wrong ways. These defaulters don’t hesitate to use education as a tool by enforcing an avid religious ideology upon young minds. Full credit to filmmakers who always believe to back up their investigation on each and every step they put forth. For example, you may notice the testimonies from most vibrant key speakers who are a part of Pakistani academic communities.
Do you know where these radical Muslim terrorists are heading indulging in all such coward acts? Well, they’re going nowhere but igniting an Islamic war. The short documentary goes successful in portraying the most heinous struggle between moderate secularism and Islamic fundamentalism. Anyone can capture the most desperate and obvious poverty in the rural areas along with claustrophobic modern and urban sprawl of Pakistan. By showing this, the movie portrays the flaws and burning struggle in the Pakistan’s educational system.
These religious schools are dispersed everywhere in the region of Pakistan, where they boast not less than 10,000 students. These young minds are captured by Red Mosque trainers whose only desire is to spread Islam through much sought proselytiser or Jihad. All this is done in an effort to fulfil Ghazi’s upcoming vision in the form of a revolution to bring the entire citizens abiding “Shariya law”. Ghazi is seen declaring openly about his mission to turn all child jihadis into more dreaded mujahedeen. Their only mission will be to fight Islam’s greatest enemies- secularism and the Pakistan government.
In the year 2007, the place called Red Mosque was brutally damaged at the time of infiltration with government’s own forces and resulted claiming hundreds of lives. Among those deceased were Ghazi’s own brother, mother and his only son. Now, this standoff is highlighted in the later part of the film igniting an Islamic war. In this context, it demands some thoughts from the viewer’s end to conceptualise and relate all this in the timeline of recent conflicts between the government and the Red Mosque.
The directors of “Among the Believers,” Mohammed Ali Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi were successful granting an unprecedented access to the dreaded Maulana Aziz. He happens to be a self proclaimed Muslim leader who has been given the nod to run “The Red Mosque”. It’s an open organisation or a factory to train young minds devoting their crucial lives to an unprecedented Islamic war. One can see hundreds of children, pledging their allegiance to the dreaded ISIS. Albeit, “Maulana Aziz” doesn’t always need his physically intimidating presence, but his fear-provoking and unwavering mindset presents him an intimidating air to carry on his campaign.
The movie starts with an alarming and a tensed scene where a young kid is busy reciting a chant (sounding like a prayer). But within moments, his tone abruptly mutates along with his cadence shifting more violent after he himself gesticulates signalling towards a much needed Islamic war. Now, this so much intense childhood violence is juxtaposed by the interesting and colourful posters vegetables and alphabets right behind him. This is just to emphasise the routine activity performed by these little children.
A much relief to know that this Islamic war is not one sided. Both Naqvi and Trivedi also include Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy (education reformer), a long time opponent of “Maulana Aziz”, “Zarina” (a young girl ran away to attend regular school) along with Tariq (school’s administrator). All these people play a crucial role by adding a realistic counter to Maulana’s fear mongering.
In one of the shots “Maulana Aziz” says that Allah wants them to enjoy this world, but he doesn’t know how much of the world can he enjoy if he simply follows his daily gestures of reading “Quran” before dawn till going to the bed. Both Naqvi and Trivedi perform a fabulous job after they get an access that would have been an impossible task, otherwise. They are also successful weaving historical footage, live conversations and other stuff in a flaccid manner.
By posing an Islamic war in the light of ideological clashes, the documentary gives a dreaded and intricate look at one of the world’s most burning issues. Also, the film ending on a hopeful note also says much instead of making it to end on a downbeat.
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