Thursday, 2 June 2011

"Foreign Office criticised for axing terror cartoon"

This is an incredible story, and I can see my old friend Phil Taylor having a good old chuckle over this. An independent media company has developed, with funding from the Foreign Office, a six minute animated film called Wish You Waziristan. It is about two Muslim brothers who travel from London to the terrorist training camps in Pakistan. The problem is that the launch of the film has been staggered by its creators uploading parts of the film on Youtube. Once a newspaper got hold of the story, the FCO pulled the plug. This means viewers did not get to see the payoff - that the principal character, attracted to the terrorist's life - becomes disillusioned. It is now possible to view the clips as terrorist propaganda, especially as each clip ends with the message 'Join us here'.

And then they wonder why they are losing the information war ....

A useful description of the film and Muslim reaction can be found here

The second report hints (in a typical Mail way) that perhaps money would be better spent on understanding fighting the reasons why young Muslims are radicalised. This is, after all, where the information war will be lost or won.

I would also add that before designing such a campaign, it is important to seek advice from members of the target audience. The reaction from young Muslims and those representing Muslims in the UK is that the style and themes of this film will make no difference.

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