Islamist missionary Ubaydullah Hussain is the focus of the documentary Recruiting for Jihad, and the results are eye-opening and filled with sadness. Directed by Adel Khan Farooq and Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen, Recruiting for Jihad follows Hussain over a three year period, allowing him to openly express his opinions about his faith and beliefs. Over the course of the film, the shocking events in Paris at Charlie Hebdo occur, and we begin to see that Hussain’s ideas fall much more in line with extremism than actual peace.
At first, Hussain seems peaceful, rational, and accepting of the world around him. Of course, with a film called Recruiting for Jihad, you know that things won’t always be that way. Hussain’s support of terror attacks around the world are troubling, but even worse is how he actively brings new people into The Prophet’s Ummah, a small Salafi-jihadist organization in Norway. These are frequently young men, and they are also so caught up in Hussain’s speech that they’re the first ones to head directly into areas of war.
While it’s never obvious that Hussain is recruiting, you also can’t deny that that’s what he’s actually doing. What’s so sad is that it always seems to be a recent convert to Islam who is ready to lay down their life for their beliefs. Hussain speaks of some illness that prevents him from long distance travel, which is why he hasn’t left to take part in anything, but that just smacks of someone avoiding what they know will almost certainly lead to death.