YouTube sensation, Humza Arshad, commonly known as Badman from his Diary of a Badman videos, has teamed up with the police to produce a short anti-extremism film for young British Muslims.
His existing series comically explores issues young Muslims face and how they can be dealt with, usually ending with a captivating moral and even a quote from Islamic scriptures.
Invited to Leicester by the East Midlands Prevent Engagement Team who deal with terrorism, Humza’s 15 minute film ‘Think For Yourself’, was aired for the first time at Crown Hills Community College, Leicester, last week.
The film exhibits the hostility and isolation that some of the Muslim youth experience from society and reveals radical influences that youngsters should be more aware of.
A surprise guest appearance was also made by Humza himself after his film was shown to the students.
Students comment: “I think Hamza is a really funny guy, but at the same time, he’s really educational. You can learn a lot from him.”
“We enjoyed watching it and at the same time we learnt a lot. It was really good for us, because it taught us how to stick up for ourselves and stick to our own opinions.”
PC Rizwaan Chothia from the East Midlands Prevent Engagement Team says: “The aim of the film is to try to engage young people about the dangers of grooming, indoctrination and radicalisation”.
“The key thing for us is to try and raise awareness with young people about their responsibilities about some of the inherent dangers that exist out there. Whether it be on the internet or whether it be individuals with negative or ill intentions”.
“The idea is to do it in a way that will appeal to young people by working with somebody like Humza Arshad, the star of Diary of A Badman, who’s got real credibility with young people.”
Humza Arshad spoke of his obligation to get involved in these sort of projects, “I have an obligation as a Muslim and a British citizen and I think that it’s very important for me to, as a public figure, to give back to the community.
“The kids all watch Diary of A Badman and shows on TV and sometimes if someone says this is wrong, maybe a police officer or a teacher or a parent, or uncle or aunty, it might not have the same effect. But when someone who you look up to in the entertainment business and they say something – sometimes they get more excited and they do take it in more”.
He added: “I think it’s definitely going to work and hopefully it will make a difference.”