But today, Islamist states and organizations are systematically indoctrinating the next generation of kids to embrace violence and hatred.
These children cannot help but internalize these values and become filled with hate. At worst, they commit acts of terror.
This radicalization is also happening at home, in the West. Islamists are using new methods to reach a broader audience and lure Western teenagers to buy into their poisonous ideology.
Kids: Chasing Paradise is a powerful new film that takes an unflinching look at the brutal exploitation of youth by extremists worldwide. The documentary features compelling personal stories of children, who are actively influenced by extremists, and their families, and showcases activists and experts who confront this growing global threat.
Christianne Boudreau is a Canadian mother who was personally affected by the impact of the violent radicalization process; her son, Damian, was killed while fighting for ISIS. She now coordinates the Mothers for Life network, which brings together mothers of radicalized jihadis to support one another and combat radicalization.
British woman named Tania Joya, a former extremist who is now working in deradicalization. Tania Joya's ex-husband was radicalized as a teenager in Texas and is currently active in ISIS. Tania Joya and her four children live in Texas. Tania used to want her children to grow up to be jihadists, and now embraces human rights and Western values.
Nicola Benyahia is a British woman who founded Families for Life, a nonprofit organization focused on deradicalization and support for families of young extremists. When Nicola's son, Rasheed, unexpectedly joined ISIS, she found Christianne and they started both a professional collaboration and personal friendship
Mohammed Ali is a 14-year-old teenager in Iraq. He is being trained to be a member of a government-sanctioned paramilitary group, the PMF (Popular Mobilization Forces).
Michael “Younnes” Delefortrie is a Belgian jihadi and former ISIS fighter currently in jail in Belgium. We interviewed him days before he was incarcerated.
Dominique Bons is a French woman whose son joined ISIS and was killed in Syria. Dominique decided something had to be done and, in 2014, founded “Syrien ne bouge agissons” to start working on this issue and provide support to many families facing the same situation.
Mohammed Sheikh Eid is a 14-year-old boy in Gaza who attends an Islamist summer camp. We interviewed Mohammed, his parents and his trainers.
Shoshana is a film producer and director. Palatnik was a researcher for the award-winning film Honor Diaries. Palatnik has developed long-term relationships with people who were personally affected by radicalization, including jihadists and former extremists. Shoshana has a master’s degree in Communication and Culture from York University in Canada.
Wayne Kopping is an award-winnng filmmaker best known for his work on ground-breaking documentaries about the global threat of Radical Islam. He is also known internationally as a speaker and expert on the topic. His work has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, The New York Times and countless radio shows, publications & blogs.
Kopping has worked professionally in the film and television industry since the age of 8. He started as a child-actor in commercials and TV shows. By the time he was 19, he was directing material for South African television.