With over 110 million YouTube hits and sell out stand-up tours, British-Pakistani internet comedian Humza’s hugely popular ‘Diary of a Badman’ AKA DOABM, freely discusses taboos, stereotypes, arranged marriage, attitudes to women and racism.
Now, the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (CTC) has collaborated with Humza Arshad to produce a hard-hitting film, ‘HATE’ to protect young, vulnerable people from being pulled into a life of violent crime by others.
‘HATE’ is a thought-provoking 12-minute film produced, directed by, and starring Humza, who is known for his ‘Diary of a Badman’ series on YouTube. The video itself is a dramatisation of life through Humza’s view of the world, as a way of opening up debate.
Humza narrates the video in poem form telling the story of two men driven to violence, showing how young people may be drawn into this, and how futile such action is.
The film addresses the themes of intolerance, violent crime, racism, extremism, Islamophobia and radicalisation, and the consequences of being influenced by them. The aim is to help empower young people to recognise and counter such poisonous narrative.
Running up until 6th February, police officers from the CTC are visiting numerous secondary schools across London to play the video to pupils, aged 14 to 18 years old, and discuss the important themes highlighted by the film.
After watching the film, the students have the opportunity to discuss with police officers and Humza the issues raised. Pupils are also be told about real-life case studies.
The CTC has also developed an anti-extremism lesson plan designed to educate young people about Prevent and its work. This presentation and video will be made available to schools as part of a package designed to help them deliver the presentation themselves.
Humza Arshad, said: “I don’t think I’ve lived in such a divisive and dangerous time as what we’ve seen over the past year.
“From the mosque attacks in New Zealand to losing a friend to a knife attack a few weeks later, as a human being I’ve felt the impact of intolerance and senseless violence.
“I’m pleased to partner again with the Met Police to address these topics head on with the same people that are most affected – young people. We’ve got work to do.”
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “The Met is working hard to prevent vulnerable young people from being drawn into violence, gang crime, and an extremist or hate-driven ideology.
“We believe our presentations at schools are going to be key to helping vulnerable young people set their minds against hate and violence. We hope it will empower them not to be influenced by those who support and encourage poisonous and extremist ideologies.
“Humza is incredibly popular online and influential with young people, so by working with him we hope we can ensure young people are less susceptible to being drawn a life of violence.
“If you are concerned that someone you know is potentially at risk of radicalisation, tell someone – and help them take a different path.”
For help and advice about the risks of radicalisation and to refer your concerns, visit ‘Let’s Talk About It’ at www.ltai.info