Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | star wars | riz ahmed | diversity | television | isis

'Star Wars' Actor: Lack of Diversity on British TV May Draw Youth to ISIS

(Facebook/Riz Ahmed)

By    |   Friday, 03 Mar 2017 12:53 PM

Riz Ahmed, who plays Bodhi Rook in blockbuster movie "Stars Wars:Rogue One," says the lack of diverse multicultural casts and plot lines on British television could push minority youths to support terror groups like the Islamic State (ISIS).

"If we fail to represent, we are in danger of losing people to extremism," Ahmed, – who's also appeared on HBO's "Girls" and "The Night Of," said in an address to British Parliament, which he posted on Facebook. 

"In the mind of the ISIS recruit, he's the next James Bond right? Have you seen some of those ISIS propaganda videos, they are cut like action movies. Where is the counter narrative? Where are we telling these kids they can be heroes in our stories?"

Ahmed, invited to speak as part of an annual diversity lecture sponsored by TV network Channel 4, added that impressionable youths could "switch off and retreat to fringe narratives, to bubbles online and sometimes even off to Syria" without such diversity.

"People are looking for the message that they belong, that they are part of something, that they are seen and heard and that despite, or perhaps because of, their experience, they are valued. They want to feel represented. In that task we have failed.

"If we don't step up and tell a representative story . . . we are going to start losing British teenagers to the story that the next chapter in their lives is written with ISIS in Syria."

He said he feared more horrific murders like that of Jo Cox — a member of Parliament shot dead by an extremist last year — could occur were likely "because we've been mis-sold a story that is so narrow about who we are and who we should be."

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Riz Ahmed, who plays Bodhi Rook in blockbuster movie "Stars Wars: Rogue One," says the lack of diverse multicultural casts and plot lines on British television could push minority youths to support terror groups like the Islamic State (ISIS).
star wars, riz ahmed, diversity, television, isis
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2017-53-03
Friday, 03 Mar 2017 12:53 PM
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