Minnesota man receives threats for keeping young Muslims from joining ISIS
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - While the attacks in Paris were sending shock waves around the world, a Twin Cities man was getting his own threats from extremists. They don't like his tactics for keeping young Muslims from joining groups like ISIS.
It's Mohammed Ahmed’s artwork that's the focus of those threats. Messages like “I'll find you” and “I'll kill you” were posted to his “Average Mohammad” YouTube page -- a page he uses to teach Muslim values.
Ahmed is single handedly fighting an online war against ISIS every day. A war against the slick social media campaign the extremist group uses to recruit young jihadist fighters.
Using animated cartoons, Ahmed rebuts the extremist group's messaging -- "The goal is to say, look, these are our goals, these values of peace, these values of democracy."
After watching several young Muslims in his own community turn to extremism, he decided to do something using teachings from the Qur’an to thwart ISIS recruiting.
“Their messaging system is as important as their bombs and their knives because that is how they keep replenishing,” Ahmed said. “We can kill as many jihadist as we want, but as long as they keep replenishing and recruiting young kids, we have a problem."
But this past Saturday, as ISIS executed deadly attacks across Paris, the threats toward Ahmed started rolling in. Comments made on his YouTube page read, “I'm gonna find you” and “you just don't like we take over.”
“They're empowered now -- extremists feel very good right now because they've achieved something. Abomination but something,” Ahmed said.
With a wife and four children at home, Ahmed says it's alarming. But he vows to never give the terrorists the pleasure of stopping him.
"I'm American. We don't run, we don't hide. We will take this on. That's a value we learned here,” he said.