During the last few years a surge of extremist material, which on the face of it looks pretty much Islamic, has been flooding through print media and the Internet. By far sadly there has been no considerable counter measures yet and the bombardment of such baseless propaganda has sky-rocketed. The success of groups like ISIS in luring youth and radicalizing them is but of course pioneered through a complex nexus of publications and state of the art social media campaigns.

As we dive into the mystery of why so many people, especially from the West, are motivated to travel to a dangerous war zone with which most have no prior connection, we find many dimensions to it. Apparently, all of the outright following of deviant extremist groups such as ISIS is fueled by two major factors. One, the recruits have literally no idea of the real Islamic values and what it stands for. Two, the cunning depiction of a false sense of duty towards a particular group through literature and various forms of media.

ISIS has circulated two online guidebooks to inspire its Western recruits. In 2015, ISIS published its how-to guides “Hijrah” and “How to survive in the West”. Hijrah provided budding fighters with thorough packing lists — advice on how to get to Turkey and dupe customs officials into issuing visas for the country; Twitter accounts of fighters living in Syria who can facilitate their travel; and even recommendations for recruits to assess their personality strengths and weaknesses before leaving home to prepare themselves better for jihad.

“How to Survive in the West” is a guide on how to “be a secret agent” in a Western country, giving readers tips on the making of Molotov cocktails, bombs and cell phone detonators; hiding weapons in secret compartments of vehicles, in the same fashion as gangs; and how to identify and evade police surveillance, even suggesting that readers watch the Jason Bourne film series for tips on employing evasion tactics.

I still remember, when in my late teens I became interested in investigating, what all the fuss was about Islam being depicted as a ruthless and merciless religion which aimed only at exterminating all the non-believers of the world? After rummaging through countless sites and libraries for what really Islam was meant to be I hardly found any material that actually could be stamped as being authentic. The more I examined my findings of day & night with scrutiny, the more I was baffled at what different sects had tried to do with “the one & only” Islam.  Many a times the infiltration was nothing but outrageous and blatant lies. Luckily, amidst great confusion I did manage to learn that the word Islam means “peace” and thus came to the realization that all the fussily created fuss by the Media in general was really just nothing but “fuss”.

Unfortunately, that is not the case with everyone who comes across brainwashing coupled with sheer ignorance and nascence. After all these years I have come across many organizations responsible for Islamic publications. They come in various shapes & sizes. To enlighten you with the sugarcoated truth, there are only quite a few that are working with complete clarity and 100% authenticity. And it even comes down much fewer when it is about shedding light on the real cause of all the mislead Jihadi groups. The major cause that needs to be highlighted the most is “Takfir” (to justify killing of Muslims by declaring them non-believers).

Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri’s organization Minhaj-ul-Qur’an has produced some considerable works that outline the definition of Takfir and its implications in deviating many Muslims. But one that I have found the most helpful with regard to the true portrayal of this grave matter in the modern era pertaining to all the factors influencing it, is Dar-ul-Andulus Publications based in Lahore. Their publications are mostly free of sectarianism and religious discrimination connected to the basic source that is Islam so it helped me in actually using them as sources for many of my researches. Specifically, the organization has produced noteworthy literature clarifying violent misinterpretations of Islam. The best and unique works include uncovering the truth about extremely deviant groups such as Islamic State (ISIS), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) etc. and their ideological basis known as Takfir (to justify killing of Muslims by declaring them non-believers). They have produced numerous books on this matter that greatly helped expose the bigotry of these organizations that are propagating lies and inviting people to extremely deviant and divergent interpretations of Islam.

In these turbulent modern times Islamic world has taken more than its share of suffering and misjudgment. In these travails of modernity, organizations like these present a ray of hope and provide us a chance of realizing who we are as Muslims and how peaceful people we are. It is of utmost importance to hold on to the little lamps of lights before they are extinguished in the storm of turmoil and confusion.