Russell Brand ‘exact type’ to be radicalized by ISIS, say critics

Russell Brand (Still from YouTube video)
Comedian-turned-activist Russell Brand has caused a fresh bout of controversy after claiming on his YouTube channel that a “corrupt” British society is the reason ‘Jihadi John’ was radicalized.

In the video ‘Could I have been Jihadi John?’ released on Tuesday, the self-styled revolutionary reacts to the revelation of the militant’s identity.

Brand claimed the radicalization of the Islamic State executioner, Mohammed Emwazi, is Britain’s fault.

However, many on social media condemned his remarks, accusing him of “making excuses for terrorists.”

The number of Europeans joining ISIS has doubled in the last year and society continues to leave Muslims feeling alienated with no sense of belonging, according to Brand.

He argues British society fails to understand jihadism in the same way it has failed to adequately comprehend issues like drugs, alcoholism and homelessness.

One Twitter user said: “He [Brand] made a good point, our politics isn’t fit to solve the problems that lead to radicalization.”

Brand goes on to question why support for jihadism appears to have grown so rapidly in recent years, adding that Muslim’s alone should not be blamed.

The three British schoolgirls who recently travelled to Syria to join ISIS were discovered to have purchased a book called ‘Islam for Dummies’.

READ MORE: CCTV footage captures 3 UK schoolgirls in Turkey en route to Syria

Attacking Brand’s distinction between Islamist ideology and the Islamic faith, one Twitter user said: “If being Muslim has nothing to do with the reason they go, then why would they buy a beginners guide to Islam?”

Why would they feel the need to couch it in Islamic language if it has nothing to do with Islam?” another Twitter user asked.

One user said Brand is the “exact type” to be radicalized by ISIS, judging by his views.

The comedian claimed ISIS is exploiting “lonely” people in society, adding: “The beheadings can’t be incorporated into the main narrative of apathy, alienation, isolation.

“If an ideology as mad as ISIS can appeal to a certain section of the population we have a huge cultural problem,” he added.

He also said it is “obvious” the young extremists are on MI5’s radar.