Opening with a chilling scene of a very young boy delivering a sermon with vitriolic hatred in his eyes, this sobering documentary takes us through the recent history of Pakistan’s ideological clash between moderate and fundamentalist forces. The Red Mosque, an organization in Pakistan that runs madrassas across the country, trains legions of children to devote their lives to jihad, or holy war. With incredible access into the schools and its leader Maulana Aziz we see firsthand how the radical side is building up its army as thousands of children pledge their allegiance to ISIS.
Directors Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi craft a humanizing documentary about the big issues at hand by giving us up close access to Aziz, his longtime opponent, education reformer Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy, and school children Talha and Zarina—a young boy and girl who are on entirely different educational paths in the religious and secular systems. Intimate and brutally honest, Among the Believers offers a rare insight into the ideological battle shaping modern Pakistan and the Muslim world.