Homeland Security

Jihadist Group Uses 'Life of Brian,' 'Planet of the Apes' to Recruit

A new video from a coalition of foreign fighters in Syria uses Monty Python’s Life of Brian to argue that the West has fallen out of faith and Planet of the Apes to demonstrate how westerners are being taught evolution.


The 35-minute film from Al-Muhajirun also encourages Syrians to stay in their homeland as the “putrid society” of the West poses a greater danger to their families than bombs.

Al-Muhajirun, or The Emigrants, was formed in 2015 not as a new terror organization but “a community of the muhajirun from different groups and with different interests united in order to show the ummah [Muslim community] and the world the true face of the muhajirun, the mujahidun, and jihad,” according to the group’s mission statement. “It is a contact point for anyone interested in joining the ranks of the muhajirun, fighting for the sake of Allah and supporting the Ansar and the religion.” Their “community” is composed of al-Qaeda-linked groups, not ISIS.

The group produces videos, statements and even social media banners in several languages promoting jihad and recruitment. In April, Al-Muhajirun teased today’s release of “Fitrah: The West Behind the Mask,” available in English, German and Turkish.

Unique for a jihad video, the film begins with a viewer discretion note, warning that the material was inappropriate for children: “Although attempts were made to exclude drastic images that reflect the everyday reality of life in the West, we could not exclude everything, so that the true face of this so-called civilization could be recognized by those who have been deceived by it so far.”

The bulk of accusations against the West are levied by a German now going by the name Abd ul-Salam al-Muhajir. He says his original name was Andreas Müller, and his face is obscured for the duration of the video.


Müller details poor elder care, abortion, anonymous baby drops to safely hand over unwanted infants, sex education in schools and acceptance of the LGBT community as reasons why Muslims should see the West as depraved and refuse to live in such societies. He also decries people giving “special attention to animals,” slamming care programs for old and disabled dogs.

Because of people’s experiences with the “distorted Christianity of the Church,” he says, they have become “totally adverse to religion.” Atheism is regarded as intellectual, he argues, “while the religion of the Tawheed [monotheism in Islam] is presented as that of the retarded.”

“Likewise, the media does not rest a day without announcing war against Allah,” Müller adds. “Either via films that mock religion or that present man as the descendant of apes.”

The footage used is ripped from Life of Brian, specifically the hermit scene.

(Al-Muhajirun video)

To illustrate evolution education, the group uses Planet of the Apes footage.

(Al-Muhajirun video)

Müller segues into schools’ curriculum about evolution, complaining that atheism drives science education.

The video spends a significant amount of time slamming the LGBT community and the West’s acceptance of same-sex marriage, with the German jihadist complaining “they display their abnormal diseases on the streets openly and without any shame.”


“Those who should be the most intelligent of their people” are singled out as the worst offenders in the video, which lists openly gay public officials: Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, former Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, former German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, and former White House social secretary Jeremy Bernard, who served in the Obama administration from 2011-2015.

Müller calls his conversion to Islam “as if I awoke from a nightmare.” The video proceeds to give examples of intolerance against Muslims in western countries. It then decries monitoring of suspected extremists. “The real problem is that the Muslims there do not grasp these restrictions, insults and transgressions because they got used to them gradually.”

Toward the end of the video, a European man is shown packing a bag and getting on a Turkish Airlines flight, then taking a bus deep into the countryside. A man with a backpack is shown darting through orchards, ostensibly running for Syrian territory.

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