Syrian rebels regularly publish videos showing off their weapons or their successful attacks on the army. One of the latest propaganda videos to emerge online, however, shows a very different kind of accomplishment. The video, which was posted July 29 on YouTube, is described as a Japanese journalist’s conversion to Islam.
According to the video’s description, this took place during a ceremony organised by Syrian rebels from the Manduh Jolha battalion. Based in Jabal al-Turkman, in the northwestern province of Latakia, this group has declared it is fighting against Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.
This video was translated into English by the YouTube channel AhlNussrah. The original videos were posted were posted here.
In the video, the young man repeats, in Arabic, a profession of faith: “There is no God but Allah and Muhhamad is his prophet.” A man then asks what his name is, and he answers “Mustapha.” In Islam, new converts traditionally adopt a Muslim name.
The young man then performs a ritual purification by face, hands, and feet. Meanwhile, the cameraman proudly explains in Arabic: “Thanks to Allah, this man converted to Islam after witnessing the great morality of our battalion.”
The video below shows the same man breaking a fast with the same battalion, which seems to indicate this was filmed during Ramadan.
For now, very little information has emerged about this video, about the man’s identity, or about the authenticity of his conversion to Islam. If you have any information, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org