Shumon Ali-Rahman reports on a secondary school’s creative effort to eradicate extremism
A music video made by four Leyton school pupils aimed at tackling terrorism has amassed nearly 8,000 hits online.
The video, called Cold as ISIS, was filmed during a Lammas School trip to the Houses of Parliament and challenges the “barbarism” of terrorist groups such as ISIS, as well as far-right extremism.
Fifteen-year-old pupil Abdalla decided to write a set of lyrics in response to last year’s stabbing at Leytonstone Station, which followed shortly after the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Abdalla said: “I showed what I had written to my teachers and they encouraged me to work on the writing and record a music video while we were on a trip to Parliament to learn about British values.”
Oher school pupils who were involved in the song include 15-year old Maaz, who raps in the video, and 14-year-olds Samira and Naima, who provided melodies for the song.
Samira said: “People judge 1.6 billion Muslims on the disgusting actions that ISIS commits every single day.”
Naima says she has felt the backlash directly herself. “A stranger walked past me and called me a terrorist,” she said. “I felt so angry and judged.”
Maaz, who has experienced similar prejudice, said: “The video doesn’t just speak up for me but addresses every other Muslim that has to go through the same scenario day in and day out.”
Pupils from Lammas School, in Seymour Road, have previously created music videos to tackle issues such as food waste and homophobia, through the Spoken Word Educator programme, which places performance poets in schools.
Headteacher Shona Ramsay said: “A core responsibility of all teachers is to help students understand their world so that they can be involved in shaping its future and giving students a platform to speak and be listened to is crucial.
“This film demonstrates the power of the words written and spoken by Lammas students as they react to recent terrorist atrocities.”
Watch the Cold as ISIS video below