Robb Leech traces his brother’s conversion into a jihadi terrorist
From idolising older (step) brother, Richard Dart, to having to wrap his head around him turning into a terrorist, Robb Leech, a tree surgeon-turned-filmmaker decided to document the change from Richard to Salahuddin. “I looked up to him as an older brother. Even when we went our different ways, we always gravitated towards each other as we had the same interests,” begins Leech. But when Dart became an Islamist fundamentalist, his personality changed completely. Not Leech’s affection for his brother though, despite the many differences. “I could no longer see the person whom I had grown up with. I couldn’t understand him either,” he shares.
His brother now goes by the name Salahuddin, associates with jihadist fundamentalists and believes the UK should be ruled by Sharia law. Leech decided to make My Brother the Islamist (MBTI) and later My Brother the Terrorist (MBTT), to find clues to his radical change. “I made my first film (after he converted), to try and understand him,” explains the filmmaker, adding, “I still hoped that he would realise he had swum too far into the deep end,” Leech tells us. My Brother The Terrorist, is an update on the ‘whys and hows of radicalisation’ by meeting Anjem Choudary, the person who converted Dart.
The film is describing as ‘an authoured, personal film which offers great access and insight into the world of Islamic extremism in the UK.’ He adds that this is a professional view and has ‘a very personal journey and insight through radicalisation and extremism, offering a fresh perspective on how and why it happens.’ Leech hopes,“that sharing (my) journey and allowing people to engage with the subject matter would help them on a wider level.”
MBTI airs on September 27 and MBTT airs on October 5 at 6.40 am and 7.40 pm on BBC World News
— Aakanksha Devi