I was contacted by M. Ayub Ayubi, from Pakistan. He wanted to tell his story. I hope you will watch the video. It may be hard to understand, due to his accent, so please hit the “CC” button to turn on the closed captions.
Don’t see the video? Click here to see the video!
Ayub has come to define the group his family is still part of as a Muslim cult. As he headed off to college, hoping to find freedom from the restraints of his family’s radical belief system, he became involved in another extremist Muslim “cult”, this time of a leftist nature.
Breaking free from the influence of mental manipulation is not easy, especially when it involves family. Without proper counseling, or at least access to information about how mental manipulation works, vulnerability to a different flavor of mental manipulation is high during the breaking free process.
Many people stay in radical groups, even if they don’t really believe in the doctrine, because of how difficult it is. During adolescence and early adulthood, if someone attempts to break free from the radical belief systems of their family, they are especially vulnerable. It feels lonely. There is a cognitive dissonance that is painful. Filling the void with another radical belief system is not uncommon.
Ayub’s reading about cults helped him understand what happened to him. The more he understood about the psychology behind what he had been through, the more determined he became to prevent others from the mental trappings of radical groups.
Ayub is now literally risking his life to do the work he does, to prevent radicalization among young people in Pakistan. The work he is doing is very important, but not very safe.
Ayub told me he has written his obituary, and is not afraid to die. Although Ayub is on the other side of the planet from me, and I have only talked with him via Skype, he has become a friend and someone I have great respect for.
Ayub has founded an organization called Renaissance Foundation for Social Innovation, Pakistan (RESIP) Through this organization young people in Pakistan learn critical thinking skills, conflict resolution skills and about the need to value diversity.
Below are links to his website and to a Global Giving site where he is trying to find funding for the work he is doing. Please support his work in any way you can. Simply sharing his story is a great help.
M. Ayub Ayubi is the founder of Renaissance Foundation for Social Innovation, Pakistan (RESIP) You can find his work at https://www.dialoguepeace.com
Another way you can support the work of countering Islamic extremism is by donating to a newly launched Global Giving campaign. Learn more here: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/countering-islamic-extremism/