“If we don’t understand then we can’t really be effective in tackling it” – Deeyah Khan.

On Friday 26th July, a massacre at a beach near Sousse in Tunisia saw 38 British people killed at the hands of a gunman with links to Islamic State extremists.

On the same day, Deeyah Khan joined me in the studio to discuss her latest documentary ‘Jihad’ in which she interviews former Jihadis and recruiters of Jihad to understand the narrative and appeal of extremism to ultimately dissect and eradicate the radicalisation of young Brits today.

Deeyah Khan is a film-maker whose work highlights human rights, women’s voices, and the freedom of expression.

Disturbed the increase in people joining the Jihadi movement, and unsatisfied with the response that people joined because of foreign policy and politics, Deeyah embarked on a project to unveil the emotional and human appeal of extremism and to ask that all-important question: why are young British people from the West drawn to extremism?

Deeyah’s friends had told her to forget the children who had run off to join ISIS and extremist groups. It is their choice after all, so let them go. What is it to us?

Actually, Deeyah explained, we are the problem. Community, politicians, societies, “we are part of the problem…therefore it is our responsibility”.

“If we don’t understand then we can’t really be effective in tackling it”.

“It’s so easy to condemn and to stand back and say this is hopeless, let’s just resign any kind of responsibility from those people”.

“The fact of the matter is, those people are our people, they’re our children”. “We can’t give up on them”.

Teenagers and those in their adolescence have a lot of questions. They question how they fit into the world while growing up in a war and terror era. They will find the answer somehow, and if it isn’t families and parents providing it, then it will be Jihad – providing young people with the wrong answer.

Deeyah continued that we all want to matter and we all want to fit in. But our patriarchy not only discriminates against the sexes but ages, young and old, too. Racism also plays a part in segregation and isolation.

Growing up in Norway, Deeyah was called a ‘paki’, alike the former Jihadi in her documentary who spoke about his inferiority complex and never feeling good enough for society. He explained how he had a white girlfriend to try to fit in and often over-exaggerated being British to compensate for the lack of.

With time, Deeyah explains, this has gone away – but only to some extent, and many still live with this reality.

It is not only the expectation of society and the demands and expectations of what it means to fit in and ‘be’ British, but also expectations of those by family members.

Families can sometimes have narrow expectations of what they want for their children, and we all try to fulfil these fervently. But when you feel you are not good enough, Jihad is there.

Jihadi groups are there capturing young people’s hearts and then perverting their intentions to violence and brutality. This is why Deeyah believes we need to be there to remove the third party that is Jihad.

Fear, hatred and distance is growing so we need to move towards love and work for peace. It is a big task but it is not impossible.

If you think about it, how do the smallest act of kindness make you feel? It makes you feel good. If we make small changes they will have a big impact. For example, seeing a man on the bus and hiding your bag from him is a step in the wrong direction. Instead, smile at him and acknowledge him as a human being rather than instantly discriminating.

Hating is easy because it doesn’t require anything from us. Love demands compassion and the best we can be.

Speaking to first and second generation former Jihadis, Deeyah was able to come to the conclusion of these reasons and also see why they left Jihad.

Brave is one word to call Deeyah as she spoke to the first ever Jihadi recruiter. I asked if she was scared?! She said she didn’t have time to be afraid because she was so obsessed with finding the answers to her questions. Her mother, however, was mortified (as any mother would be!).

She was most shocked at how the former Jihadis had dedicated their life to that way of being but then finally realised they were wrong. She stated that the only answer is non-violence, peace and compassion.

However, there were times when it seemed Deeyah was sympathising with her interviewees? She protests that she did not sympathise with them but she agreed with them on their views about foreign policy and being against the invasion of Iraq and against oppression. Where she differed massively is that they chose to react with violence whereas she uses art.

Just like the children of the West, Deeyah had grown up in Norway in a Western society. Yet, instead of picking up weapons she picked up a camera. Many people question art a form of political expression and rhetoric. So why did Deeyah pick up a camera and use film-making as a form of social activism?

The correct medium, she says, varies from person to person. For Deeyah, art by-passes black and white views. It goes to the heart and is an emotional language. This is essential, she believes, for activism, because it goes beyond the intellectual and appeals to the heart.

After the massacre in Tunisia, Prime Minister David Cameron stated that the fight against Islamic State is “the struggle of our generation”.

It is indeed a prominent struggle of our generation, but as Deeyah explained on the show extremism has been rife for about three decades.

Why has it only come into mainstream media now then? She went on to explain that women have always been fighting on the frontline and had to bear the brunt of it but because only women were dying, nobody cared.

Also, the West supported it as Muslims were fighting against Communism. It was after 9/11 and when the allies of the West became enemies and the people of the West began to die that extremism gained media coverage.

“The more kindness, the more caring, the more compassion, the more love we can insert into this poisonous mix, I do believe that’s the only way to counter this”. Answering violence with violence will never solve things.

Having touched on the responsibility we have to our children, Deeyah and I discussed her documentary film ‘Banaz: A Love Story’. 17-year-old, Iraqi-Kurdish, Banaz was forced to stay in a marriage that her parents had arranged to a man ten years her senior.

She was raped, beaten and treated brutally but her family insisted she return to her husband and try to be a better wife. Eventually, she left him and began to rebuild her life – where she fell in love with another man.

Her community found out about this and were not happy. Within months, they had arranged her murder, murdered her, put her body in a suitcase and buried it six-feet under a desolate house in Birmingham.

If this story is not brutal enough, adding to the brutality is that Banaz reported her family to the police five times but they did not believe her. They did not believe that she would be killed for falling in love with somebody her family disapproved of.

Deeyah covered this story because, she explained, it highlighted all the lessons we need to learn as a society – the betrayal of family, community and the British system. Banaz did everything right, Deeyah stated, by coming forward, but her voice went unheard.

Caroline Goode, inspector at the time in charge of Banaz’s case, hunted down all the murderers and was responsible for the first extradition from Iraq.

After interviewing her, Deeyah told me, Caroline said she went to such extremes because she loved Banaz. She told Deeyah that nobody had loved Banaz, including her family who had killed her, so somebody had to.

This is what we need to be doing for each other, Deeyah said. We need to love someone we have never met. We need to stand up for someone when they can’t stand up for themselves.

After speaking about honour-killings and honour-based abuse, I wanted to touch upon the burden of the words ‘honour’ and ‘shame’ and how we tackle them in order to tackle expectations placed upon children and women.

“Honour should not be something children do to make their family happy”, Deeyah said, “I think honour is something parents do to show complete unconditional love for their children”.

Stop worrying about what people will say and think. Honour is standing by your child. Do not forsake your children for the sake of others.

Speaking to Deeyah, witnessing her bravery, and seeing her spread love and peace as a solution to violence was truly inspiring to say the least. Let us end with this saying: ‘an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’. Spread love and compassion and see the world change before your eyes.