14 February, 2016
In Jordan, some people are using theater to suggest a different path than terrorism.
The goal is to use actors to show dangers facing young people who join the Islamic State or other terrorist groups.
"Our role is to produce plays, TV drama, tackling the danger of extremism," a Jordanian actor told VOA. "It is considered a powerful way to fight extremist ideology."
The goal is to offer another view than the one presented by terrorist groups through social media.
He said terrorists are using social media "to seduce youth."
A Jordanian actress said she is playing a mother trying to protect her children from extremism.
The theater group aims its shows at university students. The shows call for taking care of family and respect for all religions. The group mixes serious messages with humor.
The actors say they cannot get their message across if they take a serious tone throughout the shows.
In the United States, President Barack Obama recently visited a mosque. He talked about ways to combat terrorism.
Obama said it is important for Americans to show respect for Muslims and all they do for the U.S., including serving in the military and Department of Homeland Security.
"I want every American to remember how Muslim communities are standing up for others," Obama said. "Because right now, as we speak, there are Muslims in Kenya who saved Christians from terrorists, and Muslims who just met in Morocco to protect religious minorities, including Christians and Jews."
He also said Muslim leaders should speak out against terrorism.
And while Obama said Muslims should feel free to criticize the United States, a right belonging to all Americans, there should be a balance.
"Muslim political leaders have to push back on the lie that the West oppresses Muslims and against conspiracy theories that say America is the cause of every ill in the Middle East," Obama said.
I'm Mario Ritter.
Haider al Abdadi reported on this story from Jordan for VOA. Bruce Alpert adapted the story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
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Words in This Story
role – n. a part that someone or something has in a particular activity or situation
ideology – n. the set of ideas and beliefs of a group
seduce – v. to persuade someone to do something
tone – n. a quality, feeling, or attitude expressed by the words that someone uses in speaking or writing
conspiracy – adj. the believe that some people are engaging in a secret harmful or illegal activity