A stylish show that needs background knowledge
Jihad: Inner Struggle *** Mela Big Top USING hypnotic dance moves and a sexy modern soundtrack, Faroque Khan explores the concept of Jihad – meaning 'struggle' – by focusing on an Israeli and an Arab who live in the same house.
There are, according to Khan, two kinds of Jihad. The greater Jihad, in which a person fights their animal tendencies, and a lesser Jihad, in which they fight on behalf of their community.
The house is the home of Faroque, a hedonist who stays out all night clubbing and comes home to tumble into bed. In his dreams, an Israeli man, Yoran, stealthily comes into the house. He is on the run from the army – although he might even be a ghost – and is looking for peace.
The two clash, but this is not the classic fight between cultures of the Arab-Israeli conflict in Palestine – instead, Khan is uses this premise to demonstrate the clash between the two kinds of Jihad.
Faroque is fighting his own internal demons. He takes Yoran out clubbing and gets him loved up on pills. It is an alien world to Yoran who joined the army as soon as he could, and was happy to go out to defend his country. It was only when it came to actual killing that he began to balk.
Though the show looks and sounds great, it demands too much prior knowledge to be a real success for the casual audience.
If you understand a bit about the concept of Jihad though, then the whole piece begins to take a shape that questions those who use the lesser Jihad as a reason for conflict.
• Run ends tomorrow
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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