On Wednesday at work, one of my friends told me about this podcast that she was listening to that had her completely sucked in. The podcast is called Caliphate. By Thursday, she had finished the ten episode podcast. I downloaded the podcast and was going to listen to it when I had time, but didn’t expect to be fully engrossed with it like she was. However, on Friday, I had to make an emergency trip to my alma mater, Cal State East Bay, and decided to listen to the first chapter of the podcast, so I could get a feeling for it. I got hooked.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, the podcast is about reporter Rukmini Callimachi and her journey meeting a former member of ISIS and vetting him, as well as her interview with him, his experience as a member of ISIS, and her experience in Iraq, specifically Mosol, which had been under ISIS rule. The connection she has with ISIS, Abu Huzaifa, details his experience, from how he was able to make it to Pakistan so he could join ISIS, to how to made it to the training camp in Syria. His story is detailed in such a way that only someone with firsthand experience in the acts could have known them, such as what it is like to stab a man in the heart repeatedly.
The podcast presents us with some ethical questions. Should Rukmini have turned her source over to the Canadian justice system? Should she have been required to cooperate with their investigation? Normally, I would say that she should have. However, as a journalist, the job is to get the story. If she betrays her sources, then she could be jeopardizing her career as a journalist. She could struggle to find sources to speak to her in the future. The podcast ends with Huzaifa cooperating with the authorities, and what he is currently facing in Canada. I strongly recommend the podcast, as it is one of the best ones I’ve listened to. It’s not scripted, and it flows. I finished the podcast by the time I got home from work yesterday, and I look forward to hearing more from Callimachi and how her experiences influence her worldview, as well as seeing if there will be any follow up with Huzaifa.