Watching videos of Islamic State atrocities it's hard to believe the world's response hasn't gone much beyond just that - watching.
A large factor in the world's relative inaction must be the fact that the killers are Muslin. We did not tolerate Japanese or German atrocities to this extent. But the leaders of civilisation today put their energies into excusing the ideology behind the systemised barbarism. Very few say anything at all about stamping it out.
This report from Quilliam (www.quilliamfoundation.org) makes a compelling case for urgent action.
The children of the Islamic State are being inculcated in the cult of the Quran with deadly implications.
Around 7-8 million people live under Islamic State rule. One third of that population are children. Around 2 million kids are in the Islamic State education system.
The Islamic State education program focusses on reading, memorising and strictly living the Quran. Theirs is not a special extremist version of the Quran - it's the same Quran, word for word as found in the home of Muslims the world over.
Nor is the Islamic State interpretation extreme. It is strict and literal. And the strict application of Muhammad's Islam is being inculcated into hundreds of thousands of very, very angry young men.
Young boys are being trained as informers against parents, suicide bombers, Jihadis and lifeless-eyed sociopaths. Quillam's language is dry and academic - but the implications of this statement are clear:
"...the spiralling cyclical dynamics of violent conflict will continue to be felt for generations to come".
There are more than 30,ooo women currently pregnant in the Caliphate. This report describes the education system these kids are being born into.
I start with an apology and warning. I am still struggling with the implications of what I've seen in researching this article.
Quilliam's report tell us this about the syllabus for young boys in these Islamic schools:
Children are used to execute those who do not comply with Islamic State ideology. By forcing young children to participate in executions, Islamic State normalises these atrocities, and further indoctrinates children. Some children assist in executions by handing adult fighters knives, while other children carry out executions themselves. Moreover, children are taught that execution is a privilege and an honour—and in one case, a prize. In a recent video from Islamic State’s Kheer Province, for example, six young children are awarded the opportunity to execute Syrian prisoners. The children run through a maze and celebrate after finding and killing the captives. A child states that they ‘have been raised to conquer East and the West and we will restore Al-Aqsa and Al-Andalus.’
You can see the video at this website - however I strongly caution you to think twice about watching it.
I am sickened right now, revolted and dumbfounded that the world has allowed this to happen. Islamic State is the Caliphate that Islamists want to see rule the world. It's effectively a country right now with an education ministry, curriculum, teachers and hundreds of thousands of kids at school. And like a sausage factory, it's churning out young killers stuffed full of Muslim crap.
Here's a precis of the video:
The video begins with showing various images of Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu. It then cuts to footage of students studying the Quran outside, when six students are called from the class a la Hunger Games. The six boys are introduced, with the last boy’s voice high enough to be a girl’s.
The scene cuts to outside of an ancient ruin, somewhere in Deir ez-Zor, Syria. The six boys, now dressed in camouflage, are guided one-by-one by their Islamist militant teachers through the cavernous and decrepit citadel while brandishing pistols. Five of the boys then execute five “spies” hidden in various places.
The sixth boy, with the high voice, sets down the pistol and takes out a knife.
He then beheads the last man.
The video is extremely disturbing because of the children’s ages in it and the way it is filmed. The whole feel of the video is that of a high-tech, futuristic, first person shooter video game with multiple camera angles. Popup insets with victim’s information right before they are executed helps to concrete this unearthly vibe.
Why this role for children - implications for us
The current generation of fighters sees these children as better and more lethal fighters than themselves, because rather than being converted into radical ideologies, they have been indoctrinated into these extreme values from birth, or a very young age. Further, because they have been taught religious concepts from their early days, they are seen as a more ‘pure’, and have a greater chance to achieve martyrdom than the current generation.
In a spiritual sense, because these children are seen as blessed by God and without sin (for example, they are not adults who have made hijra, or migration to Islamic State, later on in their lives), it is more likely that they will be helped by God to a greater extent than adults would be. Furthermore, because these children are born in the Islamic State, and are not corrupted by previously living in countries with secular values (including Arab countries, which may have Islamic but also secular values.) these children are saved from corruption, making them stronger than the current mujahedeen (fighters), because they have a superior understanding of Islam from youth and from school curriculum, and are better and more brutal fighters as they are trained in violence from a very young age.
.........there is no real sense of a normal education for them. Therefore, the aim is to prepare a new, stronger, second generation of mujahedeen conditioned and taught to be a future resource for the group.
The prolonged exposure and desensitisation to violence that these children experience affects their physical and psychological well-being, both in the short term and in the long term. They are unable to contribute constructively to their societies because they do not develop the ability to socialise, or become loving parents.
The content of the curriculum is similarly restricted, especially compared with the pre-Islamic State curricula in Iraq and Syria, and compared to what is normally studied in the West. Subjects such as drawing, music, nationalism, history, philosophy and social studies have all been removed. Instead, they have been replaced with Qur’an memorisation, tawheed (monotheism), fiqh (jurisprudence), salat (prayer), aqeeda (creed), Hadith, and Sura (life of Muhammad). Some subjects have been limited, for example, one Geography textbook only names continents, and a History textbook only teaches Islamic History. Physical Education has been renamed ‘Jihadi Training’, and includes shooting, swimming, and wrestling. The Physical Education textbook includes workout routines, as well as a section on weaponry that teaches various parts of history, assembly, firing, and instructions on cleaning and storage of light weapons.
Moreover, Islamic State teaches children brought up in Western educational systems that they were raised ‘on the methodology of atheism’ and are required to attend special schools.The children of families who have immigrated to Islamic State from outside Syria and Iraq are given lessons on Arabic language, Qur’an, and Hadith. Boys who have completed lessons in Qur’an memorisation, tajweed (recitation of the Qur’an) and Arabic language move on to physical and military training where they are taught hand-to-hand combat and weapons training.
Socialisation involves initially interacting with children, usually in public spaces or mosques, and encouraging engagement with IS by offering free toys and candy, or the opportunity to hold an IS flag, and in some cases, weapons. At this stage, children are exposed to IS ideology and are drawn in through the narrative of the so-called caliphate’s military successes, its utopian society, and the alleged benefits for those who have already joined.
In stark contrast with past conflicts, IS recruitment also heavily involves family members in co-opting children into joining the group. Reports of child soldiers in other conflicts reveal that they are sometimes forced to kill family members, both to preclude any possibility of returning home, and to break down the psychological defences of the child. Islamic State, on the other hand, is not just a rebel group, but an aspiring state, and it needs societies, not just soldiers. As such, its recruitment tactics feed into its long-term strategy by enrolling the whole family, not just the youth. Mothers are given books instructing them how to bring up jihadi children, suggestions include telling bedtime stories about martyrdom, exposing children to graphic content through jihadi websites, and encouraging them to play sports and games which improve their fitness and hand-eye coordination.119 In this way, children are brought up exposed to Islamic State ideology by those they trust and love, consequently making them more likely to trust Islamic State itself.
Finally, children are also socialised into joining by other children. As previously recruited children are seen engaging with IS, children watching from the outside come to believe that the practices they witness are the norm, and a positive course of action for them. Child recruiters give speeches, which spur both adults and other children into action through the lure of status, purpose, and admiration.The indoctrination that begins in schools intensifies in training camps, where children between the ages of ten and 15 are instructed in shari’a, desensitised to violence, and are taught specific skills in order to best serve the state and take up the banner of jihad.
What about the girls?
Girls are taught how to cook, clean, and support their husbands so that they can be good wives and mothers, while boys are prepared for combat by learning military skills.
ENDS (Quilliam report extracts)
I wanted to answer this question because so many world leaders say it has nothing to do with Islam.
Is Islamic State Islamic?
This is what I found.
For their guiding principles, the leaders of the Islamic State ... are open and clear about their almost exclusive commitment to the Wahhabi movement of Sunni Islam. The group circulates images of Wahhabi religious textbooks from Saudi Arabia in the schools it controls. Videos from the group’s territory have shown Wahhabi texts plastered on the sides of an official missionary van.— David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times
According to The Economist, dissidents in the ISIL capital of Al-Raqqah report that "all 12 of the judges who now run its court system ... are Saudis". Saudi Wahhabi practices also followed by the group include the establishment of religious police to root out "vice" and enforce attendance at salat prayers, the widespread use of capital punishment, and the destruction or re-purposing of any non-Sunni religious buildings. Bernard Haykel has described al-Baghdadi's creed as "a kind of untamed Wahhabism".
ISIL aims to return to the early days of Islam, rejecting all innovations in the religion, which it believes corrupts its original spirit. It condemns later caliphates and the Ottoman Empire for deviating from what it calls pure Islam,and seeks to revive the original Wahhabi project of the restoration of the caliphate governed by strict Salafist doctrine. Following Salafi-Wahhabi tradition, ISIL condemns the followers of secular law as disbelievers, putting the current Saudi Arabian government in that category.
Salafists such as ISIL believe that only a legitimate authority can undertake the leadership of jihad, and that the first priority over other areas of combat, such as fighting non-Muslim countries, is the purification of Islamic society.
Nothing to do with Islam? I don't think so.
More importantly, neither do hundreds of thousands of angry young boys.
How long will we let this evil grow?