Death Squads Made Up of Children?
“This is one of the gravest situations on earth. Children are the key to the future. Indoctrination in Islamic State begins at birth, and increases in schools and training camps. Children are instructed in a particular interpretation of shari’a, desensitised to violence, and learn specific skills to take up the banner of jihad.”
– Noman Benotman, President of Quilliam
The British-based Quilliam Foundation is the world’s first counter-extremism think tank set up to address the unique challenges of citizenship, identity, and belonging in a globalised world. Quilliam stands for religious freedom, equality, human rights and democracy. This week it released its devastating 100-page report on Children in the Caliphate in partnership with The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and UNESCO.
Quilliam state that “from August 2015 to February 2016, they documented 254 instances of children being used in Islamic State propaganda. These have been organised into the five categories: participation in violence, normalisation to violence, state building, utopia, and foreign policy grievances.” Their report is frightening beyond belief. I quote:
- The largest amount of Islamic State media featuring children relates to violence, comprising either of children directly participating in violence, or being exposed and normalised to violence.
- Islamic State’s wilayats in Iraq have released the most images showing children and teens in combat and acting as suicide bombers.
- In the last six months, Islamic State propaganda depicts 12 child executioners, and one child participating in a public execution.
- Islamic State’s wilayats in Syria depict more children as executioners — an attempt to project strength in the face of heavy airstrikes — whereas wilayats in Iraq release the most images of children in combat or acting as suicide bombers.
Quilliam’s report doesn’t stop there. Some findings of the report reveal:
There are currently 31,000 pregnant women in Islamic State.
- As many as 50 children from the UK are growing up on jihad in the “caliphate”.
- Children are normally abducted into joining Islamic State. However, Islamic State also pressures children to join the group out of fear.
- Children assist in meeting the present needs of the “caliphate”, and can continue to propagate the state’s existence and expansion once they grow up.
- The current generation sees children as better and more lethal fighters than themselves. Rather than being converted into radical ideologies, children are indoctrinated into extreme values from birth.
- Boys learn a rigid Islamic State curriculum. Drawing, philosophy and social studies, the ‘methodology of atheism’, have been eradicated. Children churn out memorised verses of the Qur’an and attend ‘Jihadist Training’, which includes shooting, weaponry and martial arts. Girls, known as the ‘pearls of the caliphate‘, are veiled, hidden, confined to the home, and taught to look after husbands.
- Children’s prolonged exposure and desensitisation to violence affects their physical and psychological well-being, both in the short term and in the long term.
In the report Quilliam’s Senior Researcher Nikita Malik states with simplicity and an understatement befitting the tartness of a Granny Smith apple. . . “It is imperative that the international community takes a proactive rather than a reactive approach when focusing on these children.” As Isaac Newton once said: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
This report will open your eyes. I urge you to read it. >>>Click here<<<
Late last year the BBCs Channel 4 News broadcast a programme about Isis’s systematically recruiting children as young as eight to become soldiers and suicide bombers. Here one sees an evil side of human nature that is beyond comprehension. I caution you. The video can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVxZfP1fC_I
(Photo credits: vocatv.com; shoah.org.uk)
OVER SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”