“A Heinous Crime:”
Based on the article “ISIS abducting and indoctrinating children for active combat ‘in a systematic manner’
Based on the article “ISIS abducting and indoctrinating children for active combat in a ‘systematic manner:’
The story of ISIS continues to plague our radios, televisions and any other information source available. This ongoing conflict, based primarily between the two largest Muslim groups- the Iraq Sunnis and Iraq Shias- has not only been a threat of danger to Iraqi citizens but has now expanded to threatening the lifestyle of children. It has become known that recently “in Raqqa, the de facto Syrian capital of the Islamic state of Iraq & Al-Sham (ISIS),”1 the exploitation and recruitment of the most vulnerable of people is taking place.
Personally, I feel like this can be deemed the most heinous of crimes; not only do these children have no knowledge of the repercussions on the tasks they are forced into doing, but they almost have no other choice. Due to the ISIS conflict in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, families displaced and separated, and children orphaned. This has created an easy and accessible resource of children, simply seen as ‘disposable fighters’ for ISIS affiliates. In order to create compliance, “the group commands large areas in which the jihadists inculcate the children with their radical and violent interpretation of Shariah law.”2 Because of their vulnerable age, not only will the children believe what they are being taught is right, but as they grow older they will most likely continue to follow and even pass on this more violent form of religion.
Scare tactics are also used, with which ISIS would threaten harming the childrens’ family if they d not fully comply. Even more recently, as the power of ISIS grows and spreads further into areas of Syria and more of Iraq, is either the closing of schools or replacement of the traditional curriculum with one that fights and relates to their violent ideology. This nearly ensures that children will adopt the beliefs of the ISIS state, despite the majority of parents wishes. It is extremely sad to think that what initially was intended to be a source of knowledge and power- education- is now being corrupted and twisted in the hands of this rebel group. It is essentially, brainwashing. What is nearly as disturbing as the act of recruiting these children is the blatant openness and vocality with which the group goes about the indoctrination. The group is not even shameful of the severe war crime they are committing, instead seeing it as a very useful and effective tactic. The usage of children in war is not new, but it is being noted that never has it been as systematic or organized as it is within the group ISIS. I think the usage of all these tactics as well as the vocality and systematic way with which ISIS is conducting its indoctrination of children is a message of just how threatening this group if becoming.