What Should Europe Do With the Children of ISIS?


The 9-year-old boy didn’t like school. He didn’t like the other children, because he knew what they really were: evil unbelievers who deserved to die. So he did what he was trained to do — he attacked them. He was removed from the building on his first day back.

The boy had spent two years away from his European homeland in a place where counting was taught by the strokes of a whip across a torture victim’s back; where watching public beheadings was part of the school curriculum; where his only role was to be molded into a future jihadi, or a “cub of the Caliphate.” His years in the Islamic State’s stronghold in Raqqa, Syria, had turned him into brutalized, radicalized and deeply confused young boy..

..From the age of 4, children start school where they are exposed to a brutal curriculum. “A common counting book would have oranges and apples and then military tanks and guns on the same pages,” said Nikita Malik, a senior research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank where she has studied Islamic State education materials. “The level of their graduation — particularly with boys — depended on their ability to normalize themselves to violence. So to look at a hanging, a public execution, a whipping — the child would be told to count the number of whippings.”

Read more in The New York Times


Lost your password?

Not a member? Please click here