Bringing up Baby Jihadists

We’ve all heard the saying: “There are no bad children – only bad parents.” I would add bad teachers and other role models such as religious leaders, coaches, sports figures, and Hollywood dopes who can also adversely influence children.

For example, seeing a kid who constantly uses foul language, has a quick temper or bullies others, one usually only has to look to the parents or other “role models” to find they’ve “learned” the behavior.

This is what I thought of as I saw a disturbing image last week. It was a tweet of a child, no more than five or six years old holding a doll up by the hair. The doll was dressed in an orange jumpsuit and the little boy was dressed in a black balaclava with a black ski mask covering his face. He was holding up the doll in his right hand and in his small left hand was a large knife. Behind him was the black flag of the Islamic State.

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The Tweeted pictures caption, which was posted by the Twitter account “Time of the Caliphate,” was, “Teach children to cut necks, tomorrow there will be rotten heads.”

Baby Jihadist

Barefoot and wearing a black balaclava, a young child appears to re-enact the brutal murder of the U.S. journalist James Foley by beheading a doll in an orange jumpsuit. The images were circulated on Twitter

My reaction was one of horror, not from the image, but for the little boy (I assume he’s a boy) who was obviously instructed by an adult to do this.

Another image that followed the first, showed the beheaded doll on the floor, covered in blood.

These poor kids, who are children of ISIS jihadists, have zero chance at a normal life. They are being robbed of their innocence and thrust into the bloodthirsty world of a twisted ideology.

And it’s not just the kids who reside within the bounds of the Caliphate. There are growing concerns that young people, self-proclaimed societal outcasts, like the Columbine killers and the Sandy Hook murderer, could be attracted to this extremist, violent way of life, as a way of striking back at society.

And this the leaders of the Islamic State must know. They have taken to social media – Twitter and YouTube – to promote their radical and violent agenda.

MailOnline reports that British jihadists have been using smart phone “apps” to “persuade impressionable children as young as 15 to join them”

As disgusting as the Foley video was and as disturbing as the child’s mocking Tweet was, I can see that this type of violence may be attractive to a small segment of disaffected youth, not only in the Middle East, but in Europe and here in the States.

Sure, these kids might never make it over to reside in the Caliphate, or wish to, but there’s a good chance at least some of these outcast kids could be, through social media, convinced to be homegrown terrorists.

I believe it’s a real possibility, and it’s just one more thing to be mindful of.

‘Tis education forms the common mind,
Just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined. ­— Alexander Pope, Epistle to Cobham (1734).

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