By Pamela Geller
They rose before dawn to to pray with their father and siblings at their neighborhood in a suburb of Chicago. From there the two teen brothers and their 17-year-old sister took off to fight alongside the Islamic State in the cause of jihad.
Raised in America, they grew up playing basketball and watching “Dragon Tales” — no “poverty,” “disaffection,” or “cultural” reasons as John Kerry, President Obama and all the Western elites who continue to deny the realities of Islam would insist.
American Muslim teens straight from their Chicago mosque to the Islamic State. How did this “misunderstanding” of Islam become so widespread? Why are so many more US and UK Muslims than ever joined al Qaeda joining the Islamic State? And while Muslims in the US condemn the Islamic State, where are they teaching against the ideology that gave rise to it?
CHICAGO — Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, rose before dawn on Oct. 4 to pray with his father and 16-year-old brother at their neighborhood mosque in a Chicago suburb.
When they returned home just before 6 a.m., the father went back to bed and the Khan teens secretly launched a plan they had been hatching for months: to abandon their family and country and travel to Syria to join the Islamic State.
While his parents slept, Khan gathered three newly issued U.S. passports and $2,600 worth of airline tickets to Turkey that he had gotten for himself, his brother and their 17-year-old sister. The three teens slipped out of the house, called a taxi and rode to O’Hare International Airport.
Khan was due at work at 6:30 a.m. at a local home-supply store, so he knew his parents wouldn’t miss him when they woke up. The two younger siblings bunched up comforters under their sheets to make it look like they were asleep in their beds.
Their plan was to fly to Istanbul, then drive into Syria to live in the Islamic homeland, or caliphate, established by the Islamic State, the militant group that has massacred civilians in Iraq and Syria and beheaded Western journalists and aid workers.
This undated passport photo presented as evidence at a detention hearing at federal court in Chicago shows Mohammed Hamzah Khan, a suburban Chicago man accused of seeking to join Islamic State militants in Syria. (AP Photo/U.S. attorney’s office)
The Khan teens, U.S.-born children of Indian immigrants, each left letters for their parents explaining their motives.
“An Islamic State has been established and it is thus obligatory upon every able-bodied male and female to migrate there,” Khan wrote. “Muslims have been crushed under foot for too long. . . . This nation is openly against Islam and Muslims. . . . I do not want my progeny to be raised in a filthy environment like this.”
His sister wrote: “Death is inevitable, and all of the times we enjoyed will not matter as we lay on our death beds. Death is an appointment, and we cannot delay or postpone, and what we did to prepare for our death is what will matter.”
In their letters, all three teens, who had grown up playing basketball and watching “Dragon Tales” and “Batman,” told their parents how much they loved them and asked them to join them in Syria, but made it clear they would probably never see them again, except in the afterlife. They begged them not to call the police.