Parents who “embrace radical Islam” are promoting “martyrdom” for teens and even newborn infants by posing them with grenades, pistols, ammunition and automatic weapons in images on social media, according to a startling new report from the Middle East Media Research Institute.
The report, with dozens of images, confirmed the practice of teaching children to embrace violent jihad against Islam’s enemies.
“Children’s deaths in fighting are being glorified in videos and photos circulated online and in social media,” MEMRI said. “In a November 2012 video, a Syrian boy, who appears to be about 10, digs his own grave and expresses his wish for ‘martyrdom.’”
The report was compiled by Steven Stalinsky, MEMRI executive director, and R. Sosnow, head editor at MEMRI.
The Muslims are taking “pride in the ‘next generation’s of al-Qaida that they are raising,” the report said. “Children are filmed praising Osama bin Laden, saying that they want to ‘conquer Rome’ and to ‘slaughter infidels.’
“Tariq ‘Abdu, the organizer of a Syrian campaign to stop al-Qaida’s recruitment and exploitation of children, says that children carrying weapons has become ‘a familiar sight,’ not only in the areas controlled by the opposition, but also in the refugee camps for Syrians in Jordan and Turkey,” MEMRI reported.
The report featured photos of very young children dressed like soldiers, children training in al-Qaida camps and schoolchildren, particularly in Syria, being taught jihad.
One image shows a baby only months old lying on his back. Two grenades are at his head and a gun is by his hand, even though he never could hope to pick it up. Another grenade is beyond the gun, and the caption is: “Breastfed pride! One of the lion cubs of #Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen”
Another shows what appears to be a young girl, maybe 2 years old, wearing a hijab and standing between camo- and black-clad adults. She is resting her hand on a gun outfitted with a shoulder stock.
The caption is; “#Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – A nice picture”
Another bears the caption: “The challenging look in the eyes of this lion cub is enough!” It shows a young child holding what appears to be an automatic rifle.
Attached to an image of a 3-year-old boy carrying a rifle is: “The cubs of #ISIL are coming to slaughter you.”
Then the images turn gruesome, with side-by-side images of “Abu Anas Al-Ansari,” who is described as “14 years old and one of the youngest mujahideen martyred.” The images are of the child alive and then dead.
MEMRI explained that it has published several reports on how Twitter is being used by al-Qaida and other jihadis for releasing news, disseminating speeches and other communiqués. But the new trend shows the high cost to children.
“Al-Qaida sheikhs are reaching out directly to Muslim youth. For example. last year, in an audio lecture released by the al-Qaida media arm Al-Sahab, emerging al-Qaida leader Sheikh Maulana Asim Umar urged even the youngest Muslims to ‘not stay with [their] parents’ and to leave the ‘luxury’ of home and ‘city life’ to wage jihad, like the Prophet Muhammad before them.”
MEMRI continued: “In fiery terms, he exhorted them: ‘A youth whose heart is filled with desire, spirit, and love for jihad does not rest in his home; do not stay with your parents and do not enjoy the luxury of home…’”
Parents, according to the instances of social media monitored, are “celebrating their teenage children’s departure to join the jihad in Syria.”
“For example, on Sept. 25, 2013, Rema Al-Jraish, the wife of Muhammad Al-Hamily, who has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia since 2004 on terrorism-related charges, tweeted … that her son Muadh, 16, had arrived in Syria to fight with jihadi groups, and posted photos of him.
“One photo shows Muadh with an AK-47, and another shows him in front of the black flag of jihad associated with al-Qaida and its offshoots, including the Islamic State of in Iraq and Syria.”
The report said: “Online jihadis praised her and used her son’s story to encourage Muslim youths to do the same thing. In addition to huge online support for her, friends of hers threw a local celebration featuring sweets and other delicacies, marking Muadh’s arrival in Syria.”
Shortly later, according to the report, his Instagram page was covered with images of soldiers, food and several dead compatriots with their eyes still open.
Training camps and training centers – even for pre-teens – have been established “since the current situation in Syria offers a unique opportunity for extending their reach and deepening their influence.”
The effort also is within families.
“In Dec. 2013, a French two-year-old was abducted from her mother by her father and taken with him to Turkey, en route to Syria where he intended to join the al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra,” the report said. “According to Mazen Zaki, of the Ibn al-Waleed Studies and Field Research Center in Egypt, this so-called ‘family jihad’ could pose a serious threat in the future.”
The report dates such “training” of children in jihad back to 2000 and cites reports over the years that have confirmed some activities.
One such instance is a little boy posing with a gun, who says: “My dear Islamic nation, what I have to say to you is no light matter. Allah the Exalted said: in the revelation [Quran 33:23]: ‘Among the believers are men who upheld the covenant they made with Allah. Some of them have fulfilled their vow through death [in battle], and some are still waiting; but they have never altered in the least.’”
One of the training videos from December includes this exchange:
Al-Qaida operative: “Allah said: ‘Those who say that Jesus son of Mary is God have disbelieved. …’ Imagine we had here with us an Alawite, from al-Assad’s family or religion … What would you do to him?”
Schoolchildren: Slaughter him.”
Al-Qaida: Slaughter him. Right. Because he is an infidel … Anyone who does not believe in Islam is an infidel. Is Obama a Muslim or an infidel?”
“Schoolchildren: “An infidel.”
WND has reported on Palestinian children being taught to hate Israel and a Hamas leader affirming that mothers must train their children for martyrdom.
Further, WND has reported extensively on Al-Aqsa Television indoctrination for children in which a Mickey Mouse look-alike character who promoted jihad was beaten to death for calling another character an Israeli terrorist. A 3-year-old promptly blamed the Jews for the death.
The mouse soon was replaced by a new bee character, Nahool, who also promotes jihad for children.