Many Islamic countries are using education to indoctrinate children to sympathize with ISIS and al-Qaeda

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Talking to Abdel Rahman Bouzkri, a researcher specializing in jihadist and radical sociology in the Arab world, Eat News reveals the extreme aggression of ISIS terrorists and the recruitment of children.

The violence is not limited to ISIS schools but branches out to public schools in some Islamic countries, brainwashing students’ minds. They will use particular political agendas, such as Libya, Syria and Europe, and Africa. And inculcating such ideas is free speech? Or is it an illegal promotion of violence?

In recent years, the Turkish government’s approach has become wildly radical. Their education presents jihad as a core value of martyrdom in battle and is celebrated, even giving children concepts such as “Turkey becoming the world’s hegemon. The curriculum takes an anti-American stance and expresses sympathy for ISIS and Al Qaeda; Christians and Jews are portrayed as infidels. The question then becomes, what will happen in a few decades when all children are being raised to be hateful and violent, and what is the role of global policymakers in defeating hate speech in the 21st century?

School curricula in many countries, not just Turkey, show sympathy for ISIS and al-Qaeda motives. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and distance learning, terrorists have gained access to those in Generation Z who may be most vulnerable to extremist narratives.

In February 2021, renowned Turkish filmmaker Alan Duncan presented a documentary on the Haur refugee camp in northeastern Syria. The camp is unofficially known as the “Heart of Islam” because it is home to about 80 percent of the armed men who have not renounced their sworn allegiance to the Islamic State. In this film, there is a scene in which an eight-year-old boy raises his right index finger. When the director asks him what the gesture means, the boy replies. It means that ISIS continues to exist.” There is also a scene in the film in which a woman declares that she wants her child to have a single destiny – to become a mujahid and “fight for the way of Allah.

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What is particularly noteworthy in this story is that Alan Duncan’s film above found a positive echo in the Turkish milieu and even became required in Turkish schools as an example of how true Turks should behave.

Abdel Rahman Bouzkri, an expert on jihadism and the sociology of radicalization in the Arab world, notes that this line of radicalization in Turkey represents the beginning of a new caliphate, saying that the Turkish leadership portrays IslamIslam as a political phenomenon that uses science and technology to achieve its radical goals. It teaches an ethnic-nationalist spirituality that combines neo-Ottomanism and pan-Turkism. Concepts such as “Turkic domination of the world” and the Ottoman “ideal of world order” are emphasized.

Even in the West, Muslim children were receiving “virtual” indoctrination during their isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab highlighted the increase in this “violent indoctrination” as coming at a “critical time,” with a 7 percent increase in the amount of terrorist propaganda appearing last year. This is because terrorists have digital access to those who may be most vulnerable to extremist rhetoric.

For this reason, we can’t just focus on radical IslamIslam and violence; we also need to ensure that there are many reasons behind the extremist activity. National and international laws should specifically criminalize those who intend to teach racial and sectarian indoctrination classes to children.

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By

Ornella Sukkar is a Lebanese journalist specialized in Arab-Islamic and radicalization studies from an oriental perspective and international affaires.

By

Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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