“What it boils down to is to say we must abandon these children to their fate, lest if we do anything, others may follow in their footsteps. I am not prepared to take that position.”
Steven Phillips, the Conservative MP says:
“If I were separated from my children, if they were destitute in a foreign country cold, hungry and far away from home, what would I want for them? Would I be content for them to be at risk of violence and exploitation, often sexual?”
The cure for these emotive pleas is that we should remove these children from the lands of a healthy mediterranean diet, even from the land of first class medical services (France!) and bring them to little old England, the land of mountains of chips, yet another foreign country where the sun rarely shines, the doctors go on strike even for children, and the country is believed to be crawling with paedophiles…
Lord Dubbs even likened their plight to his own childhood – fleeing the holocaust to the ‘safety of Britain’. Who knew that Europe was such a dangerous place? No wonder the drive is on to separate us from that evil land…
Before we get too carried away with the BBCs helpful find of a lone eight year old carrying a Teddy bear, or the Guardian’s delightful shot of innocent Syrian children gambolling in the Greek sunshine (surely not helpful to the cause of those who would tug at our heart strings) there is another side to the equation; one that the British media seem scared to publicise.
A year ago, the Associated Press, a responsible organisation, carried out a series of interviews with fleeing Syrians in Sanliufra, Turkey. They reported that when Daesh overran Yazidi villages in 2014, they butchered the men of fighting age, and ‘horror of horrors’ passed their womenfolk over to their fighters as ‘sex slaves’. This latter element caused much consternation in the British media.
What didn’t get as much attention, presumably because no one had seen the syllabus, was that they immediately set up schools for the young children – male only of course. Perhaps the media thought this might have diluted our sympathy?
When the syllabus started to leak out, it was mostly confined to Youtube and dismissed as propaganda – however it was there in that original AP report.
But dozens of young Yazidi boys like Yahya had a different fate: The group sought to re-educate them. They forced them to convert to Islam from their ancient faith and then tried to turn them into jihadi extremist fighters.
Young boys have been turned into executioners, shooting captives in the head in videos issued by the group. Last week, for the first time, a video showed a child involved in a beheading: a boy who appeared younger than 13 decapitating a Syrian army captain. Kids have also been used as suicide bombers.
IS training camps for children churn out the Ashbal, Arabic for “lion cubs,” young fighters for the “caliphate” that IS has declared across the regions it controls. The camp where Yahya and other Yazidi boys were taken was the Farouq Institute for Cubs in the Syrian city of Raqqa, which serves as the caliphate’s de facto capital. The boys were given Muslim Arabic names to replace their Kurdish-language names. Yahya asked that the AP not use his real name because of fears of retaliation against himself or his family.
Yahya, his little brother, their mother and hundreds of Yazidis were captured when the extremists overran the town of Sulagh in northern Iraq last year. They were taken to Syria, where the brothers were separated from their mother and put in the Farouq camp, along with other Yazidi boys aged between 8 and 15, Yahya told the AP.
He spent nearly five months there, undergoing 8 to 10 hours a day of training, including running, exercising, weapons training and studying the Quran.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based organisation that follows the Syrian war, said it documented at least 1,100 Syrian children under 16 who had joined IS so far this year, many of whom were then sent to fight in Syria and Iraq. At least 52 were killed, including eight who blew themselves up in suicide attacks.
The children were each given a doll and a sword. Then they were lined up, more than 120 of them, and given their next lesson by their Islamic State group instructors: Behead the doll.
A 14-year-old who was among the line of abducted boys from Iraq’s Yazidi religious minority said at first he couldn’t cut it right – he chopped once, twice, three times. “Then they taught me how to hold the sword, and they told me how to hit. They told me it was the head of the infidels.”
The Quilliam Foundation, now known simply as ‘Quilliam’ is as suspect as any other single issue ‘think-tank’ – however, they do now control programmes for de-radicalisation in Britain, and as such, I am prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt, have issued a report on these child soldiers and their training with soft toys as to how to behead.
Worth reading before you get too starry eyed about youngsters wandering around in Calais clutching a teddy bear.
Especially a Teddy Bear, symbol of American imperialist Teddy Roosevelt.
Is this latest drama over child refugees in Europe just part of the Brexit campaign to convince us all that Europe is a dangerous place?