Frank Gaffney: Islamic State ‘Child Soldiers’ Reflect ‘Culture of Death Codified in Sharia’
“Unfortunately, Raheem, this is not new, and it’s not even confined to sharia supremacists,” Gaffney said. “They are among those who engage in the practice. It’s an easy way of swelling the ranks of irregular organizations, to simply press-gang kids and put them into the front lines.”
He recalled that one of the most notorious examples was the Islamic Republic of Iran, which “sent thousands and thousands and thousands of kids to clear minefields by walking through them, in the war with Iraq many years ago.”
“This is a horrible practice. It obviously mutates beyond recognition these children, and it turns them into killers. It’s reprehensible in the extreme, but unfortunately it’s not just started with these characters; it’s being practiced particularly relentlessly by them,” he said.
Kassam noted Palestinian terror gangs like Hamas are also notorious for the indoctrination of children as terrorists and using schools to store weapons. “What does it say about these people, that they’re willing to send children to their deaths?” he asked.
“It speaks to a culture of death that is codified in sharia and formalized in the practice of jihad,” Gaffney replied. “You have mothers longing for their children to become shaheeds, Raheem – to go kill themselves. In part, frankly, it’s a practical consideration because a portion of the so-called zakat – obligatory charities for sharia-adherent Muslims – is supposed to go to those, like families of these suicide bombers.”
He gave a shout-out to Palestinian Media Watch, which he called “a terrific organization that has done incalculably important work chronicling the institutionalized practice of this kind of brainwashing and indoctrination of children, the glorification of this kind of jihadism and self-sacrifice and so on.”
“In kindergarten, for crying out loud, in the Palestinian communities – I think this is a particularly extreme example of it, but it really speaks to this point, that we both are making. This isn’t just a one-off, or some particularly unsavory group that’s doing it. This is part of a culture that certainly not all Muslims subscribe to, but unfortunately, in quite a number of places, it is very much the norm, and I think a particularly serious indictment of the people we’re up against,” Gaffney argued.
When Kassam said Western aid money was being diverted to finance some of these hideous child-radicalization programs, Gaffney pointed out, “That’s not just Western aid; that’s U.S. tax dollars, something like the order of $500 million a year, maybe considerably more, that’s going into the Palestinian Authority – which is translating at least some of that into this kind of practice.”
“At a moment when we’re seeing Barack Obama mutate beyond recognition our policies towards Israel – and create, I’m afraid, fresh appetites within this particular population, the Palestinians, for jihadism against Israel – this is the kind of thing that ought to stop forthwith,” Gaffney urged. “I hope it will, under the Trump administration.”