Tag Archives: Mosul

Coming together in dark days

A few hours before I shall light the first candle at nightfall I shall look at the 1st day of Chanukah but also shall see how many come to celebrate a feast, they also call the feast of light, but has its main day on the birthday of the goddess of light, December 25. Lots of heathen but also lots of Christians shall have little candles in their decorated trees.

In my home the coming days there’ll also be some light, spiritual and literal, to have me thinking of the wonders of the Most High. The Eternal Being have been for ever, having made us in His image, has always been prepared to be there for those who want to be with Him. These present times there may be lots of darkness, violence and hate against each other. The heavenly Creator never created the human beings to go fighting against each other. Those people who claim to be lovers of God, be it Jews, Christians or Muslims, should all feel united under the same umbrella of their Divine Creator. Especially in these darker and colder days of the year we should make more time to come in each others warm houses to feel the generous warmth of solidarity.

It is in those darker days when we do not have to go to work, but can enjoy some free time, that we should bring up remembrances of how we and our ancestors grew up. We must become aware of how our minds get filled with lots of stuff as we grow from baby to adult, and how we are modelled by it. Growing up we come to certain believes and want to follow certain ideas. The beliefs we create are part of what forms our being, but they are also based on our genetic heritage, what other’s tell us, and what we accept as fact based on our experiences.  (Which explains why siblings can be alike or different and also why some twins raised in separate home turn out to have similar tastes and beliefs.)

English: The Byzantine army under Nikephoros P...

English: The Byzantine army under Nikephoros Phokas captures Halep (Berrhoea), Syria, in February 963. Ελληνικά: Κατάληψη του Χαλεπίου (αρχαία Βέρροια) της Συρίας από τον βυζαντινό στρατό του Νικηφόρου Φωκά, Φεβρουάριος 963. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The day that Byzantine troops led by Nicephorus Phocas, who had lead an expedition against the Saracen Emirate of Crete, and stormed Chandax and wrested control of the entire island from the Muslims, in 961 defeated Moslem forces and seized Aleppo, we once more have a picture of a destroyed Aleppo and a ruined city of Mosul.

As the 10th century temporary turn of events could not have been good for the Jews who had been living in Aleppo since Biblical times because it was the Moslem conquest of the city in 636 that removed the disabilities placed on the Jews by the Byzantines. Lots of times the Jews had to face difficulties and many generations had to suffer under persecution, like the ones who found themselves squeezed out of the major cities and ports into the area known as White Russia on  this day in 1791 when Great empress of Russia Russian Yekaterina Velikaya, also known as Catherine II (the Great) created the Pale of Settlement.

When tonight I, like the Jewish troops with General Sherman, who kindle the first light of Chanukah in Savannah, GA. in 1864 (24th of Kislev, 5625) I’ll try to remember the good thing which happened to the Jewish community and the many signs which proof that they are a special blessed people. The world shall have to know that the Jews are the Chosen people who have been promised to reside in a Holy Land. This Holy Land may perhaps be something lots of people will not like to see realised, but the world must know that the Plan of the Most High Maker shall become a reality.

In the ancient books is being told of that Great Plan. Not only Jews know of it; Christians and Muslims are also told about the prospects believers in God may expect. In the Torah the Most High calls people to share the news of a Messiah, a liberator for all. Generally lots of Jews look perhaps at a different Messiah than the Messianic Jews and Christians. Though perhaps because many of the Hebrew people forgot about their Creator, it can well be that This Holy Creator made His call also clear to the goy or goyim. For that reason Christians and Jews should look at each other, know their roots, know their common writings, and should learn from each other how to prepare themselves for the day that Messiah may come or return to this earth for finally bringing to Jerusalem full glory, as the capital of the Kingdom of God here on earth.

Jewish wedding in Aleppo, Syria, 1914.

Jewish wedding in Aleppo, Syria, 1914. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though thick-skinned the Jews always tried to find a way to survive, never loosing their faith in their Maker and the hope in the promise made to him by their patriarch Abraham. Christians and Muslims today should also know that the Most High spoke about a terrible time, when more natural disasters would come over man, but also where children would come to stand up against their parents, and religions would come to fight against each other. We may well see lots of signs described in the Holy Scriptures as being the sings of the Endtimes.

Not having the pretension to be a spiritual leader or rabbi, but looking at the Torah, I can only come to the impression we have arrived in times that those who really love God should come together, unite and should come to spread the Good News. Lovers of God should spread the love and message of peace. Together they should become strong to help each other in the coming difficult times. By helping each other to come to understand each their way of life and come to see the religious teachings having to grow to a point where they shall be in line with God His teaching and not keeping any more to human dogmatic teachings.

Perhaps not regularly writing here, nor on my own site, I am honoured that I am allowed to share some thoughts from the Holy Scriptures and that I hopefully may show some ways Jews see the world and hold their religion high. By bringing also some news from the Jewish site I do hope this shall shed some light on present and future events and shall bring some more mutual understanding between the different religious groups our world has created .

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Please do find my introductions to my site

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Additional reading

  1. Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today
  2. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  3. Germanic mythological influences up to today’s Christmas celebrations
  4. Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress
  5. Pagan Holidays
  6. The imaginational war against Christmas
  7. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  8. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  9. Continues Syrian conflict needing not only dialogue
  10. To freeze the fighting in Aleppo
  11. Old texts saved behind a wall at the Mar Behnam monastery

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Further related articles

  1. Living Beyond Our World
  2. Chankkah
  3. Toldos – Generations
  4. Happy Chanukah, Y’all!
  5. Holiday Traditions – Chanukah
  6. Our Style: Happy Chanukah!

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, World affairs

From the Ramadan into the eid


This year once more Daesh (IS-ISIS-ISIL) proved how much they take the mickey of the holy writings and how they drag their feet at the Koran/Quran and Islam teaching.

Daesh calls for attacks on the West during RamadanThe Ramadan did not seem to be a sacred period for them. They did not mind even to go stronger and to bomb even more places where many Muslims were together.

Normally the ninth lunar month of the Islamic year brings a period of reflection and a period of ṣawm (fasting). In that period abstinence from food, liquids, smoking, and sexual intercourse between the hours of sunrise and sunset should be on the minds of every faithful Muslim. According to the holy scriptures of Islam fasting must be undertaken with spiritual intent (niyyah ), and this intent must be renewed each day before dawn. Mean-spirited words, and thoughts and deeds such as slander, lying, and covetousness negate the value of fasting. So we can wonder what has gone on in the minds of those jihad fighters who did not mind killing many innocent people in this last month.

In May ISIS had announced plans for a series of deadly attacks in Europe and America during this year holy Islamic holiday of Ramadan.

“Ramadan, the month of conquest and jihad. Get prepared, be ready… to make it a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers…especially for the fighters and supporters of the caliphate in Europe and America,”

said the message in a  31-minute audio clip distributed on Twitter via accounts that usually post the terrorists’ updates, suggesting attacks on military and civilian targets.

“If one of you hoped to reach the Islamic State, we wish we were in your place to punish the Crusaders day and night,”

al Adnani said. He also acknowledged that the terrorist group had suffered a severe hit in recent attacks from the anti-IS coalition but assured viewers that in the end, the group would prevail.

“Defeat is the loss of will and the desire to fight,”

the video announced, explaining that the group would not be deterred even if they lose their strongholds Raqqa and Mosul.

Isis in Raqqa

Members loyal to the Islamic State wave flags as they drive around Raqqa (Reuters)

Four days before the football festival Euro 2016 Europe was warned and took the alert serious, after the attacks in Paris and Brussels. Though Jews and Christians were particularly singled out as targets for lone wolf attacks during the holiday, which took place from June 6 to July 5 we could imagine the fighters also looking for targets in Islamic countries and in those which sought to co-operate with Europe.

Only if there is a threat to health the fast may be broken. But he jihad fighters don’t give a rip to the prescriptions fo their so called prophet. They couldn’t care less if with their actions in this holy moth several religious Muslims were killed. Probably they are very much convinced that they do not need an observance of the fast because they do not need receiving pardon for past sins. For them there seems to be no reason to create empathy with the plight of the hungry, and it looks like they find they need no self-control and endurance of deprivation.

As usual that what they themselves do not keep, they do not others to do and as such they frightened all those who even would try not to keep the Ramadan. They crucified and flogged “a number of civilians” in Deir ez-Zor province for breaking the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Local media activist Yassir al-Farhan told ARA News:

The ISIS-led Hisba Police arrested 11 people in Mayadeen for breaking the Ramadan fast. They were flogged with 50 lashes each, and then crucified in the market square downtown. Hundreds of people witnessed the brutal punishment. ISIS is trying to terrorise the people through conducting such punishments in public.

The godless agents of chaos known as Daesh have killed hundreds this week across the world.

  • Fifty dead in Istanbul;
  • twenty in Dhaka, Bangladesh;
  • a horrifying two hundred killed in Baghdad on Friday
  • and now an unknown number in Saudi Arabia.

They just continued to spread their spurs of cruelty and destruction in the week leading up to the end of Ramadan, when the festival of Eid is celebrated around the world. Many of the victims in Baghdad’s marketplace bombings were women and children, buying gifts for their families to be given on Eid.

The Enlightened City.jpg

Al-Masjid an-Nabawī (Arabic: المسجد النبوي‎‎; Prophet’s Mosque)

Before the end of Ramadan whilst many were preparing the three-day festival of prayer and feasting known as ʿAl Id-Fitr or Eid-ul-Fitr. ISIS had a very weird idea about the sweets to be offered to the Muslim community. On July the 4th the terrorists of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS) have proven once and for all that they are nothing but nihilistic sadists with triple bombings in Saudi Arabia. A suicide bomber exploded at the Al-Masjid an-Nabawī – or the Prophet’s Mosque, in the Saudi city of Medina, killing at least four and injuring many more. Bombings also hit mosques in the cities of Qatif and Jeddah. The bombing at the Prophet’s Mosque in the city of Medina was the third attack to hit the kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Monday, following blasts in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah and in the city Qatif. The mosque, which is also known as Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, is located in what was traditionally the centre of Medina, with many hotels and old markets nearby. It is a major pilgrimage site due to its connections to the life of Muhammad and is especially visited by pilgrims from around the world during the final days of the fasting month of Ramadan.

The mosque is considered to be Islam’s second holiest site after the Sacred Mosque, or Masjid-al-Haram, which surrounds the Kaaba in the city of Mecca, so you could wonder why those who claim to fight in name of Allah and his prophet brought ravage to this sacred site.

“There are no more red lines left for terrorists to cross. Sunnis, Shiites [Shias] will both remain victims unless we stand united as one.”

wrote Iran’s Foreign Minister Javed Zarif on Twitter.

HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed.pngMohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, tweeted:

“It’s time we work together to save our religion from these deadly criminal gangs.”

Many who went doing their shopping in the mainly Shia area of Bagdad, for the sugar feast, did find an end between the 165 dead and more than 200 injured, some being badly burned.

The death toll is expected to rise after blasts

Bomb blasts in Baghdad, Iraq, having killed at least 165

The bombing in Karrada is the deadliest in Iraq this year and comes a week after Iraqi security forces recaptured the city of Falluja from Islamic State (IS) militants.

Families were out shopping when the bomb blasted

Police confirmed at least 15 children and six policemen are among the dead after the blast, which struck close to midnight, from a ‘refrigerator van’ packed with explosives.

The explosion caused sparked a huge fire on the main street in which several buildings, including the popular al-Hadi Centre, were badly damaged. It followed a week after Iraqi security forces recaptured the city of Fallujah from Daesh, leaving Mosul as the only Iraqi city under the control of the extremists.

Ramzan – the holy month for Muslims around the world has finally ended and we are just as excited to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr or Feast of Fast-Breaking or the Lesser Feast as everyone else. In Belgium for many Tuesday the 5th was the day of feast, whilst the Gulf Arab countries have announced that the Eid al-Fitr festival to be celebrated on July 6, after failing to sight the moon that marks the start of the three-day festival. (The starting day of Eid varies every year and from country to country depending on geographical location.)

In a fresh alert issued by PIB, Government has announced that all Central Government Administrative Offices will not remain closed July the 6th, on account of Eid-ul-Fitr. Instead, the holiday would be observed on July 7. The decision has been taken by the government after several Muslim clerics and geographical experts have predicted that the Eid moon will not be sighted today.

Since Indian Muslims follow the lunar calendar, the sighting of monsoon determines the end of Ramadan. If the monsoon is sighted today, then it would be a 29-day Ramadan, else the 30th fast would be kept tomorrow. The state of Kerala is expected to observe the most important festival for the Muslim community tomorrow.

In Belgium there is no problem for people getting free on this religious holiday. In the United States many Islamic businesses and organizations may alter their business hours during on Eid al-Fitr. Some Muslim groups in the United States campaign for schools in some parts of the country to allocate Eid al-Fitr as a day off without being penalized on Eid al-Fitr. For example, the Coalition for Muslim School Holidays, which is a group of more than 80 religious and ethnic organizations, have been lobbying to have the two Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha designated as days off in New York City schools.

 

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Please find to read:

  1. ‘Get ready’ ISIS announce plans to launch Ramadan attacks on Europe and America
  2. ISIS jihadis who killed 20 people in Bangladesh cafe known to police
  3. Baghdad terror attack: Car bombs kill ‘at least’ 130 in Iraq
  4. Isis encourages more attacks during Ramadan in latest audio message
  5. Daesh-affiliated militants in Indonesia arrested for planning Ramadan attack
  6. ISIS Crucifies Civilians for Breaking Ramadan Fast in Syria
  7. Saudi Arabia: Bombings target Medina and Qatif mosques
  8. Breaking: ISIS Bombs The Prophet’s Tomb In Medina, Second Holiest Site In Islam
  9. Baghdad death toll rises to 165 after Islamic State carries out deadly attacks in Iraq
  10. Baghdad suicide bombings claimed by Daesh kill at least 200, injure dozens
  11. Daesh bombings in Syrian government strongholds kill 80
  12. Eid al-Fitr: Saudi Arabia declares Wednesday first day
  13. Eid 2016: Eid-ul-Fitr is likely not to be celebrated tomorrow, Government cancels public holiday
  14. Eid al-Fitr in the United States

Syrian and ISIS forces have been fighting for control of the country

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Preceding

Too Young To Fight?

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Additional reading

  1. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  2. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
  3. Religious Practices around the world

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Further reading

  1. Ramadan
  2. Ramadan Kareem!
  3. Ramadan ’16
  4. Ramadan diary: day 30
  5. The Terror of Karrada
  6. Bombing in Madinah
  7. Eid Makeup Tutorial 2016
  8. Break Your Fast Due To Moon-Sighting
  9. Henna
  10. Karachis Security measures for EID
  11. ISIS child slave forced to fight for ‘Caliphate Cubs’ BLOWN UP after playing with grenade
  12. Eid ul-Fitr: Returning to Our Original Nature
  13. Eid al Fitr 2016 (1437H)
  14. ‘Eid Al-Fitr Prayer for 1437 AH – Details
  15. The first thing we will do on the day of Eid is to lower our gaze.
  16. Making up the missed ‘Eid Prayer
  17. Making Up The Missed ‘Eid Prayer – Shaykh ‘AbdulQaadir al-Junayd
  18. Praying Two Rak`ahs Upon Returning From The `Eid Prayer – Hasan Hadith
  19. The evening of Eid
  20. It is a Sunnah action to go to the ‘Eid prayer area walking – Shaykh ‘AbdulQaadir al-Junayd
  21. The Description of The Eid prayer, Number of Rakats and The Eid Takbirs : Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen
  22. Eid Mubarak to all
  23. The Wisdom Behind Praying the Eid Prayer In The Musallaa – Shaykh al-Albaani
  24. Praying ‘Eid in the Musallaa is the Sunnah – Shaykh al Albaani
  25. Celebrate Eid in Style
  26. 8 Things you do only on Eid Day!
  27. Miraath Publications ‘Eid Fawa’id cards
  28. ♥ Happy Eid Mubarak ♥
  29. Eid Mubarak 1
  30. Eid Mubarak 2
  31. Eid Mubarak! 3
  32. Travels in the North: Day 13
  33. “Muslims Are Terrorists!”
  34. E festa sia…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Too Young To Fight?

Hate against some other nation or love to take revenge may bring people a long way from human sense.

After two great wars, where so many countries were involved and so much blood was shed, still lots of people do not realise how ridiculous it is to have so much lives being offered for showing the ‘right for power’. Still today we can see that in many countries war is still romanticized and lots of people do find it an honour to have their sons going to war. Today in this world we can still find lots of child soldiers, and when it is not for the right country people find it horrible, but when it is for the ‘right country’ or ‘the right cause’ people find them heroes.
For sure it has to do with some form of making value judgements about the rightness of the cause , by our twisted minds.

Today children are also often sold into a kind of modern-day slavery. In Raqqa, where poverty is rampant, Isis persuades parents to send their children to the camps in exchange for money, according to Abu Ibrahim Raqqawi, the pseudonym of a 22-year-old man who lived in Syria until recently. He is the founder of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a Twitter account and Facebook page.

In Iraq’s Mosul, which was taken over by IS gunmen in June, IS has replaced physical-education classes in local schools with martial-arts classes. A teacher in the city told Bloomberg that IS militants explained that “they need Mosul’s students to be the future soldiers of the caliphate.” Another Mosul resident, named as Abu Rawan, said that his 13-year-old nephew had been recruited by IS militants, who had given him a gun.

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To remember:

Commonwealth Military Cemetery at Essex Farm, near Ypres, Belgium: grave of V.J. Strudwick, killed in action January 14, 1916 at age 15.

Joe Strudwick: 6’1”, in all probability adult sized and willing to enlist; he said he was 19 and they either believed him or looked the other way. => not the lone child soldier of the Great War
his age was discovered before he reached the battlefield and he was de-mobilized.

Older men more likely to question validity of a war, more likely to have family responsibilities and less likely to unquestioningly volunteer for combat.

Young men romanticize war, older men know better.

Perhaps as many as 250,000 child soldiers, those not old enough to officially enlist, saw combat during the First World War. Probably more than that are serving today in conflicts around the world.

The United Nations has strict rules on military service for those under 18 that all member states are expected to follow.

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  • Video: South Sudan’s child soldier problem (bbc.co.uk)
    Children in the world’s youngest country of South Sudan are being forced to fight on both sides of a bloody civil war.

    The United Nations estimates that there are 11,000 child soldiers in South Sudan, where there has been a lull in the fighting, as peace talks continue between government, and rebel forces.

  • Boko Haram Using Child-Soldiers , Women As Human Shields (newsdiaryonline.com)
    Nigerian troops are concerned about the use of women as human shields as well as children as child-soldiers by Boko Haram militants in their quest to weaken military operations. A top security source in the North-East disclosed that the terrorists recruit, rape and kill some of the young captives who are reluctant to join them in their dastardly acts. In most cases, children and teenagers are forced to be in the forefront in the battle against the Nigerian troops through ambushing and suicide bombing.
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    On several occasions the Nigerian military has captured  children who were forced to take up arms against the state with some of them behaving abnormally  due to indoctrination and inducement through the use of hard drugs.

    The security source said “we are being cautious in abiding by the rules of engagement even when we are aware that the militants recruit children for spying on us and pushing them to engage in hostilities against innocent citizens and the troops. “Most of the children, especially teenagers were recruited through abduction, kidnapping and enticement with money after which they undergo brainwashing and combat training. Those that are unwilling to cooperate are punished or summarily executed.”

  • You: Afghan Parliament approves draft law to ban recruitment of child soldiers (nation.com.pk)
    The endorsement of the draft law by Afghan lawmakers comes as numerous national and international organizations criticized the Afghan government over recruitment of child soldiers. The draft law was sent to the Afghan parliament by the ministry of justice of Afghanistan around two weeks ago. Consisting of seven articles, the law was endorsed by the majority during the general session after review by parliamentary commissions.

    The law strictly prohibits the recruitment of children in security agencies, with one to seven years of imprisonment on violation. The Afghan Government reconfirmed its commitment with the endorsement of a ‘Road Map Towards Compliance,’ in August this year which laid down 15 measures to fully implement an Action Plan signed with the United Nations in 2011.

  • Boko Haram using child-soldiers, women as human shields (dailypost.ng)
    “We have lost our men in the battle-field while we tried to avoid shooting children and teenagers who are forced to confront us. How do you expect us to arrest a child with a gun? Do we accord such an armed under-age combatant with the status of a child deserving of protection under the rule of engagement?

    “It may become inevitable that some collateral damages may be recorded if we get the order especially because Boko Haram elements were using civilians as human shields to continue to gain undue advantages in the current battle in the North East.

    “However, much as troops are determined to avoid collateral damage, it has become inevitable to be decisive with armed underage combatants and female suicide bombers with the situation degenerating by the day.

  • Britain’s child soldiers: should the enlistment age be raised? (theweek.co.uk)
    Campaigners are taking legal action over the terms of enlistment for minors in the British army, accusing the Ministry of Defence of “exploiting” young recruits.

    Child Soldiers International (CSI) is calling for a judicial review over what it calls “unethical and unlawful age discrimination”. Their lawyers argue that soldiers who enlist at 16 are forced to serve for longer under army rules.

    Teenagers cannot see active service until they are 18, but all soldiers must be available for deployment for four years. So a 16-year-old who joins the army cannot leave until that are 22.

    “These young soldiers will be forced to put their lives on the line against their will during those two extra years, all because of a decision they made at 16 and later regretted,” said CSI director Richard Clarke.

    The latest move by the campaign group has reignited the debate about the enlistment age in the UK and comes as an independent survey found that 78 per cent of people believe it should be raised. “There is overwhelming public support in this country for a minimum enlistment age of 18,” said Clarke.

    The UK is the only country in Europe and the only country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council to recruit 16-year-olds into its armed forces. It is also just one of 17 countries in the world to do so, alongside North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.

  • Isis Child Soldiers Used as Suicide Bombers and Human Shields (ibtimes.co.uk)
    Speaking to reporters at the U.N., he said the fighters “appeal” to some of the youngsters and that they have approved adept at “manipulating young men and children.” He explained that “they project an image of being victorious”.

    They impress upon the children the importance of fighting and dying for their faith. and offer the pledge that those who die in the fray will “go straight to heaven.”

    Not everyone is in favour of children going into battle. “What is striking for me is to meet mothers who [tell us], ‘We don’t know what to do,'” said Simonovic. “Our sons are volunteering and we can’t prevent it.”

    At the camps, the children who are barely bigger than AK47s, are taught how to fire and load weapons. According to Syria Deeply website, they are shown the best ways to behead someone, using dolls as practice.

    The effectiveness of child soldiers as fighters is obviously not as great as adults, so they are used in other ways. Chillingly, they have value as human shields and also to provide blood transfusions for Isis militants, according to Shelly Whitman, the executive director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

  • Five Year Old Fighters and Girls Sold as Slaves – Videos Show Disturbing Evidence of Life in the Islamic State (breitbart.com)
    Charlie Winter, a spokesman for anti-extremist think tank The Quilliam Foundation said: “This video is yet more evidence of Islamic State seeking to indoctrinate children from a very young age in an attempt to entrench its hold over the region. Such footage is worrying, in particular because it renders apparent the fact that IS’ legacy will be long-term, even if it was to collapse tomorrow.”

    Another video documents men bartering over Yazidi slaves. Sitting on sofas in a living room, a man wearing a white cap turns to the camera and says “Today is slave market day. Today is the day where this verse – “… except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess, for (then) they are not to be…” today is distribution day, God willing. Each one takes his share.”

  • ‘IS: The Next Generation’? Militants Recruit Children (rferl.org)
    Abu Usama is not playing at being an Islamic State militant. He is one of the extremist group’s child fighters. IS social media lauded him as the youngest fighter to guard the front lines in the Syrian town of Kobani, which IS has besieged.

    Over the past weeks, more and more reports have emerged with evidence that IS militants are providing military training to schoolchildren in Syria and Iraq.

    Other reports claim that the extremist group is also using children as young as 13 as fighters.

  • Cubs of the Caliphate: ISIS Trains Boys to Go to Battle (nbcnews.com)

    Some graduates of the camps are used as human shields and suicide bombers. Other wee warriors man checkpoints, hoist heavy weapons and act as enforcers.

    Beyond the additional fighting power, analysts and experts say brainwashing young recruits is a strategic move aimed at ensuring the militant group’s longevity by providing a ready-and-willing next generation of jihadis.

random thoughts from lorne

The grave of V.J. Strudwick at Essex Farm. The grave of V.J. Strudwick at Essex Farm.

When we visited the Commonwealth Military Cemetery at Essex Farm, near Ypres, Belgium, our guide pointed out the grave of V.J. Strudwick, who was killed in action January 14, 1916 at age 15. The official age to enlist was 18, for overseas service 19.

Recruiters though generally didn`t ask probing questions, and identification documents were not all that common in those days before drivers licences, when people may not have ever even seen a car. Joe Strudwick was in all probability adult sized and willing to enlist; he said he was 19 and they either believed him or looked the other way.

It was a young man’s war, as they generally all are. With age comes maturity; older men are more likely to question the validity of a war, more likely to have family responsibilities and less likely to unquestioningly volunteer for…

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