ISIS runaways – time to take responsibility

That three more families have been torn apart by the ISIS menace is tragic. That everyone seems to be blaming external factors is wrong. This isn’t because of an internet connection (although it clearly assists), nor because of a previous runaway. This is home grown. Putting aside that minors managed to get on a plane and leave the country without anyone asking “where are the parents”, the larger question is why did they want to go?

There has been an environment created in the west, supported by many, in which Western ‘colonialism’, the US, Israel, capitalism, consumerism and so on, represent *all things evil*. An environment where people are told they should be ashamed of our success because it has come at the price of slavery, inequality and oppression. That our consumerism and capitalism is at fault for all the hungry and starving people in the world. An environment in which the flaws of the democracies are amplified and those of the despots ignored. The world as they see it is controlled by an elite, a mysterious group of financial and media groups that in turn support and finance only politicians that will facilitate the existing world order. In anti-Semites, this controlling group is Jewish, in others it doesn’t have to be. A global conspiracy of the few, eliminating the fairness for the vast majority and supporting the corrupt.

This environment is nurtured, supported and fed in schools, in universities, in mosques and of course in many homes. In non-religious homes, young people who catch this disease rebel, but remain part of our own society, albeit moving towards the fringes. In other words, it has always been there, kids becoming punks, skinheads and so on. In Muslim homes it is different, even in homes that are not overtly religious; anywhere where god engages with the decision making process. It doesn’t mean all Muslims are like this, merely that *within this environment* the reactions *can be* different from ones we normally associate with rebellious youth. Islam in essence may be a religion of peace, but how does it react when it thinks it is at war? If some Muslim youth think there is a war against Islam, then perhaps the ‘religion of peace’ loses all meaning for them and other Islamic articles take hold. If the conspiracy is true, they see themselves as victims and their brothers abroad are those living as economic slaves to the global elite. In their case, normally a Jewish one; the Jews, the controllers of the ‘Great Satan’ and the ‘vermin’ that infest Israel.

It is the responsibility of the people who nurture these children to open their minds, not to close them. To dispel the conspiracy myth, not to nurture it. To appreciate and understand and tolerate, not to discard and close their ears to other ‘ways’. To place a value on the beauty of freedom and choice not turn it into a system to be scorned. To hold aloft the wonder of democracy, not excuse those that do not practice it. Those that support the conspiracy myth, even those that do so subtly, fail to understand their audience has changed. They are not talking to a 16 year old who may cut his hair and buy Doctor Marten’s, but to children who may well join a global Jihad and set out to kill. Our rebels traditionally have been godless, these ones most certainly are not.

So when within some homes there was open hatred of America and Jews, they gave their children their blessing.

When their community spoke of the depravity of western culture, the girls understood from this what was bad and what was good

When media outlets legitimized Hamas and Hezbollah, they told these girls their cause was justified.

When politicians use death count to dictate right from wrong they placed evidence of the conspiracy at the girls door.

When 100,000 Muslims march against Israel and almost none march for Charlie Hebdo, they showed the girls the clear demarcation of the two opposing sides.

When in their mosque they were told ‘in spite of the existence of the conspiracy’, they should remain passive, they told the girls their parents form of Islam was inadequate.

When their schools or local groups support of a boycott against Israeli ‘apartheid’ showed how ineffective peaceful resistance is against the global elite, they were told they had no other choice.

When some politicians supported Sadaam in the 1990’s, they bought these girls their passports.

When Glasgow hung the Palestinian flag from their council offices, they bought the girls their flight tickets.

When people remain afraid to confront the problem head on, preferring to find correlated excuses, they gave these girls their maps.

When even the ‘moderates’ portray the only democracy in the Middle East as a merciless child killing machine, they packed the girls bags and sent them on their way.

These girls didn’t take a plane to Turkey in a vacuum. Theirs was not an irrational choice that went against their environment. This is the preferred fallacy of those responsible; a fallacy that perpetuates the problem. You cannot be conditioned or brainwashed by an external force unless you are already there looking for the answers. These girls chose to do something that grew in the minds from seeds planted and then watered by the environment in which they live.

Many who could spend time in some of these households would be shocked at the level of anti-Western and anti-Semitic discussion heard on a regular basis. Their environment and community support these notions either directly or through subtle misrepresentation of complex issues. Some of our own politicians and media feed them with fertilizer by failing to place actions or opinions within context. There is no surprise then that some of those homes produce people willing to kill innocent civilians.

Throughout the development of what we refer to as the ‘radicalization’ of these girls, you’ll find that they were assisted by so many people, holding their hands all the way to the airport, helping them on the plane and sending them on their way. Only after they had left did people turn round, wash their hands and ask how on earth it happened that 3 articulate, intelligent British girls ever wanted to walk voluntarily into what awaits them. People need to take responsibility for their actions.