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Terrorists Claiming the Hearts & Minds of a Generation

The-Islamic-State-of-Iraq-and-Syria-ISISIt baffles the mind, it really does. Why would suburban teens and twentysomethings from other countries rally to join the bloody rampage of ISIS? Too many videogames where virtual enemies are happily snuffed out by warm and well-fed young people?

I would argue that most everyone was created to live for something. Or fall for anything, as they say.

Causes, ideals, passions should be greater than the individual. Joining together with others, uniting for a common goal is often 2014123057lacking in our individualistic, modern society. Kids long to belong, to be part of a loving family, a well-intentioned congregation, or a school with team spirit. Without a positive peer group, gangs and less-than-ideal groups begin to fire their imagination.

In some cases, Muslim families whose kids have run away to fight with ISIS have verbally disowned them, they are so repulsed by the idea. In other situations, the families may be partly to blame.

Take the young Palestinian man from Jerusalem, Muhammad Musallam, age 20, promised money and girls, who traveled to Syria via Turkey to fight with the terrorists. Instead of the luxuries promised, he slept on the isis-children-1ground, was beaten and commanded, receiving little in the way of food or basic necessities. Attempting to escape, he fled back toward the Turkish border where he was caught and returned to ISIS, charged with spying for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence force. His family insists that he did not like ISIS’ tactics, and that he was no spy.

In the end, a young boy was allowed to execute him, gun to forehead, blasting away.Muhammad-Said-Ismail-Musallam-isis-mossad

In my opinion, psychiatric intervention and public service announcements are needed worldwide. Mental health messages must be beamed internationally and aimed at countries where hopelessness prevails. Regardless of religion and nationalistic loyalties (if you can even say that in situations such as these), we must work for the hearts and minds of those who cannot even begin to conceive of living peacefully near those who are different from themselves.

thThis is not a situation of joblessness. It’s a condition of a paucity of purpose and vision. They cannot imagine themselves working, supporting a family, building a life, and taking pride in their accomplishments. The closest they come is destroying everything in their path, a quick fix for a fast high.

The adrenaline rush will never fill the hole in their soul, nor will the reign of terror put food on the table (although that may be argued, if ransom money is paid). We must engage the hearts and minds of a generation bent on evil.

I think of the early Christians who were thrown to the lions and burned at the stake. Instead of running for their lives, they went up in a fire of worship. Raucous, pagan, bloodthirsty crowds came to faith by the thousands, while understanding that they could be Nero’s next flaming, human torches.

Which begs the question: is it still possible to overcome evil with good?ISIS

I consider the European Jewish ghetto fighters lashing back at the Nazis, refusing to go to concentration camps as sheep to the slaughter. How strong must any hell-bent group or ideology become before we launch all-out attacks? Must they be threatening our personal lives, rounding us up before we count it serious enough to take action?

By faith and by fighting we combat evil. Oddly enough, that’s what ISIS may be trying, but they are being deceived. We must ignite their imaginations to envision a better way, the path of life, while drawing a line in the sand.

Arvada_woman_in_terrorism_case_plans_gui_1896430000_7332632_ver1.0_640_480Not a large percentage of terrorism’s forces hail from far-flung nations abroad. Yet the fact that even a handful travel long distances to join in the fight tells us that something needs to be remedied right away, like the British schoolgirls who ran away without their families knowing. The sense of fighting for a cause and for an ideal resonates with many disenfranchised Muslim young people who are adrift in life.

Otherwise, they would never choose this cause and this ideal. And someone needs to point that out.


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