Children Forced To Kill Or Have Their Mothers Raped
December 28, 2014 8:38am PST
BAGHDAD: How to make a child a soldier. First, convince the child that Shiite men want to rape their mothers and the only way to stop them is to kill them. Secondly, persuade the child to run away from home while pretending to go to school. Finally, take the child to the desert and brainwash him, teach him to fight, and ask him to volunteer to be a suicide bomber. This is Usaid Barho’s story. He is 14.
Now in custody in Iraq, authorities don’t really know what to do with him. He surrendered himself and disclosed his vest filled with explosives before anyone was hurt. He was, however, a willing fighter and volunteer even though he claims he was looking for a way out of the caliphate when he decided pretending to volunteer to bomb a mosque would offer him the best way to surrender.
Bomb a mosque? Yes. What is most surprising is that all the arms of radical Islam do not agree on much of anything. The Sunni and Shiites are still doing what they have always done: battle. They rage against Christians, the West, and each other. It was a Shiite mosque Usaid was supposed to bomb. Instead, he unzipped his jacket and surrendered to the guards.
While involved with ISIS, this teen realized there were some unusual practices. Usaid is from a region in Syria where those who smoke cigarettes can be severely punished. Smoking in the training camp was common. He also observed homosexual acts behind tents which he had been taught were forbidden by the Koran.
Usaid is not alone in his exploitation. Children have been enlisted to man check points, have been the victims of execution, and young minority girls are often taken as sex slaves by ISIS. War has wreaked havoc on the region and robbed many youths of a proper childhood. Usaid knew something was wrong.
Indoctrinating children, teaching them to fight, and also creating “cubs of the caliphate” who will fight “hate-filled Shiites” is common ISIS practice. Recently, the UN issued a report concerning the treatment of children by ISIS. According to that report, children are being forced to witness executions and participate in public stonings. This, supposedly, will ensure adherence the the caliphate ideology and violence as a way of life.
Usaid’s parents never allowed him to attend executions…typically held after Friday prayers. Because, nothing says I love God like murdering someone in public. ISIS differs from previous child soldier recruiters in that they are aggressive and public and demand active roles from children. Simply being a lookout or a messenger will not suffice.
The story of this young man is the first of its kind from this series of wars. While all of Usaid’s story could not be independently verified, his surrender at the mosque was captured on cellphone video.
Before uttering, “I have a suicide vest, but I don’t want to blow myself up,” Usaid lived in Syria. He loved soccer, Jackie Chan movies, and Nancy Ajram (Lebanese pop star). He planned to attend college and become a doctor.
Usaid still plans to become a doctor. The Iraqis have promised him he would be returned to his parents one day. He misses his mother.
This 14 year old boy’s future is uncertain. Is he a terrorist or an exploited child? It is difficult to know.
H/T: Times of India
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