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Binoy Thomas on why Western-educated Muslims join ISIS

Why Western-educated Muslim Youth Embrace IS?

Why Western-educated Muslim Youth Embrace IS?

Why Western-educated Muslim Youth Embrace IS?


Why are so many Muslim youth, born and raised in the liberal West fighting alongside Islamic State for a cause that they believe would see Islam as it existed a thousand years ago, as the dominant force in the world?

What did the West do so wrong that they have pushed them so far into the past to be mindless barbarians?

The liberal Western intellectuals do not want to discuss it, because if you scratch that scab, the fingers will point right back at these very same ivory tower influencers who always had an excuse for all sorts of bad behaviour.

Look at the way, we treat our classrooms, where bad behaviour becomes an opportunity for governments and unions to create committees and reports that put real dollars into the hands of friends and sympathizers. The most egregious of these elements are in the left of the political and media spectrum (ie. if they are any different from each other). I remember one report, some years ago about how many times Ontario students say ‘f— you’ to their teachers, and the people the writer interviewed were all either offering excuses for the abusers or showed no particular alarm at this trend. The writer had his/her own demons to hang out to dry, and that’s not to say, we do not. We all do. There was no one who said that it was just plain wrong and such behaviour has no place in a classroom. That would be considered rude and absolute, an anachronism in our fifty shades of grey universe.

The movement to pass the parcel (student) without testing them for what they have learned (play school stretched into adulthood) is yet another case of justifying bad attitude of those not wanting to put in the time to study. It might help the teachers to become even lazier than required under the law, but really, are we doing the young ones a favour? Or are we pushing them to be dealers?

What do we do with most acts of criminality, especially when committed by the youth? We blame poverty, lack of opportunity, social service cuts, shortage of basketball courts, discrimination, low intellect, alcohol abuse, climate change, anything at all that can help us detach ourselves from the actual job of stating the obvious or passing judgement. Often, after I read certain verdicts from the Canadian courts, I get the feeling the judge was simply too lazy to write a few more extra pages, which you need to do when finding someone guilty, and instead let someone walk with a gentle admonishment. Nobody wants to call a spade a spade without running the risk of being painted as a zealot.

Definite statements are abhorred – You killed because you were in the drug business and wanted to wear the best clothes and bed the best women. No, you can’t say this to the man convicted of gunning down innocent victim. The elite Rights Guard will create a riot and make the judge’s life miserable.

Another definite statement – the Islamist fights to destroy the Western society because it stands directly in their way to convert the world with ‘fancy’ secular ideas.

Our spineless experts, including the ones in power, will say anything but mention the inconvenient truth. Israel-Palestine issue would be front and centre, very convenient for the BBCs and CBCs of the world to point finger at that direction. (They have been doing that for fifty years, and without contributing an iota of improvement to the situation on the ground). They are still stuck in another age, the Al-Qaeda if you remember never really had anything to say about the Palestinians, till a few years after Sept. 11! They did come out with the statements after realizing that it would be a folly not to do so, as many in the Western press wanted to hear that. Osama declared loud and clear that the West was Islam’s enemy No.1 and it needed to be destroyed completely before Islam can triumph. At least he was not a hypocrite. And the young people like that kind of clarity.

Then there are people like our former Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, who never really having gone a single day without eating, would blame poverty for some of Al Qaeda’s horrifying acts. Here I might add that Chretien was one of our most effective prime ministers, but there were huge gaps in his understanding of foreign affairs. In their absolute need to appear progressive at home, they are willing to sacrifice facts, like the fact, that 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, one of the richest places on earth, a place where Islam was safest. Osama, that scion of a fabulously wealthy family, must’ve gone into a laughing frenzy at Chretien’s stupidity. And when you have leaders who make such excellent stand up comedy, how do you take the West as anything but either stupid or decadent or both. The Islamic State and its sympathizers worldwide believe firmly the West is both stupid and weak-willed. If we continue with this stand up routine, their ranks will continue to swell, there and worse, here as well.

An unwelcome side effect of such wishy washiness from our leaders is the hardening of Islamophobia among the racists here (well, let’s not fool ourselves, we have our share of them too!). Already this week, someone tried to run down a Calgary Imam with a motorcycle. And this particular Imam was said to be one of the ‘moderates’.

Again look at large sections of our media, the ones who claim themselves to be left, and progressive, but actually appear cowardly and apologetic. When faced with virulent Islamism, they suddenly lose their mojo, and become tame. Recently, when thousands of Christians were attacked, raped, or converted in the remote hills of Iraq by ISIS, they seldom mentioned that it was a Christian minority under attack by Islamic terrorists. Same same when Boko Haram kidnapped school girls and made them sex slaves in Nigeria, many reports omitted the fact that the girls were Christians. What is even more surprising is the absence from their space  any contributions from the really progressive Muslims.

Remember the way our valiant press beat up on the Canadian forces who made the ‘unforgivable sin’ of handing over the Taliban prisoners that they had captured to the control of the Afghan National Army. What else were they supposed to have done? Babysit them in their prisons, bring them back to Canada, and then what?

Let’s also take our lead from our highest court, the Supreme Court of Canada and the message that it has sent to average Canadians, including Muslim residents, on the Khadr saga. Here was a family that had left Canada, disillusioned and angry at the ‘West’ and some of them were willing to kill. Not only were some of them brought back at government expense, but even after landing here, they have had some of the most insulting things to say about Canadian society, promptly carried by our ‘progressive’ media without comment. The big surprise was to come later. The Court quite firmly bopped the Harper government on its head for dragging its feet in getting Canadian citizen and  confessed killer, Omar Khadr, back to Canada from the US. The Court was going strictly by the book, as Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was entitled to come back and enjoy this great land, as he pleases or if he wishes, to spit on it. Either way, the Court doesn’t care, as long as they themselves are not sharing a backyard fence with such characters.

Omar Khadr has been deified in the eyes of many Muslim youth as he was perceived as, both, a hero of the Al Qaeda movement and a victim of the evil West. And now, I am told he is in line to receive a few millions for his suffering. How do you then fault other young people who may want to walk that path? Good for Khadr! I really mean it because I will not point fingers at these youngsters, but I will certainly fault our system that encourages them to flee to distant lands, and at the first opportunity, behead a white guy. The blood is not so much on the hands of those deranged fanatics, but as much on those limb progressives back home who didn’t have the courage to tell them quite categorically, when they were under our care, that they are wrong and there will be a price to pay for their follies.

If our soldiers and our governments are such a bunch of bad people, and the only ones left with a heart, but not much b.. are sitting in the left corner, why shouldn’t the Muslim youth, growing up in the West, be looking for heroes elsewhere?

The real victims in all this are the hundreds of thousands of Muslim families who call the West home and some of them live each day in fear of their son or daughter becoming a jihadi. This is not the same angst suffered by mainstream society when their daughter or son ‘rebels’, and turns up drunk, pregnant or even protesting violently as a part of the 99%. Or worse, he  starts rapping. Though all these are indeed minor and major tragedies in the velvet soft bed we have prepared for ourselves, to have a son show up in a photo with a severed head, is slightly more traumatic, don’t you think? The loss of a son or a daughter to a movement that spills so much blood is not something that they really wish for their children. Often, the parents have no good role models to show them here, as we have gone totally nihilistic on our own society. We need to strengthen the Muslim parents, reassure them that we are not playing games. To start with, let’s make it clear to everyone, that once you take up arms against us, you are not welcome back here. Go ahead, believe in whatever fantasy world that you’ve been promised, but when you start killing us or even threaten to do so, just because we don’t share your religion, then, get yourself a different travel document. Anyway, a Canadian passport will not be valid document for a passage to paradise.

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