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Regular Contributor Raymond
CBS News' Charlie D'Agata did an extraordinary piece for CBSN: On Assignment titled "Children of ISIS." D'Agata investigated how children from a very young age are being indoctrinated into radical Islam from war torn countries like Iraq and Syria. A look into a child's textbook reveals illustrations of assault rifles and ticking bombs for math and telling time. ISIS training and recruitment videos show kids as young as five or six firing guns and murdering people in cold blood.
In another part of this piece, D'Agata interviews a mother with three young sons who was captured by ISIS and held as a sex slave for three years. While she was held captive, her three young sons were raised by those in ISIS and wrapped in the culture of violence and aggression. The boys were virtually unfazed by the cameras as they continued escalating the rough hitting and aggression, barely smiling or conveying any emotions beyond vacancy and contempt.
"Children of ISIS" also highlights a teenage boy who escaped ISIS, describing and showing ISIS kills by people he knew. When D'Agata suggests he may need a lot of help to overcome this, the teenager says that he doesn't need any help and that he can control his mind.
I'm not sure of D'Agata's intent with the story. Was it to simply tell a story as good journalists do, to drum up sympathy for pending refugees and immigrants (in an effort to convince Americans that our Western values will save them), or was it to show the harsh and hopeless reality that nothing that we do to rescue them from systemic brainwashing may ever be enough for them to assimilate to American morals and laws?
For me, the piece highlights a growing problem: in our quest to promote The United States of America as a land of immigrants, a land where anyone can be free to practice religion, love who they love, and be themselves, we've slowly morphed into a country willing to sacrifice our own values and safety and our children's safety to avoid being labeled as racist or xenophobic.
I don't share all of President Trump's views on immigration, but I don't think it's wrong to want to bring the absolute best to this country and to avoid integrating bad apples into this country, even if that includes a trained five-year -old ISIS killer. The problems with rape, violence, and terrorism in other countries are partly due to those elected believing (like many do here) that access to Western culture and a blind eye to suspicious behavior will change those indoctrinated from birth.
Take for instance Germany's Prime Minister Angela Merkel. She was quoted as saying the following in February 2017:
-"As far as an upper limit is concerned, my position is clear: I will not accept it." (Additional reading: Chancellor Angela Merkel rejects refugee limit for Germany)
-“We as non-Muslims cannot [clarify Islamic Extremism], it should be done by Islamic clergy and authorities.” (Additional reading: Angela Merkel says Islam is ‘not the source of terrorism’)
Five months after this, the city of Hamburg saw a young man carry out a knife attack. He was surveilled and not deemed a threat. Friends then noticed he became radicalized while staying at a refugee shelter in Hamburg, notorious for violence and riots. He was arrested and placed on suicide watch. The government's response? Condolences to victims and families, entertaining an insanity defense for the radicalized killer, and Merkel continuing to stand her ground on unpopular immigration policies and refusing to consider a cap on those entering, even as she runs the risk of losing her upcoming election.(Additional reading: Hamburg knife attacker had 'Islamist motive)
What the above demonstrates is that those in favor of open borders and barely vetted refugees and their children do not want to discuss how having those who do not assimilate to our laws and culture pose a danger; be they a kindergartner who shoots people at point blank range, young boys who exhibit excessively aggressive behavior, or a former member of ISIS who believes he can heal his own mind after watching and participating in brutal executions.
Far-right pundits have drawn ire from liberal news outlets and media bloggers for their hardline stances on refugees and immigrants. I disagree with the way those folks convey their rhetoric as I don't think all Muslims are radicalized. But I do think we need to ask questions after seeing footage of young children indoctrinated in violence and ask ourselves if it's worth the risk. I also think we should continue enacting and developing stringent policy that curbs crime, violence, and terrorism that seeks to harm us.