United States Action
September 3, 2008
Our Hope, Our Children, Our Responsibility in Fighting Jihad
Jeffrey Imm

As children return to schools, we are reminded that they are our hope for the future, but they are also the target of Islamic supremacists around the world. We need to defend the future, hopes, and lives of these children, and assume the "grown-up" duty as responsible adults for defending them from the ideology of Islamic supremacism and Jihadist terrorism. On September 1, 2004, 770 children were kidnapped by Jihadists in Russia in a small town of Beslan. It was a return to school for these children at Beslan School Number One; the event was celebrated as a "Day of Knowledge," and parents accompanied their children in the joyous return to school. After lining up for photographs to remember the day, children entered the school. So did Jihadists who rushed into Beslan School Number One, while the children were filing into classes. Many of the older children who saw the Jihadists were able to flee. Most of those left behind were the smallest, youngest children, including parents with their babies. Jihadists sought to lure back confused children, uncertain if they should flee, with candy.

Jihadists then forced 1,124 hostages into a small school gymnasium which was wired with explosives in the school's basketball hoop and a dozen other bombs in the Beslan school; they mined the school with grenades, home-made explosives, and landmines, keeping the most powerful bombs in the gym where the children were kidnapped. Some Jihadists also wore explosive suicide vests. They told the children that were going to die. In the small confined space, children suffered from heat and some were forced to strip naked from the heat. Without food and water for three days, some were forced to drink their own urine. The few male adults (including children's fathers) also captured by the Jihadists were forced to build fortifications in the school for the Jihadists; then they shot them and dumped their bodies out a school window. The Jihadists recorded a video of their atrocities (shown in the film "Three Days in September"), laughing and proud of what they had done.

On September 3, 2004, after three days of being terrorized by these Jihadists, 186 of these children were killed, some killed by Jihadist bomb explosions, some shot in the back by Jihadists. Some fled from the schoolhouse streaked with blood as the Jihadist bomb explosions brought the Russian military into a firefight with the Jihadists. Many more children were injured, lost limbs, and were seriously wounded physically and emotionally. By September 4, 2004, children's bodies were lined along the ground outside the Beslan school house, plastic bags covering the bodies, as mothers and fathers sought to find their lost children to know if they were among the dead or wounded evacuated to hospitals. The children had just been going to school. It was a day just like today.

Days after the Beslan atrocities by Jihadists, some believed that the magnitude of the atrocity against helpless children would rouse the sleeping conscience of civilization. The London Times' William Rees-Mogg stated on September 4, 2004 that "Beslan is Russia's 9/11: it will change the world," stating that:
"One must not underestimate the sheer impact of the horror of the event itself. It is something people find very hard to contemplate. The people who planned this massacre are every bit as evil as the people who planned Pearl Harbor or 9/11, or as the SS men who ran Auschwitz. There is a blank horror about what they did to young children which fortunately has few parallels in the history of evil. It is important to hold onto that because the world's sense of horror will influence everything that will follow."

But in fact, the Jihadist atrocity against Beslan's helpless children did not "change the world," or even wake up many of the so-called "foreign policy experts" who live in denial on the ideology of Islamic supremacism. Moreover, the atrocities of Islamic supremacists against children did not end with Beslan. In fact, the denial of such "foreign policy experts" on Jihad only grows more entrenched, and the Islamic supremacist crimes against humanity in perverting, corrupting, and murdering children continue.

Experts' Delusions on Regionalizing Islamic Supremacism and Jihadist Terror

Of the nearly 30 Chechen and British-Algerian Jihadists (including a frequent visitor to London's Finsbury mosque) involved in the Beslan attack, only one (Nurpashi Kulayev) survived to go to trial and prison. The plotter of the Beslan school attack, Shamil Basayev, continued to plot additional Jihadist attacks until his death in July 2006. In addition to support from British Jihadists, the Beslan Jihadists also were reportedly in contact with Saudi Arabia.

The Beslan atrocity has been but one in an endless series of Chechen Jihadist attacks over a decade that continue today. In August 2008, multiple Chechen Jihadist terrorist attacks have resulted in the loss of lives of Russian soldiers and others in the name of Chechen Jihad. The countless reports of terrorism over the years have included hijacking and crashing airliners with explosives hidden on Jihadist women, suicide bombing on the Moscow subway, a series of train and bus bombings, bombing rock concerts, kidnapping 700 in a Moscow theater, attacking hospitals and kidnapping thousands of patients - killing hundreds, beheading innocents, and killing other children. While some in the world were horrified for a day or two at the Beslan atrocity, the Chechen Jihad continues its reign of terror today.

The mastermind behind the Beslan school atrocity, Chechen Jihad leader Shamil Basayev, admitted his role in planning and leading the training for the Beslan attack and he vowed to attack more schools. Shamil Basayev was filmed with the Beslan Jihadists planning the Beslan terror atrocity. The Russian police foiled another plot by Chechen Jihadists to attack a school planned in the village of Nesterovskaya.  Standing behind a banner reading "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet," Chechen Jihad leader Shamil Basayev claimed that he was an "anti-terrorist," while bragging of plans to attack more Russian schools like Beslan. Basayev claimed the Qur'an as the basis for his actions, and was willing to defend his actions under Sharia law. Basayev had also claimed responsibility for attacks on hospitals and the Moscow theater attack, and the bombing of two passenger planes.

In addition to statements that the Qur'an justified his Jihadist atrocities, Shamil Basayev also claimed that the Chechen Jihadists were fighting a holy war of liberation. Unfortunately, this man who plotted the terrorizing and murdering of children is not the only one who views Chechen Jihadists as fighting a "war of liberation." There are other Washington "foreign policy experts" who legitimize the atrocities by Chechen Islamic supremacist terrorists by the delusion that such Islamic supremacist terrorism is regional in nature, and is not connected by an overall ideology of Islamic supremacism. This allows such "foreign policy experts" to recommend negotiations and discussions with "non-violent" Islamic supremacists, and to somehow feel that Chechen Islamic supremacists have some reasonable, legitimate rationale in their Jihadist actions. This denial of the Islamic supremacist ideological threat and the delusion that Jihad is not transnational -- remains a national security nightmare for Americans.

An outspoken critic of Russia's actions in Chechnya, U.S. Senator Joseph Biden spoke out three months before the Beslan atrocity against the "brutal war being waged by their [Russian] army in Chechnya." Senator Biden has been justifiably concerned about Russia's growing autocracy over the years. But when it comes to Chechen terrorism, Senator Biden apparently views that the tactics of terror require analysis on a regionalized basis.

In critiquing the idea of a "war on terror," Senator Biden has told the press:
"Terror is a tactic. Terror is not a philosophy... The war in Chechnya is a war of liberation -- it engaged in terrorist activities, but it is fundamentally different."

This remains a fundamental blind-spot for many Washington "foreign policy experts"; they debate only the tactics of terror, but don't grasp the inherent Islamic supremacist ideology behind Jihad. Such "foreign policy experts" fail to recognize that such transnational Islamic supremacism has no intent of "liberating" anyone, but seeks to suppress them under the very Sharia law called for by Beslan child-murder plotter Shamil Basayev. Like U.S. Senator Biden, Basayev also called the Chechen Jihad a "war of liberation." Basayev planned to "liberate" Chechnya through murdering children, attacking schools, attacking hospitals; his fellow Chechen Jihadists continue this bloodbath today.

Years after hundreds of Beslan children lie dead in the street, how confused, how delusional, how misguided could Washington "foreign policy experts" such as Senator Biden be to offer legitimacy to such atrocities by calling Chechen terrorism a "war of liberation"?

As I have previously written, this "regionalization" towards Islamic supremacist horrors among American leaders views each area of child-murdering - whether it is in Beslan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Afghanistan, or Iraq - as regionalized terrorism which has no connection to each other. This concept of "regionalized" Jihad threats is fundamentally wrong. The ideology of Islamic supremacism behind such atrocities remains the same regardless of the geographic location of the attack, just as the ideology of white supremacism was the same when it inspired terrorists to blow up churches in Alabama, assassinate civil rights leaders in Mississippi, and blow up buses in Michigan. We must never give any legitimacy to any such supremacist evil, anywhere in the world. Viewing Islamic supremacist terrorist efforts anywhere, anytime as part of a "war of liberation" is factually and morally wrong. In fact, Islamic supremacist terrorism is not "fundamentally different" no matter "who," "what," "where," and "when" it takes place; the ideology of Islamic supremacism remains the consistent "why" to each of these atrocities.

Six months after U.S. Senator Biden's declaration that Chechen Jihad was a "war of liberation," a Chechen Jihadist leader declared Jihad on the United States as well. As first reported by Radio Liberty and BBC, Chechen Jihad leader Sheikh Dokku Khamatovich Umarov (aka Doku Umarov) was reported to call for US, Britain and Israel as legitimate targets in jihad. The pro-Jihad Canadian website JihadUnspun later reported that Chechen Jihadist leader Umarov also "declared the Islamic State of the Caucasian Emirate and [called for] the implementation of Shariah Law."

The transnational nature of Chechen Jihad has been demonstrated by their involvement with Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and other nations in supporting and plotting Jihadist attacks. Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has supported Chechen Jihadists since 1995 ("Terror at Beslan," page 57). Chechen Jihadists not only commit terrorist attacks in what Senator Biden calls a "war of liberation," they also work with terrorists in plotting attacks in other countries as well. But as long as such "foreign policy experts" only view Jihadist terror on an "isolated incident" regionalized basis, they will never begin to identify, address, and confront the ideology that serves as the basis for such horrors.

On September 5, 2004 - two days after the murder of the Beslan school children, the Orthodox bishop of Stavropol and Vladikavkaz in Ossetia spoke out: "I closed the eyes of children shot in the back by the terrorists, I carried them in my arms. Can anyone who carries out such acts be called a liberator? One does not fight for liberty by killing children."

In John Giduck's book "Terror at Beslan," he reflects on the disgrace of those who would call such monstrous attacks a "war of liberation," and the efforts to legitimize such Jihadists by government leaders and media.

Mr. Giduck states:

"I have been disturbed for years at news media depictions of these perpetrators of inhumanity as freedom fighters, revolutionaries, and independence seekers, attributing to them a legitimate effort at mere self-determination that is unwarranted." ("Terror at Beslan," page 23)

"It is only through ridiculous and pandering Western governments, and the Western news media, in their support for the broader 'Chechen cause,' that these terrorists have for so long been able to continue on with their own efforts at genocide and garner the international support they have. It is a situation that must change." ("Terror at Beslan," page 25)

How many more Beslan atrocities, how many more children have to die, until Americans demand change by seeking government leaders that can honestly address this ideology and confront it?

The Continuing Horror of Islamic Supremacism to Children

Such Jihadist atrocities have not ended with the murder of the Beslan school children.

While the political leadership of Western world has been unwilling to acknowledge and confront the Islamic supremacist ideology behind Jihad, the adherents to this supremacist ideology have continued to pervert and murder children around the world.

After the Beslan atrocity, Iraqi Jihadists targeted children in Iraq with suicide bombs because they sought candy from American troops. AP reported "[p]arents heard the shattering explosion and raced out to discover children's mangled, bloodied bodies strewn on the street in the Shi'ite Muslim neighborhood. Children's slippers lay piled near the blast crater, near a crumbled child's bicycle as blood pooled in the street." Iraqi Jihadists have targeted children by putting bombs in with their toys, attacking children's hospitals, murdering and decapitating helpless children, and worst of all - turning children into suicide bombers. Over the past 4 years since the Beslan atrocity, Iraqi Jihadists have had a steady campaign reported by the United Nations to recruit children as suicide bombers. Last September, we learned of videos of Jihadists trying to twist the minds of babies as young as 8 years old to brainwash them with the hatred of their Islamic supremacist ideology. One 15 year old boy was urged to become a suicide bomber by his relatives. Another 13 year old girl was recently forced into trying to act a suicide bomber by her husband's parents, a massive bomb strapped on her.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban seek to accomplish their goal to enforce Sharia in that country by using small children as suicide bombers. NATO troops continue to report children between 10 and 13 years old are being sent out as suicide bombers. Al-Qaeda and Taliban recruit children to train them to become killers. Regarding the video of a 12 year old boy beheading a man, analysts state: "this (boy) is a killing machine who has been indoctrinated from age nine and prepared for his act by the time he is 12." In Pakistan, the Taliban groups that the Pakistan North West Frontier Province (NWFP) government seeks to agree with on peace treaties are also the same Taliban groups responsible for kidnapping and training young children to become suicide bombers. One 12 year old boy revealed how his parents turned him over to Pakistan's Swat Taliban leader who required that he memorize the Qur'an and then forced him to attempt to be a suicide bomber to attack a local court. Pakistan's madrassas (Islamic religious schools) in some areas of Pakistan seek to make children ranging from 7 years old to 15 years old into Jihadist terrorists. In January 2008, Pakistan Jihadists took 250 children hostage in a single school, while they negotiated demands with local law enforcement. Both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, many girls have no future. The Taliban burn down hundreds of their schools and threaten them if they do not follow Sharia law.

In Indian Kashmir, the same Pakistan Jihadists also kidnap children to be trained as terrorists. Last year, such Jihadist groups recruited 70 children for terror groups against the Indian authorities; Kashmir Jihadist groups frequently have the support of members of the Pakistan government. In India, women trainers for the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) have been holding Jihadist indoctrination camps for children from 5 to 15 years old; the SIMI organization has also had detailed terrorist training for young adults. In other parts of Asia, children in Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia have been taught that a child's life is cheap. In Thailand, children's schools are regularly attacked by Jihadists and their teachers killed; children are also often injured by Jihadist bombings in Thailand. Philippine children are often at the mercy of Jihadist attacks on non-Muslims. In Indonesia, Christian schoolgirls are beheaded by Muslims for their religion.

The Hamas terrorist organization, embraced by former President Jimmy Carter, has been conducting Islamic supremacist indoctrination of innocent children for many years - teaching them to hate and to kill. This same Hamas organization brags of its use of children as human shields to serve as propaganda against Israel if it retaliates for Hamas terrorist attacks. In Africa, children in Somalia live in constant fear of terror attacks, and African children face the same types of abuses and terrorist recruitment efforts by Jihadists in Africa as seen elsewhere in the world.

In Europe and the United Kingdom, there are extensive efforts to recruit children as Jihadists and indoctrinate them in Islamic supremacism. Europe teenagers are recruited via the Internet to go to Iraq or other parts of the world to engage in Jihad from France, Netherlands, and other parts of Europe - some as young as 13 years old. In the United Kingdom, a recent poll found that 32 percent of British Muslim youth (aged 16 to 24 years old) supported violence for religious purposes (with 15 percent "not sure"). British Muslim children have been recruited over the Internet for Jihad and British security services have reported that children as young as 15 years old are being recruited by Al-Qaeda. Islamic supremacists are teaching British Muslim children to hate the United Kingdom. In British mosques and British Islamic schools, British Muslims are being taught Islamic supremacist hatred of non-Muslims. Increasingly, British law enforcement is arresting British Muslim teenagers for terrorist plots. The British Luton mosque has reportedly been using small children to act as preachers to teach hatred to other Muslims (reference, pages 4-5), as children are too young to be held responsible for prosecution. In their homes, British Muslim girls remain second class citizens abused, raped, and murdered if they dare violate Islamic supremacist "honor" by dating a non-Muslim or other "offenses." Yet much of British society and its governmental leadership fears to acknowledge the very existence of an Islamic supremacist ideology.

The widespread global abuse of Muslim and non-Muslim children in the world by Islamic supremacists is clearly not only confined to the Beslan atrocity. In fact, such child abuse by Islamic supremacist ideologues and their appeasers continues to grow throughout the world without check. Six years ago, society was warned that such atrocities were coming. In June 2002, Al-Qa'ida spokesman Suleiman Abu Gheith demanded that Islamic supremacists had the right to murder children, stating "we have the right to kill 4 million Americans - 2 million of them children." In fact, what we have seen in years since then is that Islamic supremacists have conducted a campaign against children's lives, hopes, and dreams.  To Islamic supremacists, if children don't meet their ideological demands, then their lives are completely expendable. Such monstrous contempt for children, the hope of our society, demonstrates the total corruption of their supremacist ideology. As we have seen in the years since the Beslan atrocity, such Islamic supremacists will kill, pervert, and abuse children without fear of consequences.

Isn't it past time that responsible adults put an end to such horrors against innocent children? Isn't it past time that we use our power, our economy, and our influence in the world - to put the lives and futures of children first?

A Moral Challenge to a Generation of Adults

In the war against white supremacism, American President John F. Kennedy stated on June 11, 1963 that: "We are confronted primarily with a moral issue... Those who do nothing are inviting shame as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right as well as reality." President Kennedy viewed a war against supremacism as an inherent obligation of an America "committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free."

President Kennedy's words of warning and defiance against supremacism 45 years ago are just as relevant and just as morally responsible in viewing the threat of global Islamic supremacism today. President Kennedy offered a moral challenge to a generation of adults. It was a moral challenge to rise above accepting what was, and a challenge to fight for what should be. President Kennedy didn't ask just the federal government or the military to accept this moral challenge - he asked all Americans to stand tall in the courage of our national convictions on equality and liberty. President Kennedy knew that supremacist hate and supremacist violence could and must be confronted by a united population that looked deep in its heart - and did the right thing.

This moral challenge to Islamic supremacism and Jihad remains the defining moment of this generation today. Once again, we need to look within our hearts and do the right thing. Not the convenient thing or the easy thing or the popular thing. Not by simply tolerating what is, accepting it as hopeless, or tolerating nonsense about Islamic supremacists fighting a "war of liberation," when we know that supremacism is anti-liberation... but by boldly recognizing and doing the right thing today for those children that depend on our courage, our leadership, and our bravery.

When Will We Say Enough?

What if the Beslan schoolchildren were your children? In fact, they are. In a civilized society, such threatened, innocent children are your children. Civilized human adults have a moral and social responsibility to look out for helpless, innocent children - whether they are in Beslan or in your home town. Civilized human adults have a moral and social responsibility to help those mothers and fathers whose children are in danger. That is what it means to be an adult, a grown-up. That is what means to be a human society.

Continued silence on Islamic supremacism is not a moral option for responsible adults in a civilized society. Grown-ups in a human society have a responsibility to reject denial of a mortal threat that callously destroys our children, our hope for the very future of humanity itself. Grown-ups have the responsibility to deny "a world of make-believe, a world of 'cooperation'; a world of silence" in the face of such evil ("The Death of the Grown-Up", by Diana West, page 206).

The Beslan children and all of the other children murdered by Islamic supremacists must not die in vain. Their innocent lives claimed by such monsters against humanity must be avenged by our renewed defiance to the ideology of Islamic supremacism. Four years after the Beslan atrocities, we have seen an endless litany of further atrocities by Islamic supremacist Jihadist monsters, strapping bombs to children, convincing children to be suicide bombers, destroying hundreds of other children's schools, killing girls in a twisted demand of supremacist "honor," planting bombs among children's toys, murdering children who seek candy, and perverting the minds of children from the time they are babies to plant the seeds of hate and violence in their innocent hearts.

How many more Jihadist atrocities, how many more murdered children, how many more innocent young lives must be destroyed, until we finally say "enough"?

When will we say "enough" to those who seek surrender in the war of ideas against Islamic supremacism? When will we say "enough" to those who choose to abandon other families to the disease of Islamic supremacism by believing it can be "contained" in regionalized wars and who believe that we can negotiate with Islamic supremacist ideologues who do not value human life? When will we say "enough" to those offering "expert" foreign policy judgments that would legitimize Islamic supremacist atrocities as part of a Jihadist "war of liberation"?

When will we say "enough" to those who think that the sentinels of equality and liberty are so weak that they don't have the willpower to demand confrontation of an ideology that rampantly murders and destroys the lives of helpless children? When will we say "enough" to those in political leadership who refuse to confront this menace to innocent children everywhere?

In the struggle to achieve change, let's start here. Let's start with demanding that our political and government leaders acknowledge the threat of global Islamic supremacism and work to develop a strategy to prevent its spread and its influence in the United States and around the world. Let's start by insisting that those who believe any Jihadists are fighting a "war of liberation" have no business representing the American people. Let's start by making the personal commitment that we won't take it anymore, and that we will not rest until our leaders defend our values - and value our children, whether those innocent children are in Beslan or in your town. Let's start by showing the world that this generation of Americans can and will do what is right in creating the reality of a society where Islamic supremacists cannot prey on innocent children without our defiance.

Surely we can do this for our children, our best and brightest hope for the future.

(Postscript - please note the "Sources" web site with further reading and source documentation on this subject.) http://www.unitedstatesaction.com/blog/imm-articles/sources_beslan.html

Posted on September 5, 2008 at 5:35 PM PDT  

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