One can’t help but be moved to sympathy for the mothers and families of these converts to Islam who so spectacularly misunderstand their new religion that they come to see waging offensive jihad to advance the dar al-Islam as their most pleasing duty to Allah, and either abscond to the Middle East or North Africa to join the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab, etc., or plot jihad terrorism attacks here at home.
All sympathy aside, however, it is absolutely stunning that no one interviewed for this article is asking about what is wrong at the heart of Islam that this phenomenon is happening at all. Excuses and programs are bantered around, while thousands of Western Muslims (a number we might be severely underestimating) flock to join the Islamic State.
That the Islamic State adamantly backs up its actions and policies with vigorous theological presentations founded on the Quran and the Sunnah of Muhammad certifies its Islamic validity in the eyes of not only its active adherents, but in the eyes of sometimes overwhelming percentages of Muslims worldwide, as recent polls (see here, here and here) and reports have proved.
How to counter the pull of the Islamic State? William Kilpatrick, in his must-read 3-part series, “Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam,” poses some of the key challenges:
In his book America Alone, Mark Steyn observed that “there is no market for a faith that has no faith in itself.” He was referring to Christianity’s loss of faith in itself as exemplified by the decline of Christianity in Europe and the corresponding rise of Islam — a faith that does have faith in itself.
A new Church policy toward Islam should be geared toward reversing that situation — that is, undercutting Islam’s faith in itself while at the same time strengthening the faith of Christians. Many others have written about the second half of the equation, so let me concentrate on the first. How do you sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of Muslims?
Kilpatrick goes on to sow some seeds of doubt in Islam, which is what is done here daily at Jihad Watch. No organization, nation or church will be able to counter the threat of Islam and ISIS until it begins to speak the truth about the problems at the core of Islamic scriptures, doctrine, and the example of Muhammad, and face them squarely.
Islamic teaching states that “paradise lies at the feet of your mother,” and a group of Western moms who lost their sons first to radicalization and then on the battlefields of the Middle East are trying to use the lesson to stop other young men from turning to terrorism.
Christianne Boudreau, a Canadian whose 22-year-old son Damien was killed last year while fighting with al-Nusrah, the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda, has joined forces with Daniel Koehler, director of the German Institute on Radicalization and De-Radicalization Studies (GIRDS), to form Mothers for Life. The organization functions as a support group for mothers whose children have become radicalized, as well as a podium to develop programs to counter ISIS’ slick recruitment propaganda.
“If I knew back then what I know now, I may have seen it before my son left,” Boudreau told FoxNews.com. “There are things that only a mother will notice. Maybe your child will disconnect and separate from their social group, or start saving money, whereas they never did before.
“It is only getting harder, as ISIS is encouraging recruits to hide their religion, so it is really important to pick up on other changes.”
Boudreau said her son felt for a long time like he was “wasting his life and had no direction” and that he always had compassion for the underdog, which is something terrorist scouts capitalize on over social media. For a while, Boudreau said, Damien – who was raised Christian but chose to convert to Islam several years ago – seemed to find a sense of peace and purpose in his new religion. But when news of his terrorist ties and battlefield death hit the press, Boudreau endured community backlash and a sudden stigma.
In another case, the close relative of a Syrian-American who was recently arrested on terrorism-centered charges told FoxNews.com that police put the entire family, including their young child, into protective custody for several days because they were receiving death threats.
“How can families reach out for help if they are afraid people will come after them?” Boudreau said. “That’s why something like Mothers for Life was needed. To show that parents aren’t always to blame, but that we need to do whatever we can to stop this. We need the politicians to start to listen. We need them to help with outreach and with prevention.”
Karolina Dam of Denmark, formerly of New Zealand, knows first-hand the pain of losing a son to the clutches of terrorists. Her son Lukas, who suffered from ADD, disappeared in May 2014. It wasn’t until December 29, 2014 that she learned from an online Facebook group that Lukas was a “martyr” who had been killed fighting for ISIS in Syria. She said her family is not Muslim, and said Lukas converted to Islam when he was 15.
“At the end of the day we can’t sit around and wait for the authorities to do the right thing, because they won’t,” said Dam, who is involved with Mothers for Life and has also launched a non-profit parent support network called Sons and Daughters of the World.
“Parents are alone in this,” Dam said. “They are forced to talk to ISIS members and other foreign fighters just to get information.”
She said trying to quash online recruitment is not enough, and that more action is needed.
“My son wasn’t recruited online. I know who his recruiter is, and we are aware that he is still in touch with ISIS and trafficking money.
“Why the hell is he still walking the streets?”…