This entire funding initiative and programs such as Building Community Resilience are based on the proposition that poverty and alienation, not Islamic doctrine, cause jihad terrorism, and thus the solution to jihad terrorism is to provide education, job opportunities, and outlets for prospective jihadis’ youthful energy: soccer programs and the like. The entire initiative is founded upon the idea that jihad terror has nothing to do with Islam, and ignores the fact that jihad in Islam is the greatest thing one can do: to fight and die in the cause of Allah is superior to all other endeavors. So they are expecting young Muslims to give up a chance to be a warrior for Allah, a part of what they see as the greatest cause in the world, for a chance to get a job at Walmart and a be part of a soccer team. In other words, these initiatives are predicated on the assumption that human beings have no soul: they ignore the fact that — however wrongly and evilly — jihad gives the jihadis’ lives meaning and situates them in the cosmos. Only something of similar gravitas can serve as a counterweight, not all the trivia these programs are offering.
Also, there are numerous examples of Muslims who were well educated, had a good job, and even a spot on the soccer team roster, who still read the Qur’an and determined that they had a responsibility to wage war against Infidels. The enterprising Australian convert to Islam Jake Belardi even founded an organization called Soccer for Hope, to get soccer balls to disadvantaged kickers in Uganda. He nonetheless turned to jihad. Unless these organizations are going to convince young Muslims that the Qur’an’s numerous exhortations to jihad are not to be followed, they are doomed to failure.
“Minnesota groups seek money to keep youths from extremism,” by Amy Forliti, Associated Press, January 30, 2016:
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A community advocate who spends his days helping Somali families and a youth soccer coach who works to keep kids off the street are among the people lining up for a crack at federal and private funds aimed at stopping terror recruiting.
Friday was the deadline for applicants to request roughly $400,000 in money being administered by a nonprofit entity as part of Minnesota’s efforts to stamp out violent extremism. The program is part of a three-city pilot project, which includes Boston and Los Angeles, launched more than a year ago by the Obama administration.
Minneapolis’ program, called Building Community Resilience, focuses on the state’s large Somali community, which has been fertile ground for terrorism recruiters. More than 22 men have left the state since 2007 to join al-Shabab in Somalia, and roughly a dozen people have left in recent years to join militants in Syria….
Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said he’s excited about the program’s progress and he’s trying to get additional funding, both federal and private. He pointed to a bill Obama signed into law in December that includes $50 million for efforts that combat terrorism as a possible source. Luger noted that $10 million of that appropriation is specifically for states’ efforts to prevent violent extremism, though it’s not yet known how much of that money will flow to Minnesota.
Mohamud Noor, executive director of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota, is among those who requested money. On any given day, a half-dozen or more community members are lined up outside Noor’s office, seeking help for legal troubles, jobs or for housing issues. This week, one mother came to him about a teenage son on the verge of getting kicked out of school. In those situations, Noor works with parents, schools and teens to stop bad situations from getting worse.
Noor said he is proposing “a community transformation” that will include education, mentoring and job training. While he knows the money available won’t cover all the community’s needs, he said he hopes it will lead to efforts that the community can sustain.
“The bottom line is, we are going to try to come up with a comprehensive program that addresses the youth and links them to the community, links them to their times, links them to their neighborhood,” he said. Any money would likely go toward hiring qualified mentors and counselors who can connect with youth, he said….
Ahmed Ismail, who coaches youth soccer, applied. His program, the West Bank Athletic Club, runs soccer programs, after-school programs and mentoring to keep youth busy and off the street. He currently has 90 young people, ages 5 to 18, playing soccer, but more than 200 are on a waiting list. Any grant money would go toward facilities, uniforms and staff, said Ismail, who volunteers his time as coach.
“I’m not playing cops and heroes,” he said. “I’m just doing it to save my community. … All I care about is to help those kids to achieve their goals, to be successful, to become a good citizen.”