Thursday, October 15, 2015

From Mosul, the Horror of the Islamic State

Mosul Eye is a Facebook page where the unidentified author chronicles life under the Islamic State. IS spokesmen have repeatedly threatened the author with death, one promising to kill him or her in a way "that has so far been unknown to humanity." From an interview with the author:
How do you describe the feelings of Mosul inhabitants today?

Many of them are creating their own worlds to live in, a world in the street different from that in their homes. They cannot trust anybody, in some cases not even their family members. There is a state of fear, just like in the times of Saddam Hussein. People look at ISIS as a cruel, terrifying entity imposing harsh rules, but it provides services that people need. They try to reconcile these two things. But I am afraid that people will not be able to continue to do this for long, and that they will surrender within five months to totalitarian governance under ISIS.

How has life in the city changed?

Everything has changed. Gender segregation is imposed everywhere; women are forced to veil their faces, and men must wear long beards. There is a wave of radicalization among young children, which parents are unable to do anything against. Young people are learning a radical ideology even more extremist than that of the current example. Still amid this rise of radicalism, there is a hidden countervailing rise in atheism. People have started to ask questions like “Is God happy with all this killing?” or “Is Islam a problem?” Some have concluded that atheism is the only way to liberate the city. . . .

What are the possible solutions, in your opinion? 

It is difficult, and it is getting more difficult as time passes. Solutions that were possible yesterday are not available today. The problems we will face in the period following the end of ISIS might be even more difficult. We have a hidden army now, those teenagers with such a radical vision that it is beyond imagining. To end ISIS, we need to eradicate it everywhere, in Iraq, Syria, and everywhere.

How do you see the future?

It is not difficult to predict the future anymore; the world is on the cusp of a big change, and a shift in humanity’s principles. In the near future, we will witness continuous wars between the various social groups in the Middle East. Extremism will spread more easily than at any time previously. Our children have a dark future waiting for them. Children have become the most essential source for extremism’s growth in the region. Today, ISIS has youth volunteers who have received strict religious and military training that will transform them into monsters in the future. I cannot watch this world collapsing. The most depressing thing is our seeing everything clear and obvious in front of us. I wish I could have been able to track the way humanity moved from savagery into civilization, but unfortunately, I am tracking now its move from civilization into savagery.
Grim. The vision of a generation of children radicalized by the schools of the Islamic State is particularly troubling.


G. Verloren said...

There is perhaps some small, unworthy comfort in the notion that systems which rely on the radical indoctrination of children seldom last more than a generation or two. In the long run, at least, they will not survive.

...but that of course does nothing for us in the short term...

leif said...

if you remove 'radical' from your response (and i do agree with it as you wrote it, btw), it describes religion in general, political movements, militarism and so on, and extends the 'generation or two' to indefinite lengths. as you wrote, it includes nazism and that thankfully was mostly extinguished. what is it about extremism that tends to peter out over time? we know that too powerful an extremist regime tends to generate a strong response from moderates to quell it, but it's interesting to consider why extremism poops out eventually.