By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
After a German teenager was pulled from the rubble in Mosul light was shed on the contribution of German volunteers to Islamic State. According to reports the teenager was a convert to Islam who somehow managed to fly to Turkey and then cross into Syria and Iraq during 2016, even via the closed Turkey border. The story is alarming and extraordinary, leading one to question how it is possible. People on Twitter claimed she was “just a child, brainwashed.” Do children often buy plane tickets and fly around the world and sneak across borders that have been ringed with concrete walls?
They don’t. But young adults do. At the end of the nine-month battle for Mosul, according to numerous reports, dozens of foreign fighters and volunteers for ISIS were discovered by the Iraqi army. These were the ISIS lovers and supporters from abroad who came to Syria and Iraq to rape and colonize the local people, like the colonizing, formerly imperialist countries they came from, they wanted the “tourism” aspect of genocide and ISIS but without the responsibility of actually fighting and dying for the organization. So while Arab ISIS members died, they hid and cowered, their tourist vacation to the caliphate, their colonizing, no longer so fun. “The 26 foreigners found in Mosul included two men, eight children and 16 women, the Iraqi officials said. Some of those arrested were from Chechnya, and the women were from Russia, Iran, Syria, France, Belgium and Germany,” notes Rudaw.
These were not all innocent people who just wandered into Mosul by mistake to hang out with ISIS. Some of the women, who are often viewed as victims by international media, “worked with ISIS in the police department.” European governments wouldn’t punish these ISIS members, many of them would be welcomed back. But Iraq has thought to charge some of them with terrorism.
It turns out that around 930 Germans are estimated to have joined ISIS, according to reports. It’s interesting that European countries like Germany gave birth to so many supporters of genocidal hatred in Iraq and Syria, and yet the countries don’t take responsibility. They educated and raise these members, they let them leave, and then when they come back they are not punished. They export hatred, intolerance and genocide support. If it was one or two ISIS members one could say that is just random. But it isn’t one or two. It is 1,000. Isn’t 1,000 neo-Nazis too many. If the same country allowed 1,000 Neo-Nazis to travel abroad to massacre and kill, wouldn’t we hold that country responsible. But European countries have easily wriggled out of any responsibility. Any attempt to ask why they played such a role in exporting jihadists in 2014-2016. Why they have mosques preaching hate, and media with hate speech and host websites that support extremism.
So how did 1,000 Germans come to join ISIS? Any questions about how? Any investigations? When people talk about “never again” and the Holocaust, has the lesson been learned if a country has 1,000 ISIS members who support a new genocide? Westerners tend to have a strange relationship with understanding ISIS. On the one hand they claim that Sunnis in Iraq were driven to join ISIS because of the policies of Iraq’s government which “marginalized” them. Then they claim that any Westerners of Islamists born in the West who joined ISIS were “brainwashed.” They claim that ISIS terror in Europe is designed to spread “disunity.”
But wait a sec. The 5,000 EU citizens who joined ISIS were NOT marginalized by Maliki in Iraq. They were mostly middle class, some were wealthy. Instead of being marginal, they had educations and they choose genocide. They went to Iraq and Syria to marginalize others, not because they were marginalized, they went to enslave and harm the poor indigenous people. Pretending that the 930 Germans who joined ISIS were “driven to join” or “brainwashed” is like pretending that slave traders of the 18th century were “driven” to enslave people and “brainwashed” as opposed to seeing them as perpetrators. Then the claim that the terror attacks are about harming “unity” ignores the fact that unity was already harmed when Europe did not prevent 5,000 people from going to Iraq and Syria, it isn’t terror that spreads disunity, but allowing extremism and intolerance to grow that begets terror. ISIS came back to Europe after Europe allowed extremism to be exported. But like ISIS, the western commentators always want to see western ISIS supporters as victims, just “children” they say. They don’t see the children who were victims of ISIS, the children of Iraq and Syria. They don’t care about the children who lost fathers fighting ISIS, who lost brothers and sisters to ISIS slavery, who lost cousins to terror in Baghdad. You will never see a western journalist shed all the tears and words over those thousands of dead who were murdered by ISIS. But one western member of ISIS pulled from the rubble and you will see western journalists run to defend and excuse their actions.
So were the blond converts to ISIS “marginalized”? Were they “driven to join”? Or maybe they joined ISIS just like their grandparents joined the Nazi party? Maybe they are part of a tradition of supremacy and colonialism and genocide that sees indigenous people as sub-human and ISIS provided them a new type of supremacism? Marginalization didn’t lead people to join ISIS, supremacism did.