As many as 50 children from the UK are said to be among the ‘future mujahideen’ forced to hold up decapitated heads and carry out brutal executions
Isis is indoctrinating children from birth through an extremism-based education similar to that taught by the Nazi regime in a bid to create a generation “more lethal than themselves”, a study has revealed.
The report, Children of Islamic State, outlines how indoctrination by Isis through schools and training camps – which sees children encouraged to watch public executions, hold up decapitated heads and carry out killings – has been influenced by elements from Nazi Germany.
“Islamic State’s approach to education reflects elements of Nazi Germany in the way that children and pedagogy are perceived,” states the report.
“Elements from Nazi Germany can be glimpsed in the systematic indoctrination of children through schools and training camps in IS. The concepts used by the Nazis are perfectly applicable to the Islamic State.
According to Quilliam, the London counter-extremism thinktank that produced the report, Isis has been quick to seize control of the education system in Syria and Iraq in a bid to prepare a new, stronger second-generation mujahedeen who are conditioned to extreme values from birth.
In extracts seen by the Guardian, the authors state: “The organisation focuses a large number of its efforts on indoctrinating children through an extremism-based education curriculum, and fostering them to become future terrorists.
“The current generation of fighters sees these children as better and more lethal fighters than themselves, because rather than being converted into radical ideologies they have been indoctrinated into these extreme values from birth, or a very young age.”
The study, compiled through a study of propaganda featuring children and information from trusted sources within the so-called Islamic State, has been endorsed by the United Nations and is due to be published on Wednesday in Parliament.
“The area of most concern is that Islamic State is preparing its army by indoctrinating young children in its schools and normalising them to violence through witnessing public executions, watching Islamic State videos in media centres and giving children toy weapons to play with,” the authors add.
Children have also been used extensively in Isis propaganda. The study reveals that between 1 August last year and 9 February this year there were a total of 254 events or statements featuring images of children, while 12 child killers have featured in propaganda videos in the past six months.
The report adds that Isis appears to have studied the Nazi regime, which created the Hitler Youth to indoctrinate children. Unconfirmed reports suggest there is an Isis youth wing called Fityan al-Islam, meaning boys of Islam.
An estimated six million men, women and children are said to be living within its self-styled Isis caliphate, of which an estimated 30,000 are foreign recruits, including as many as 50 children from the UK.
The report’s authors recommend the creation of a commission to protect future generations from radical violence and to help monitor and reintegrate children within the EU who are at risk.
A spokesperson for Romeo Dallaire Solders Initiative, which co-wrote the report, said: “Life under Isis is one of the gravest situations for children on Earth.
“It is hoped that this report will provide a critical perspective on the plight of these children.”