An Education In Jihad
At Jihadi High School, your teachers praise the glories of jihad and recall Afghanistan’s long history of resistance to foreign occupiers.
“I send my kid to get an Islamic education, and Hekmatyar gives me someone who wants to be a jihadi or a suicide bomber,” one puzzled parent reports.
The school he is referring to in the Shamshatoo refugee camp in Afghanistan is pumping out recruits for jihad. The students learn nothing about reading, writing and arithmetic and everything there is to know about the best way to murder an Infidel (whether that means NATO troops, Afghan security forces or just plain old uppity Afghan heathens who don't follow Taliban standards of piousness).
The camp and the school is wholly owned by the warlord fiefdom of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar -- otherwise known as the "Butcher of Kabul", and not because he has a talent for serving up fine roast beef. He is perhaps the most successful -- well, brutal -- brigand in Afghanistan, with ties to Pakistan's nefarious ISI, known for attacking aid convoys, coalition forces and his fellow muhajeddin with equal ferocity, whenever it suits him.
Another suffering parent has watched his child transform into yet another zombie for jihad. The Taliban's recruiting of children as cannon fodder in the war against the Afghan state is reprehensible.
These kinds of schools, widespread through Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, take advantage of two endemic circumstances: hard-scrabble poverty and a perception that an "Islamic education" may be better than what students receive in ordinary schools, and certainly better than no education at all.
As we've seen over these last decades, parents get what they pay for.
A best case scenario is a graduate with a deep understanding of the Koran who is completely unqualified for just about any professional job that might pay a living wage. This makes him a candidate for begging for change on the corner or perhaps joining up with the Taliban. In the worst case scenario, the student goes off to fight coalition troops long before he even graduates and spends his last seconds on the wrong end of an M-16.
We've often heard that education is the key to turning Afghanistan around. It is. But half a world away, we've been hearing about these madrassas turning out terrorists, thugs and bums for decades. Surely, parents who live just around the block from these "institutions" can figure out what's in store before their kids are made into monsters. They can't all be dupes. They know what happens.
Yes, the Taliban are evil for setting up these schools as jihadist recruiting centres. And of course, the Afghan government is at fault for allowing this parallel system to exist, ceding sovereignty to maniacs. But at what point can we call the parents to account and say "you enrolled your kid in a school that churns out jihadi cannon fodder every single month. This insanity has been happening since before the Taliban were in charge in Kabul. What did you think was going to happen?"
The father mentioned earlier was himself a teacher. He had to know this much: you don't become an engineer without learning math. You don't become a professor without reading literature (other than the Koran). And if you want to have a future in this world, you don't spend the majority of your time learning about the best way to die to get into Paradise.
Can Afghanistan be saved? The question is very much tied to whether parents will continue to willingly send their children to get an education in jihad.
Jonathon Narvey is the Editor of The Propagandist