Online supporters of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group are distributing photos showing radicalized children. In one disturbing photo, a toddler beheads a doll that looks like an American child.
The first photo shows a masked toddler in front of an IS flag, holding a doll resembling a stereotypical white, blonde American child. The doll is in an orange jumpsuit, a reference to terrorist prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay. Al-Qaeda and IS often dress hostages in the jumpsuit to demonstrate moral equivalence, with the beheading of American journalist James Foley being the latest example.
The second photo shows the severed head of the doll, sprinkled with blood around the neck, laid, together with the knife, on top of the body on the floor.
IS supporters redistributed the photos widely and directed it to an American audience using English-language hashtags on Twitter.
For example, one hashtag that was used was #throwbackthursday, a weekly tradition where social media users post photos of themselves when they were younger. By using this hashtag, the IS supporters exposed Americans who were happily reminiscing to the horrifying photo.
Teaching Islamic extremism and hatred to toddlers should be considered child abuse. It is an abuse of the indoctrinated child, as well as the other children that he threatens.
The U.S. is leaning towards carrying out airstrikes in Syria on the Islamic State leadership, but a radicalized child has a life of jihad ahead of him. Islamist terrorists can be killed, but they are intent on leaving behind a generation that will follow in their footsteps.