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The three young girls who have purportedly fled to Syria

(190 Posts)
TerriBull Mon 23-Feb-15 10:10:02

Apropos of a discussion on the Matthew Wright show this morning on the subject of the three young girls from London who may have gone to join the Jihadis in Syria, it was suggested that the grooming they received on social medias is akin to child abuse. Whether in fact that is the case, I like, one of the male panelists, find it very hard to understand how three young girls who follow this route would not be revolted by the brutality via the films ISIS have posted on line and which have formed part of their "grooming". Whilst I accept we are all a product of our time and social media was not around when we were growing up, it seems incomprehensible and alarming to me that at the tender age of 15 and 16 these girls have been influenced by such brutality, however disenchanted they are with western society.

loopylou Mon 23-Feb-15 11:39:11

The BBC coverage earlier included talking to two people who said the girls had been questioned by professionals about their radicalisation so warning bells must have been ringing. I fail completely to comprehend how they were allowed through passport control etc without being questioned about their destination, particularly in the light of being so young, unaccompanied and female.

Soutra Mon 23-Feb-15 11:50:10

I wondered if I had missed something, too, 3 teenagers, 2 of whom under 16, flying to a well-known "gateway" to Syria. What were they thinking of? No rephrase that, where was passport control at the time?

gillybob Mon 23-Feb-15 11:55:02

I only hope that the life they think they are moving to, lives up to their expectations. I'm sorry but at 15-16 they know what they are doing. They must have seen the headlines and the hideous videos of beheadings, burnings etc. which mustn't bother them. I'm sorry if my opinion seems cruel or harsh but if this is the life they choose then perhaps it is best that they stay in Syria. I'm not sure I buy into the "innocence" that the weeping families would have us believe.

KatyK Mon 23-Feb-15 12:01:27

I agree gilly

loopylou Mon 23-Feb-15 12:02:37

The reporter was also asking about the role of Muslim mothers in the lives of young people -I had the distinct impression that currently some mothers have little or no say/input, with households male-dominated and led, so maybe there isn't more balanced/supportive environment at home hence some youngsters getting radicalised.
Terribly sad to think that girls like these three can even begin to think that a wonderful life awaits them with ISIS; it does make you wonder what they are told/not told at home etc that influences them so comprehensively.

loopylou Mon 23-Feb-15 12:05:06

I agree too Gillybob, someone must have sowed the seeds in their brains....

Anya Mon 23-Feb-15 12:23:44

One of the father being interviewed on TV said they had never discussed this with his daughter as she knew better than to talk about 'these people' in his house!

Talk about burying your head in the sand.

Does this mean the father has banned talk of ISIL or that woman are not allowed to discuss such things?

Anya Mon 23-Feb-15 12:25:44

Gilly another girl in their class did the same thing in December. They must have talked to her, and that woman from Glasgow they have been in touch with.

soontobe Mon 23-Feb-15 12:33:11

Subjects being taboo in a household is so not the way to go.
Do families not realise that there is so much other information about for the younger generation to latch on to?

soontobe Mon 23-Feb-15 12:33:53

I very much agree in age appropriateness, but these girls are 15 and 16.

soontobe Mon 23-Feb-15 12:36:44

As regards passport control, I always thought that young people, so long as theri passports and other documents were in order, can get through at any age.
Even children as young as four travel on their own with some sort of airline chaperone.

annodomini Mon 23-Feb-15 12:39:55

I have recently read two articles about the dreadful lives led by women in IS. They have to wear double layers of black robes and cover up every inch of bare flesh - including wearing gloves. They are now allowed out without a male and if the woman is not dressed according to a strict code, the male is punished. Pregnant women who turn up at hospital to give birth, are turned away if they come without a man. Nurses and female doctors must also conform to the dress code for women. These poor girls have all this to look forward to.

grannyactivist Mon 23-Feb-15 12:40:03

It seems that these young girls (children) are possibly academically clever, but socially naive. At the age of 15/16 teenage girls are hugely influenced by their peers and in a group will often do things that as individuals they would never consider. They have probably been told lies and half truths from someone that they know and have trusted in the past and believe that they are off to do some heroic deed. How many times have unworldly girls got pregnant after their first time? Or boys who are known to be anti-drug die after taking drugs for the first time? Teenagers are notoriously susceptible both to peer pressure and to a 'group mentality' and I suspect this is what has happened here. Silly, naive, unworldly - these girls are possibly all of these things, but they are still children and their parents must be beside themselves with grief. I feel sorry for them all. sad

JessM Mon 23-Feb-15 12:40:23

Do they have "passport control" on the way out. I thought that security just checked that passport matched up with boarding card.
In other (arguably better organised) countries such as NZ, AUS, you fill in leaving cards as well as arrival cards and your documents are checked by a government official and not just by airline/airport staff.

Mishap Mon 23-Feb-15 12:44:24

This is going to sound harsh, but I was really not sure about the families' grief - maybe it is a cultural thing, but somehow it did not ring true. I only heard them briefly, so maybe it is wrong to judge. It is hard to imagine that the subject was not discussed at home at all, and that there were not opportunities to set them on the right path, especially after a girl from the same school had done the same thing.

The extent of the brainwashing must be extraordinary for the girls to have seen these atrocities and to want to be identified with them, as others have said. It all beggars belief.

loopylou Mon 23-Feb-15 12:45:18

I suspect Anya that women are not allowed to discuss such things.
A colleague working with Muslim women staying in a womens refuge says that few of them would ever dream of having an opinion let alone discuss politics or religion. She struggles sometimes to even find out their basic medical history and many of these women are so suppressed that they suffer severe reprisals from husband/family /religious leaders if they express anything other than what their husbands and families want to hear.
If mothers can't actively contribute and direct their daughters' lives, then perhaps this is the result.
Certainly I'm not taken in by the fathers' pleas......

Anya Mon 23-Feb-15 12:50:38

Mishap - I thought that too. The sister of one, in particular, her tears didn't seem real. But then perhaps it is a cultural thing.

Silly little girls.

grannyactivist Mon 23-Feb-15 13:07:17

There really is a huge cultural difference in the way muslim children (of either gender) may be brought up compared to western children. My two foster sons were completely naive in so many ways and never, never had what we would describe as normal conversations with their father. In fact there was one evening here when their father was visiting when the eldest son shared his thoughts about something and he said that he had never had a conversation like that with his father before. Expressions of emotion may also look and sound very different too, so it's really hard to judge by our western standards.

TerriBull Mon 23-Feb-15 13:09:27

I too find it incomprehensible that they were allowed to pass through the airport unchallenged, given their ages and the fact that they were flying to Turkey unaccompanied. I have absolutely no faith that any procedures have been implemented to apprehend susceptible young people whilst they are going through the checking in, security points and passport control. Unbelievable!

I accept that their grooming was undoubtedly covert and the parents had no knowledge, teenagers per se aren't always honest and open with their parents about what they get up to. The girls are reputedly Grade A students, although I appreciate common sense and brains don't go hand in hand, but I wonder what as females they would expect to get out of a life where women are expected to exist as drudges and baby making facilitators only. ISIS education plans for girls is to be very limited.

It also alarms me that they can be so desensitised to the sufferings that ISIS inflict on their fellow human beings. Allegedly some of the foreign Jihadi women, who have risen to a position of authority, have been very cruel to captive women and children such as the Yazids as well as inflicting all manner of harsh punishments on the indigenous women of Syria who don't toe the official line. Not to mention the horrific barbarism carried out by their male counterparts which some of the newly arrived foreign females in Syria seem to delight in. I can't begin to understand their warped mindset.

JessM Mon 23-Feb-15 13:13:20

Kids from all kinds of homes sometimes do stupid things. At that age they have not developed an ability to work out what is risky and what is not.
I find your post odd Mishap - you seem to be suggesting that British Asian people do not love their children. hmm

Elegran Mon 23-Feb-15 13:18:19

It reminds me just a little of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" where the teacher's fervour for the Civil War in Spain causes the most impressionable of her class to run away to join in and be killed.

Mishap Mon 23-Feb-15 13:21:48

Heavens no JessM - I was not suggesting that at all!

FarNorth Mon 23-Feb-15 13:22:26

The Bible, and Christian history, has many examples of killing those who hold a different view.
It's not hard to imagine people who believe that they are the 'chosen ones' of God and that they are being 'told by God' to slaughter those who are not in agreement with them.
For young people who have led a very limited life, not allowed to take a real part in the Western communities they inhabit, ISIS could seem like a worthwhile cause to devote themselves to.

Iam64 Mon 23-Feb-15 13:33:04

According to the news this morning, one of the 15 year olds took her 17 year old sister's passport. I imagine the fact the younger girls were traveling with a 17 year old allowed them to get through passport control.

Watching the families being interviewed, I felt these girls were being talked about as though they were much younger than their chronological age. "You are our baby" repeated by one of the older sisters, along with family members holding teddy bears or in one case the pyjamas of the missing 15 year old. Most 15 year old girls aren't 100% honest with their parents, believing their parents won't accept they're growing up. Well, these 3 have struck out for what they (wrongly) believe is some kind of freedom. This wasn't planned overnight was it.

I share the bewilderment expressed by other posters about how any 15 year old girl can see beheadings, the rape of women and children and the advice to Isis fighters that they can take a bride from age 11/14 but also from age 7 upwards if the girl is considered ready. How can any of this seem either exciting or right.