My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

How Hamas Indoctrinates Its Youth....

It's just child abuse...

As part of its long-term recruitment policy, in addition to its children's show on Al Aqsa, Hamas is sending tens of thousands of poor Gazan children to camp this summer where they can enjoy sun, surf, and paramilitary training.

"Life is so tough here we say our children are born men, but they're still just kids,'' says Mohammed, who runs the Abu Musab Hamas camp in central Gaza and asked that his full name not be used. As he speaks, rows of painfully polite 10-year-olds in green Hamas hats file off the beach at the end of the day. "They need entertainment and we give it to them, with a single goal: To get their attention so they develop good Islamic manners, bond their egos to the group, and integrate them into the right way of life."

The group sponsors additional education for top students, much of which is focused on memorizing the Koran. But Hamas isn't neglecting parents, either. The Islamic Group, Hamas's main charity in the territory, has built dozens of homes in recent months for Gazans whose houses were destroyed by Israeli airstrikes. It recently held a mass wedding for about 50 policemen loyal to the movement, covering all costs and giving them a $500 head start on their new lives as married men.

To be sure, Fatah runs camps of its own for kids, but not on the scale of Hamas's outreach effort or with the same unity of purpose.

Though Mohammed mentions soccer, public safety lessons, and basic Muslim teaching, he fails to mention that many of the Gaza camps also include a paramilitary element. A Hamas official says that such training is reserved for boys over 16, but a photographer who recently visited a camp in central Gaza and others say much younger boys also take part in paramilitary exercises.

In one Gaza City camp, boys practiced field drills with wooden pistols and crawled under barbed wire while being harangued by an adult drill instructor. Teenage boys undergo a tougher regimen that includes hand-to-hand combat and exhausting exercise. Boys that break discipline are sometimes beaten with sticks, said the photographer.


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