November 11, 2019
These MOSLEMS aren’t a problem unless they’re allowed into our countries.
The boy can’t have been more than 10 years old. Shaved head, piercing brown eyes and goofy teeth.
Our moment with him was fleeting but chilling and deeply sad.
In Arabic, he first quoted a verse from the Koran: “God says, ‘Turn to Allah with sincere repentance in the hope that your Lord will remove you from your ills’.”
He was asking us to repent our sins.
And then, calmly, he said: “We’re going to kill you by slaughtering you. We will slaughter you.”
As he finished, he looked straight into the lens of our camera.
I have watched the footage back now over and over. Does he know what he is saying? Does he believe it? Has he seen others being slaughtered? How do you heal a young mind so damaged?
Around him, were dozens of other little boys and girls; all ages, all nationalities, filthy and playing in the dust.
And with them, the only guides they have in their lives; the black-clad women of the Islamic State.
Guarded by a small contingent of Kurdish men and women, who do their best, this vast camp is a holding centre for the women and the children who emerged from the IS “caliphate” when it fell in March.
The adult male IS members who survived are all in several prisons, also not adequately secure, not far away.
Al Hol was supposed to be temporary and yet it endures. It is squalid and insecure and there is literally no plan for what to do with the 70,000 people who are here.
To go in, we’re told to take all precautions. We will not be welcome. We wear body armour and the camp guards with us carry guns.
Stabbings are regular and there have been several murders.
The camp’s southern quarter, the annex as it’s known, is where the foreigners are held; those who are not Syrian or Iraqi.
“Ten thousand in here,” the guard tells me. “About that.”
They don’t know for sure because no accurate lists exist.
The makeshift market area is the only place staff are comfortable taking us in this part of the camp.
It is a chance for a few snatched conversations.
Al Hol is a deeply unsettling place. Radicalised mothers are with children who’ve seen no other life.
Waves are met with nothing. Those natural instincts of a child – they are not here.
Clad head-to-toe in their black niqabs, the IS wives claim to represent the purest form of Islam.
But the so-called Islamic State they joined was the opposite. A warped evil cult whose crimes and terror attacks, globally, are unrivalled.
Is that supposed to be the Islam version of “that wasn’t real socialism”?
“Do you still believe in the ideology of Daesh?” I ask another woman.
“Yes of course. Why [should] we change? They treat us just like animals. Just like dogs,” she says, referring to her surroundings in the camp.
“You treated others like animals. You cut people’s heads off, you burnt people alive. Is this not true?” I reply.
“It’s says it in the Koran,” she tells me.
“Did you see the barbaric acts that were being carried out?” I asked another woman.
“Yes – I saw barbaric acts.”
“A bit of everything. What you saw on the TV. We saw it in real life. Beheadings. Yes. A bit of everything.”
Because of the full-body niqab they wear, it’s impossible to read the faces of any of the women.
Was she ashamed to say this or proud? I don’t know.
There is no school. Aid agencies struggle to operate because of the security. Healthcare is at its most basic.
The camp authorities say further radicalisation is taking place all the time.
The place is the perfect incubator for the reformation of IS. Essentially the camp already represents a new mini caliphate.
They can think whatever they want to think and it wouldn’t be a problem as long as they don’t enter our countries.
Why can’t we just have a “no Islam allowed” rule in our countries and just forget about this whole set of problems altogether?
We did find one woman who appeared to regret her decision to join IS.
Sonia Khadira, from Italy, told us she came to Syria when she was just 17.
Yeah, no. No one called “Khadira” is really “from Italy” no matter what some random paper says.
“Do you understand why the Italian government would think you were a danger?” I asked her.
“Yes I know. I know. Because I come in Daesh. I stay in Daesh for three years.”
“So you don’t believe in the ideology of Daesh anymore?” I inquired.
It didn’t sound very convincing. There must surely be some, perhaps lots, who are desperate and genuinely repentant. But who’s to know?
How many are victims? How many are perpetrators? The point is that in here, no one is making the judgement.
With a few exceptions – Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands among them – countries are unwilling to bring their citizens home.
What a surprise! Sweden is always at the vanguard of suicidal behaviors.
The whole Islam situation could be swiftly dealt with by just keeping MOSLEMS out of white countries. Why bother trying to figure out which MOSLEM is a Jihadist and which one isn’t?
What are the allegedly non-Jihadist MOSLEMS bringing to the table that is worth the risk?
Why should we be inhabiting the same spaces as them?
We have our countries. They have theirs.
Why not keep it that way?