WHATS IN THIS BLOG:
• Interview with Nicolas Henin, prisoner of ISIS for 10 months.
• What startling insights he gained during this time.
• A brief chat he had with Kayla Mueller who was later murdered by ISIS.
• A different take on how many Syrian refugees the USA should allow in.
French journalist and author of Jihad Academy: The Rise of Islamic State spent ten months as an ISIS hostage in Syria. His special insights are startling, as revealed in an interview on 1 January 2016 by Democracy Now [DN], excerpted below (with minor paraphrasing by me). Henin has definitely earned the right to speak out calmly and clearly on this subject.
JAMES FOLEY BEHEADING:
• US journalist James Foley was beheaded in August of 2014, four months after Hénin was released. “We filled ourselves with hope, with desperate hope, during these months of captivity. We had to hope, because if you stop hoping, then you have no reason to survive.”
KAYLA MUELLER MURDERED:
• “We were taken to speak with Kayla Mueller for five minutes. They brought us to her cell. At that time, I don’t believe that she had been mishandled yet. Apparently she had been afterwards. [DN: Raped and abused?] Maybe. She spent several months in isolation, and she — she was impressive. She had a beautiful inner strength. Jihadi John believed that she converted to Islam. But she said, ‘Oh, I just want to correct you: I did not convert.’ And, I mean, no one would dare to contradict Jihadi John, but she did.”
REFUGEE INFLUX AFFECTING POLITICS OF WESTERN COUNTRIES:
• “This huge flow of refugees to Europe is a major argument being used by populist political parties across Europe. But that’s a trap, because actually this refugee crisis is a major blow to the ISIS and to its propaganda.
[DN: why?] First, ISIS says Western society is not suitable for a Muslim to live in. A Muslim should emigrate to a Muslim land, and preferably to the caliphate in Syria, because this caliphate that they are establishing is the dreamland for all Muslims. The other aspect, the other key point of ISIS propaganda, is based on the fact that Westerners marginalize Muslim, causing racism and hatred.
However, hundreds of thousands of Muslims are fleeing this dreamland caliphate of Syria. And not only that, they leave this ISIS dreamland to immigrate to lands of unbelievers. And on top of that, they are welcomed with open arms by Western societies, and by many people in Europe who say, ‘Well, you are our brothers, and we will protect you.’”
• “So welcoming refugees is not a terror threat to us, to our western countries. It’s like a vaccine to protect us from terrorism, because the more interactions we have between societies, between communities, the less tension there will be.
What ISIS want is large unrest in our western countries, and a large-scale war in the Middle East.
So we have to kill their narrative and actually welcome the refugees. If you kill their narrative, it’s more effective than if you drop bombs and kill their fighters.”
• [DN]: Marine Le Pen, the far-right National Front party here in France, has just surged in the election yesterday. “Yes, because Marine Le Pen, just like all of the populist leaders across Europe, played on the fear of the people following this refugee crisis. They pretend that this influx of refugees threatens our identity, and jeopardizes our security. But this is totally stupid.”
REFUGEE NUMBERS IN FRANCE VERSUS SWEDEN:
• “In France, we will welcome this year between 20,000 to 26,000 refugees. We are a country of almost 70 million inhabitants. I was in Sweden last week where they have only 9 million inhabitants. But they will welcome 190,000 refugees this year alone. They are not afraid for their identity. They are not afraid for their security. But they are of course concerned with the accommodation of all these people and other logistical and practical issues.”
WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE BECOME JIHADIS?
• “In captivity, I overheard a discussion between French-speaking jihadis. Islamophobia was one of the main reasons they decided to join ISIS, because many of the people who go there and join ISIS do so in an attempt to restore Muslim pride. However most of the jihadis I know, either that I met during my time in captivity or that I followed on the social media or exchanged with on the social media afterwards, are just “new” Muslims. A good Muslim will not become a jihadi. I did not meet any jihadi who had a religious childhood. So religion is like a vaccine to prevent Muslims from joining ISIS.”
• [DN]: What is your message to the Republican presidential candidates in the US, Donald Trump and others, who are saying the refugee flow must be cut off?]
“Well, they are playing into the hands of ISIS. Because welcoming refugees is like a vaccine against terrorism.”
• [DN]: What would you say to young Europeans who want to join, who want to become jihadists?
“ISIS will recruit you, telling you jihad is cool, because yes it seems cool if you have no life, no girlfriend, no job, no money, nothing in your home country. But ISIS promises you what…. adventure, engagement, a girl, a car, a weapon, power, money. So they all talk like jihad is cool. However my answer is: ISIS is a scam, because ISIS does not really fight Assad, does not protect the Muslims in Syria, but instead kills lots of Muslims in Syria.
So, for those who want to join ISIS, I tell them, “I understand the reason for your rage because, yes, there are many reasons to be unhappy about your life in the West, or the situation in Syria, or the civilians being massacred in huge numbers. But ISIS will just make this crisis bigger.”
To read a blog with more background on the refugee crisis, click on this link (then minimize that blog to return to this blog).
The Gray Nomad
Probing the practice of Christian believers……
And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. [Book of Revelation, chapter 6].