Turkish Gov’t Children’s Magazine Promotes Martyrdom

Turkish Gov’t Children’s Magazine Promot, Clarion Project, March 30, 2016

Islamic-State-Afghan-School-IP_1Illustrative Photo: An Islamic State school for children in Afghanistan. (Video screenshot)

A cartoon published by the Turkish Ministry of Religious Affairs shows a father extolling the virtues of Islamic martyrdom to his son.

The issue of the children’s magazine is meant to promote dialogue between parents and children. In the cartoon, a father asks his son, “Do you want to be a martyr?” The son replies, “Of course I want to be a martyr. Who doesn’t want to go to heaven?”

The son then explains that “heaven is happy with martyrs” and that much praise is heaped upon the martyr making him wish that he could have been martyred 10 times.  The cartoon ends with the son saying, “I wish I could be killed as martyr.”

According to the Turkish news outlet Cumhuriyet, the magazine has met harsh criticism. Psychologist and Professor Dr. Serdar Degirmencioglu, a critic of Turkey’s Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented, “Religiosity has, in recent years, turned into a literal political tool. They do not even hide it. The Ministry of Religion was provided more money than several other ministries combined and continues intensive work for religious children.”

He added, “They want to use the drawings to transfer the message of martyrdom to children because they think it will be more attractive. ‘Martyrs suffer,’ ‘sins forgiven’ it says. So it’s a painless death and a promise of heaven.”

Degirmencioglu noted the similarity between this worldview and the Islamic State remarking, “Turkey is overwhelmed with the pain of these massacres and with those pursuing the mentality of religiosity. All this has led to the death of people, an exact same mentality, that blinds people to the horrors of what the Religious Affairs Ministry is trying to spread to children in Turkey.”

“The children will grow up and they will run toward death when those in power tell them to,” he said.

Explore posts in the same categories: Islam and child soldiers, Islamic indoctrination, Islamic State, Turkey

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