The words of the “adhan” or the Muslim call to prayer are first words a newborn Muslim baby hears. His or her father whispers into the child’s right ear, “God is great, there is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Come to prayer.” This is the crux is Islam, acknowledging Allah and Muhammad as the perfect example.
By the time a Muslim reaches the age of 50, he has heard this repeated nearly 90,000 times. That is roughly 1,800 times per year every year since the day he was born.
In some nations, the call to prayer is not the only tenet of Islam that children learn at an early age. A 2011, report regarding school textbooks in the Middle East revealed the Egyptian school children are taught Christians and Jews are infidels. And for many years textbooks in Palestinian schools have rejected Israel’s right to exist, and have portrayed a Middle East in maps and through text without the nation of Israel on them. For instance, the following is from a 12th grade Palestinian textbook: “Palestine’s war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, their lands and their houses, and established the State of Israel.”
Palestinian Media Watch released a video of a young girl reciting a poem about Jerusalem on Palestinian Authority TV that calls Jews the most evil among creations, barbaric monkeys and wretched pigs. It ends with the lines:
As long as my heart is my Qur’an and my city
As long as I have my arm and my stones
As long as I am free and do not barter my cause
I will not fear your throngs
I will not fear the rifle.
In April of 2013, The Guardian reported approximately 37,000 teenagers between the ages of 15 to 17 were receiving weekly military training classes in the Palestinian area of Gaza. The boys learn about assault rifles and other weapons, first aid and firefighting. During school breaks, voluntary camps are offered where students can learn how to handle guns and explosives. The armed wing of Hamas, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigades assists in the training. They deny the use of real weapons, however a video that was filmed at a school near Gaza City shows students carrying assault rifles and one boy firing an artillery shell at a replica of an Israeli watchtower, complete with an Israeli flag. About 5,000 boys have participated since the program began in September 2012, and the Palestinian government is considering adapting the course for teenaged girls next year.
Another video, filmed in Deir ez-Zor, Syria was posted to the Internet in June which shows children training at an Al-Qaeda. Save the Children estimated that two million children were innocent victims of the war in Syria. Many children struggled to find enough food to eat, girls were being forced into early marriages to protect them from the threat of sexual violence, and armed groups were recruiting other children. Children as young as eight have been used as human shields in the fighting.
The Taliban in Afghanistan recruits orphans to act as decoys and to be suicide bombers against western forces in Afghanistan. According to Britain’s Channel 4, Taliban fighters promised an eight-year-old orphan boy named Neaz a handful of coins worth 91 cents to go with them. They gave him sweets and taught him to use a gun and build IEDs. After gaining the child’s trust they tried to convince him to use a suicide vest and blow himself up at a checkpoint. After questioning how he could spend the coins he was promised if he blew himself up, he eventually escaped and turned himself into police. He now lives in an orphanage.
In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them…” Pray for the children of Islam who have become orphans because of war in their nation. Ask God to watch out for them, enabling them to be cared for by people who will not use them as weapons or decoys.
Many Muslim children are taught to hate non-Muslims from the time they are small children. Pray that God will break through the years of indoctrination with His love and reveal His heart for all people.
Pray the Spirit of Truth will be revealed to these children, causing the stronghold of deception to be broken over the minds of Muslim children and that they will be introduced to salvation through Jesus Christ.