...which is a link to a CNN report on a warning that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security sent out to law enforcement agencies throughout the United States regarding the growing number of boys and girls seeking to join ISIS. Apparently many cases are already being tracked by law enforcement officials of young Americans, some as young as 15, communicating with ISIS recruiters over social media.
According to the report the motivation for boys is the thrill of being a foreign fighter and for girls, who tend to be younger than the boys, it's the desire to be a jihadi bride.
So apparently there are so many lost, alienated, young would-be terrorists out there cruising the internet that the activity has risen to the status of a trend.
This pursuit of youthful self-destruction is fed by visually slick videos and enticing electronic messages that lead boys to mistake brutality for heroism and girls to mistake ugliness for beauty.
But thankfully, there other girls and boys out there, wonderful young people who clearly do understand the distinction; and a few weeks ago a group of them chose to carry out an act of true heroism and beauty.
A group of eight young Norwegian Muslims led by a 17-year-old girl named Hajrad Arshad came up with an idea.
In response to a recent rash of Islamic terrorist attacks around Europe including the Charlie Hebdo attack and an attack outside a Copenhagen synagogue, these youngsters decided to organize a Ring of Peace around the Oslo synagogue.
The human ring would be a symbolic protection of the synagogue as a repudiation of jihadi violence and extremism and a plea for peace, friendship solidarity between Muslims and Jews. According to Ms. Arshad the group also wanted to take a step towards extinguishing "the prejudice people have against Jews and against Muslims."
And so the group approached Ervin Kohn, leader of the Jewish community in Oslo. The idea was welcomed by local Jewish leaders and the plan was Ok'd so long as at least 30 participants showed up.
Mr. Kohn told NRK, Norways' state broadcaster, "(If) it only comes to 30, it won't be good, it may seem counter-productive, But if you fill Bergstien (the street where the synagogue is located), it will be very good."
And so, in hopes of attracting at least 30 people, Hajrad posted the following message on Facebook:
"Islam is to protect our brothers and sisters, regardless of which religion they belong to. Islam is to rise above hate and never sink at the same level as the haters. Islam is to defend each other. Muslims want to show that we deeply deplore all types of Jews hate, and that we are there to support them. We will therefore create a human ring around the synagogue on Saturday 21 February. Encourage everyone to come! "
Over 1,000 Muslim showed up.
They stood hand in hand with Jews, Christians, and others chanting, "No to anti-semitism, no to Islamophobia."
As one young Muslim participant told reporters, "If someone wants to attack the synagogue, they need to step over us first."
As Hajrah Arshad observed, the gathering shows "that Islam is about love and unity."
And as Zeeshan Abdullah, another of the co-organizers told the crowd around the synagogue, "We want to demonstrate that Jews and Muslims do not hate each other. We do not want individuals to define what Islam is for the rest of us". Then he added, "There are many more peace-mongers than war mongers."
To young people all over the world looking to find themselves in messages from social media and video images, I say watch the youtube video of these young Muslims in action.
But then sadly, not everyone is inspired by beauty and heroism.
1. " Norwegian Muslims to form ‘peace ring’ around Oslo synagogue" Fox News, February 18, 2015.
2. "Hundreds join Muslim "ring of peace" at Oslo synagogue", CBS/AP, February 21, 2015.
3. "1,000 join Muslim 'ring of peace' outside Oslo synagogue", Associated Press, February 22, 2015
4. " Law enforcement warning sent about American youth, ISIS" Pamela Brown, CNN, March 5, 2015.